Simple roast chicken, how hard can that be? Never did one in all they years I have been cooking. (Mostly because I am not a fan of chicken but do it to appease the fam). I have done more than a few turkey's but this was new territory. A quick search of Food TV and I found a couple that I could use as a reference point for a recipe I would call my own.
Simple Roast Chicken
2 approx 4 lb roasting hens
1 head of garlic
2 T dried thyme
4 large sprigs of fresh sage
For Herb butter:
about 3/4 stick butter at room temp.
1 t dry thyme
1 t dry basil
1 T dry parsley
1 T fresh chopped garlic
Mix and set aside while preparing the chickens
Clean out the chicken off the various body parts. Rinse inside and out with cold water. Pat dry.
Slice one lemon into 4 thin slices. Slice the other two lemons in half.
Generously salt and pepper each cavity. Add dry Thyme. Split carrot and put 1 piece in each cavity. Crush the garlic cloves, divide between each chicken. Stuff the lemon halves into each cavity. Slip fingers between breasts and the skin. Slip one slice of lemon into each slit so that each breast has a lemon slice centered in it. The resulting bulges will make the chicken look like some sort of mutant gas mask...you want it that way. Tuck one sprig of the fresh sage into each chicken.
Tuck and fold wings under the chicken. Wrap a string under the wings and then pull towards the legs. Wrap one end around a leg then draw legs together and tie to secure.
Rub chicken with the herb butter. Arrange the remaining sage leaves on top of the chicken. Salt and Pepper.
Bake at 400 until meat thermometer in thickest part of the thigh reads 165F. I use a convection roast with thermometer probe to help take the guess work out and getter a better browned and crisped skin. It should take about 1 1/2 hours to get it to that temp. Check that juices run clear before removing from oven.
All trussed up and ready to go. See...with the lemon slices under the skin it does look like a WWII gas mask!
There we go all done, thank gawd for non-stick roasters and racks. I swear if I didn't have that option I would rarely roast as with regular pans it is just a pain to get them all clean. I do two chickens at once as that way I get one for dinner tonight and another for dinner later in the week when I am way to busy to do much more than a quick reheat.