I love butter.
In fact I love it so much that I've taught my kids something that I consider to be very important. It goes like this...butter makes everything better.
Say it with me now, "Butter makes EVERYTHING better."
Ok yes, now we can move on cause the recipe in this post is just simply delicious AND it contains a lot of butter.
I have about darn near perfected the roasted chicken. It is so good, soft, juicy, and finger lickin' tasty that I just have to share it with you. What kind of a friend would I be if I didn't?
When I first got married I was so intimidated by the (whole) chicken. I had no idea how to cook it and quite frankly didn't really want to touch it. I cooked a few and they were just as bland as a piece of unbuttered toast and dry to boot. The whole chicken quickly was put on the back burner and I turned to the boneless skinless chicken breast. While the chicken breast is very versatile it can also be very dry (I have a trick for this too - later friends, later) and can't go as far as a whole bird.
I can't remember the last time I bought chicken breasts. I miss them at times, but I can get at least two meals, maaaybe three out of a whole chicken. Plus I make bone broth with the carcass when I'm done. Score! I'm pretty sure you can't make two chicken breasts last as long as that (I said two because there are after all, only two breasts on a chicken).
So before we get started on the chicken I'll show you a little technique I've come up with. It makes life much easier and tastier. I like to put butter under the skin of the chicken and on top. Have you ever tried to put butter under the skin of a chicken? No matter the answer, let me show you how I do it.
Get 1/2 cup of butter to room temp and peel one small head of garlic.
Mince or crush your garlic into your butter and mix thoroughly. I like to make my butter VERY garlic-y because I love garlic too. You can definitely do as much or as little as you want, but please, add garlic.
Once mixed, put your garlic-y butter on wax paper. Spread it out to about the size of an elongated stick of butter. Next you'll want to wrap the edge of your wax paper around your butter and squeeze all the air out. Gently make the butter into a smooth tube and keep the wax paper as wrinkle free as possible (this is so when you go to unwrap the butter, the wax paper will easily come off). Gently twist the edges of the wax paper like you see on a taffy candy wrapper. Put butter into fridge and let harden (I like to do this step the day before to make sure that is is ready).
Now for the finger lickin' chicken.
First things first. Rinse off your chicken inside and out, then dry it off with paper towels. Don't skip the drying off, it makes for a crispier skin and it makes it easier when you go to slather the butter on the bird. Believe me if you don't dry off your chicken, the only thing that is going to have butter on it is YOU.
Next take scissors and cut one slit on each of the legs. Once you've made your cuts, take your finger stick it under the skin and separate the skin from the meat. You'll also want to separate the skin from the breasts in the same manner. I about get my whole hand under the skin on the chicken breasts. I want my butter to go far.
Now is the time to whip out your tube of garlic butter. Unwrap the morsel of buttery goodness and cut the whole thing into slices. Separate 2-4 slices from the bunch and then stick the rest in a baggie and put it in the fridge for future use. Split one of the slices in half and then slide the halves under the skin on the legs. Next slide the other slices under the breast of the chicken. Make sure you really get them in there. You don't want your butter to drain out of your chicken do you? Of course not.
Once your done sliding the butter under the skin, stuff the small stash of herbs (below) into the cavity along with a lemon that's been cut into quarters. Tie the legs together with a piece of baking twine.
Next you'll need to make the herb butter for the outside of the chicken.
I have herbs growing right outside my door so I grabbed a handful of sage and rosemary and thought it good for my chicken. You can really use whatever herbs you want, but this combination is a good one. Separate a small stash for the inside of the bird (above) and then mince the rest for the butter. You really want to make this as small as you can. Also, if you choose to use fresh rosemary, be sure to remove the needles from the stem. The stem is essentially wood and is no bueno for eating. Once your done mincing, add it to about 1/4 cup of softened butter and mix well. I like to add a bit of salt too, but do whatever suits your taste.
Generously rub the herb butter all over your whole chicken and make sure you cover it well. The butter should stick well if you made sure that your chicken is dry. Once that's done, drop the rest of the herb butter on your potatoes (assuming your cooking your chicken on potatoes).
Cook for about 1 1/2 hours with your oven on 350 degrees. If your potatoes aren't quite done yet (don't cut them too big), cover your chicken with foil and then turn the oven up to about 375 for about 10 minutes and that should do the trick.
And voila, you have a fantastic mouth watering roasted chicken! Make sure you let it rest for about 10-15 minutes so all the juices soak into the bird and don't just flow out when your cutting it up. The potatoes are going to be mouth watering tasty due to them being baked in your buttery, garlic-y, herb and chicken juices.
Are you hungry yet?
I really hope you try this, it's just too good not to.
And if after all that I've told you, if you can only remember one thing, please remember my motto...
Butter makes EVERYTHING better.