Roast Chicken with Herbed Compound Butter
First, the good news. The parsley, oregano, peppermint and rosemary are still thriving in my garden. So, when I decided to roast a whole chicken for dinner today, I plucked some parsley and rosemary and the few teeny tiny remaining leaves of thyme I had and mixed them with some softened butter. I took the chicken out of the package and this is what I found:
This poor chicken’s skin was perforated all over with these rather large holes. Either it had some pluck-resistant feathers or Dick Cheney was involved with its death.
I carried on despite the bird’s sad condition and rubbed the herbed butter under the skin. I used about two tablespoons of butter along with about a tablespoon and a half of chopped herbs. Which sounds like a lot of butter, but not really when you find out that about half the butter ends up relentlessly stuck to your hands instead of to the bird.
Have you seen these cool little silicone rubber bands? You use them instead of kitchen twine and they are washable and reusable. Me likey.
Here’s the thing. Although I managed to take pictures of this bird throughout the process, my RDD is still haunting me because I can’t really give you my complete technique in a concrete way. I will tell you I put the chicken in a roasting pan and instead of a rack, I placed it upon some chunked up onions, garlic, celery and carrots, a la Alton Brown. I started it at 375 and stuck a probe thermometer in the thickest part of the meat, near the rear of the breast towards the drumstick.
But then I remembered that I intended to make bread to go with dinner which cooks at 450 for 30 – 40 minutes. I cranked the temperature of the oven up, pulled the bird out while it was heating, changed my mind and put the bird back in, tented with foil. I put the bread in to bake, and when it was done, I took the foil off of the chicken and let it finish at 450 until the thermometer reached 165 degrees. I poured off the juices and let it rest for about 15 minutes while I made some gravy.
Another odd thing – I did not brine this chicken and therefore I thought the drippings would make some swell gravy, especially with those nice veggies I roasted the bird upon. I did not add any salt to the gravy yet it was super duper salty, like a brined bird level of salty drippings. So – strange bird. It was a Stop & Shop brand roaster, so that was probably my mistake right there.
Despite all this, the meat was pretty darn good anyway. It was moist and flavorful and not particularly salty at all. Go figure. So, take from this what you will – try the herbed butter if you’d like, roast it at some temperature, see what happens!