- Preheat oven to 400 degrees (on bake).
- Unwrap the chicken, pat her dry with a paper towel.
- Seriously. You have to touch the chicken. You will not die.
- Remove gizzards and giblets (aka the grossness). Make sure you get them all. Use two big spoons if you don’t want to use your hands. Place chicken in roasting pan.
- Put 2 Tbsps butter in a microwave safe bowl and melt (approx. 30 seconds). Pour this over the chicken and give her a good rubdown. She deserves it.
- Spices! I use Cajun seasoning, ranch dressing mix, and lemon pepper. Be generous. Cover the chicken with these.
- Place her breast side up (remember, her little hands should be waving at you).
- Put her in the oven uncovered, set the timer for an hour.
- Let her cook away while you do the following: Cut red potatoes in bite size chunks. Feel free to do a “rustic”chop.
- Put in mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with more Cajun seasoning and ranch mix. Mix well.
- Take chicken out of oven when timer says you have 40-45 minutes left. Distribute potatoes around the chicken.
- Return to oven while you do the following: Pour a small bag of baby carrots in that same mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with lemon pepper and ranch mix. Mix well.
- Take chicken out when 30 minutes is left on the timer. Distribute carrots around, pour 1 cup of water over potatoes and carrots. Return to oven.
- Chop onion (cut off top, bottom, cut in half, peel and chop). Sprinkle onion over top of potatoes and carrots when 20 minutes is left in cooking time.
- Italian – Peel two garlic cloves, split them and place inside of chicken. Use Italian seasoning where recipe says Cajun seasoning. Mix in a can of tomatoes with the veggies when you add the onion. Garnish with fresh basil on top after cooking, if you want to be fancy.
- French – Use a split fresh lemon inside instead of lemon pepper on top of chicken. Use garlic salt, tarragon and thyme in place of other spices, and garnish with fresh thyme leaves.
Tips from this lesson:
- Cutting an onion: lay on its side. Slice off the top and bottom, turn over and cut in half. THEN peel. It’s much easier to handle this way.
- Tuck the edge of a paper towel under the end of your cutting board. Use your knife to scoot any waste trimmings onto the paper towel. When you’re done chopping, simply roll up and throw away. Voila! Clean work surface.
- Use two big spoons to scoop the grossness out of a chicken if you don’t want to touch it.
- “Rustic cut” is kitchen code for “feel free to be sloppy.”
- Patting the chicken on its back doesn’t just help the chicken feel better. It helps your spices stick to her (when the patting is done with a paper towel).