Roasting a chicken in the oven is something I always thought of as an Classy Adult thing. For example, in the 5th grade, my friends and I made a video for class, dressed up in heels and speaking in terrible British accents while roasting a chicken. Alas, the heels and accents did not contribute to our culinary prowess: the chicken—which was made of construction paper—was undercooked. It gave us salmonella, which instantly killed us in a dramatic/choking/fainting kind of way. I think the video was supposed to be about the digestive system. (It was really about our love of drama and being ridiculously awesome.)
When Dale and I decided to roast a chicken for dinner, I felt that same sense of being a ridiculously awesome Classy Adult. It felt special: like a mini-Thanksgiving feat.
We loosely followed Tyler Florence’s recipe and directions. We nixed the bacon, rubbed a bunch of lemon pepper over the skin, and stuffed the cavity with quartered lemons. We also threw rice and asparagus in the bottom of the pan with the broth and sherry.
The chicken turned out wonderfully. There’s a certain allure to crispy, golden chicken skin, and roasting a chicken with butter can definitely produce it. A roast chicken can be great for anything from a regular dinner to a special, celebratory meal.
Unfortunately, the asparagus became overcooked in the roasting pan. It turns out chicken needs a while in the oven to turn out, while asparagus doesn’t. I should have known. But at least salmonella wasn’t involved this time!
One more thing: I rarely use whole chickens, but they are fantastically economical. It’s one of those things I always file under “Things To Do More Often.”