This method of roasting chicken may not be the norm, I remember my Mother steam roasting a chicken in her black and white speckled graniteware pan and it was always so delicious. I love preparing the chicken this way, not only is it delicious but because you allow the chicken to steam undisturbed it’s not necessary to baste often and you are free to do whatever else you have to do. The meat is tender and juicy and every bite is full of flavor.I stuff the cavity with aromatics, herbs and citrus, you can add what you like. Essentially, I steam the chicken which locks in the flavor and ensures that the chicken does not dry out and when its almost done remove the lid or foil and brown the skin. Make sure that you let the chicken rest before carving, the juices will re-distribute. When you steam the chicken the juices do not evaporate it also speeds up the cooking time. Serve with potatoes, (mashed are great) vegetables and you have a delicious comforting meal. The leftovers make an amazing sandwich.
1 organic chicken (mine weighed 4+ lbs)
1 lemon cut in half (remove visible seeds)
1 shallot (or small onion) peeled and halved
Fresh herbs (I used parsley and thyme)
2 cloves garlic (peeled and left whole)
olive oil to rub on the skin
salt and pepper
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Wash and rinse your chicken and pat dry. Place in roasting pan (on a rack if you have one) and salt the cavity, stuff with the lemon, shallot, garlic and fresh herbs. Rub the skin of the chicken with some olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper generously. Cover roasting pan either with the lid or with foil making sure its well sealed. Place in the oven and roast undisturbed for 90 minutes for a smaller chicken or larger you will have to adjust the time, if you use a thermometer the internal temperature should be 160-165 before you brown the skin. Take the pan out of the oven, raise the oven temp to 425 degrees, remove the foil or lid, spoon some of the pan juices over the chicken and put it back in the oven for approximately 20-30 minutes,or until the skin is golden brown, about half way through baste again. Remove from the oven check the temperature it should register 170-175, tent with foil and let it rest for 30 minutes before serving.
NOTE: If you don’t have a thermometer steaming a chicken (approximately 4 lbs) for an hour and a half is sufficient. It will be almost completely cooked and putting it back in the oven to brown the skin will ensure a fully cooked chicken.