Some time ago I was reacquainted with the roaster chicken. Well, it was actually the January 2011 issue of Martha Stewart Living “Brilliant Basics” which expanded my chicken horizons beyond boneless skinless breasts. The author uses a roaster chicken, salt, cornstarch, rosemary, olive oil, and potatoes to make one of the most simple and inexpensive family dinners. I’m still making variations of this recipe every other month or so… the benefit of this is not just dinner but it also gives you a chance to replenish your chicken stock reserves in the freezer.
Here’s my current adaptation.
- 4 russet potatoes, peeled and cut crosswise, ¾ inch thick
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut crosswise, ¾ inch thick
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- ½ tsp cornstarch
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 tbsp. softened unsalted butter
- 1 small bunch of thyme
- 1 lemon quartered twice
- 8 to 10 cloves smashed garlic
- 4 tsp turmeric
- Kosher salt
- Prepare a large cassoulet pot with olive oil.
- Sautee the onions until brown in the cassoulet then remove from heat, about 20 minutes on medium low.
- Prepare a bath of 5 tbsp. salt and cold water in a large bowl.
- Remove the giblets from the chicken body and submerge in bath for 15 minutes.
- Remove chicken from bath and pat dry thoroughly.
- Mix salt, cornstarch and turmeric.
Rub all over the outside of the chicken to coat.
- The cornstarch helps lock in moisture and the turmeric gives you both a visual and some added richness.
- Place chicken into cassoulet.
- Stuff the inside of the bird with the thyme, lemon pieces and garlic pouring butter inside the cavity to coat.
- Tie the hind legs together and cover remaining opening with tail skin.
- Tuck the wings under the bird and center on the browned onions.
- Toss potato mix in a bowl with a dash of olive oil, turmeric, salt and cracked pepper.
- Arrange around the bird and cover with lid.
- Cook at 450 for 1 hour then remove lid and cook for an additional 45 minutes.