I love roast chicken. The way it smells when it cooks, the way the skin gets crispy, the white meat, and then picking at the remains at the end of dinner. The thing about roast chicken is that you put it on the table and you feel as though you’ve made a real MEAL. Martha has a recipe for what she called Perfect Roast Chicken, in Martha Stewart’s Cooking School cookbook.
You fill the cavity with some lemon slices, garlic and rosemary. You’re supposed to truss the chicken, but I had no twine!! Egad. Martha never runs out of twine.
The interesting thing about this recipe is the oven temp. Martha says to roast
a 4 lb chicken at 450 degrees for 50-55 minutes. Usually I roast chickens at 350. It seemed really hot, but I have to say that it did work. The chicken got a bit dark on the top, however. It was very crisp and it did cook all the way through. The chicken was really, really moist, so I’m going to use this technique again. I’ve made chickens with lemon and garlic in them before, and as always, it doesn’t seem to flavor the meat at all as far as I can tell. That part is frustrating.
The family approved of this, although we had the usual squabbling about who was getting what type of meat. My son used to be a drumstick guy, but now he and his sister both insist on white meat, as do I . Mr. MarthaAndMe is the only one who will eat the rest, so I either need to start making two chickens or make an additional chicken breast to go along with it.
Next Martha says to make a pan sauce. You cook the pan drippings with white wine until reduced then add some butter. It was a quick sauce to whip up, but it was so thin and very greasy. I would much rather have gravy. No one was wild about this sauce.
Was this a perfect roast chicken? I wouldn’t call it perfect, but I would say it was darn good.
I’m trying to be a vegetarian here! Must you place your juicy descriptions so boldy all over my screen? 🙂
Roast chicken is something I’ve only attempted once. I should give it another try. Your bird looks delicious!!!!
I love the crisp skin. I probably shouldn’t, but I do. Did you know that the average UK household eats a roast chicken 12 times a year. I wonder if it is more or less in the US?
Whenever I try roasting with anything inside, the silly bird refuses to cook through for me. Pink chicken–yetch.
“The Perfect Roast Tofu” perhaps? I’ll notify Martha:)
It is so easy because all you do is stick it in the oven. Really, it’s much easier than you would think and looks so impressive for the little work involved.
I know – I have the same problem with skin. This time I didn’t have any and it took all my willpower. Would Martha eat skin? Yes, but only if it was attached to the piece of meat she got I think. She wouldn’t be ripping it off the chicken and eating it first. That’s an interesting statistic. I would bet it is less here.
When you use stuffing it does take longer but this is just a couple slices of lemon and some cloves of garlic so it doesn’t seem to impact the roasting time.
I’m going to add my two sense here! I separate the skin from the meaty part and rub olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic cloves into that “pocket.” It seems to flavor the chicken well if you are looking for more flavor. Or you could try brining it. I’ve never brined a whole chicken before but I have done bone-in chicken breasts and they are great! I’ll have to try that oven temp.
Yes, I often put herbs or garlic under the skin when I make it myself. I don’t know why Martha did not say to do that since it really adds a lot of flavor – thanks for posting about it. I love to brine turkey!
I have made about 6 or 7 Martha Perfect Roast Chickens, and they never disappoint! I’m with you re: the pan sauce. I just skip that. But the chickens are incredible. I’ve tried substituting other herbs, but I think rosemary is the best. Sometimes I can really taste the garlic and herbs and lemon, and other times it’s barely discernible. But the chicken is always perfectly cooked. I’m a big believer in this recipe!
Next time I’m going to try it with herbs under the skin to try to get more flavor from it. My mom has been putting whole lemons inside chickens as long as I can remember. She pierces them with a fork all over.
I’ve made this exact roast chicken and it was the best roast chicken I’ve ever made! I’m trying to make it again but don’t have the recipe book here with me…could you give it to me? Please………….
I tried roasting at 450 once and I will never do it any other way! If the chicken id getting to dark, especially if you have a larger chicken, just cover loosely with foil through the first few minutes of cook time.
Good tip – thanks!