I've been on vacation, ya'll! Sorry for not posting, but I've been having too much fun traveling all around New York state (and a little bit of Vermont) for the past few weeks. Two awesome teammates and I made this roasted chicken for dinner during my giant (20+ person) family vacation on Keuka Lake.
The chickens came from the Pennsylvania Yankee Mercantile general store in Penn Yan, New York. No, nowhere near Pennsylvania--see the comments for an explanation. The store only sells items produced within 100 miles of Penn Yan. Their mission is to keep people in the community aware and in touch with their food chain. If you're ever in Penn Yan, please check them out!
Here's how we made the chicken:
2 small whole chickens (you could, of course, use just one)
thyme, marjoram, tarragon
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 or 375. Wash chickens and place in roasting pan. Smear the chickens with butter or drizzle with olive oil if you prefer. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and herbs.
Roll one lemon on the counter to get the juices flowing, then cut it in half and squeeze over top of the chickens. Stuff half of the lemon in each chicken, along with a clove or two of garlic.
Pour some white wine in the bottom of the roasting pan (enough to cover the bottom of the pan). We used a white table wine from the Salmon Run label of Dr. Frank's Vinifera Wine Cellars, a local Finger Lakes winery.
"Get the label in the shot, maybe they'll send me a free bottle," I shamelessly said to my cook teammate/photographer friend.
Roast for about two hours total, or until a meat thermometer reads 175 degrees in the thickest part of the chicken breast. Baste with liquid from the pan every 20 minutes or so, and add more wine if needed. Squeeze the second lemon over the chickens after about 45 minutes (once they've browned) and tent with aluminum foil to keep them moist.
We served these bad boys (girls, actually) with steamed carrots in a honey dill glaze, pasta Alfredo, green salad, and a watermelon and goat cheese salad.
By the way, this is the first post I've ever done on chicken. If you're someone who is intimidated by cooking a whole chicken, but knows that whole chickens are much much cheaper per pound than chicken parts, this looks pretty simple, right? You can follow the same steps, but change out the flavor components (lemon juice, herbs, wine) for different ones.
Remember to save the carcass (in the fridge for a few days or freezer for pretty much ever) to make stock with! Just plop it in a stock pot (or crock pot), add some quartered onions, carrots, celery, salt, pepper, and a bay leaf, fill the rest of the way with water, and simmer on low all day. Skim the fat off, strain out the solids, and freeze in ice cube trays for later.
(Awesome photography by Sarah Amico)