Anything Goes Roast Chicken Recipe
What do you want to cook tonight?
I don’t know but I got a lot of ingredients, plus a chicken…
Roast Chicken tl;dr
I know what you’re thinking.. what is Anything Goes Roasted Chicken? Well, its similar to how originally fried rice was put together.. with anything left over from the day before. As you can see, I had a couple things lying around so I thought I’d put my own spin to the famous Thomas Keller’s recipe. Google it and you’ll find everyone with a copy of it or a version of it. Even Thomas Keller has it up on one of his pages. Suffice it to say, mine is a touch different but still very close and more importantly every bit as delicious, if I say so myself.
- Roasting pan or other large metal container
- Aluminum Foil
- A chicken – typical sized costco bird (really whatever you can find but if its smaller or bigger than 2-3 pounds you will have to change cooking times accordingly)
- Olive Oil – drizzle
- Butter 1 stick
- Garlic – handful (but I like a lot)
- Carrots – 1 large
- Eggplant – 1 large
- Mushrooms – handful (I like a lot of these too)
- Onions – 1 large
- Salt / Pepper – (only this if you’re a purist or if its all you got)
- Cayenne (or other spices/herbs/etc) – a lot (cuz I’m a sucker for punishment)
*I have put both bullets and my normal lollygagging type of writing both in. Just in case you should read all of this first before actually doing this recipe and hopefully you find the bullets helpful when you’re actually cooking.
- Defrost chicken in bowl under running tap water OR let defrost in fridge ahead of time
- Place foil in your roasting pan
- Clean/Peel/Cut the vegetables
- Place vegetables in the roasting pan
- Drizzle olive oil over vegetables
- Melt some butter and mix in dry spices/herbs and set aside
- Pull out liver/giblets out of chicken and place into roasting pan
- Place chicken into roasting pan above the vegetables
- Slide hand between chicken skin and chicken meat
- Salt and Pepper the chicken inside and out
- Pour melted butter mix both on the chicken and under the skin
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees
- Place roasting pan in 500 degree oven for about 20 minutes
- Reduce temperature to 400 degree and cook for another 45 minutes
- Check temperature / poke chicken to see if its cooked
- If cooked then place tin foil over the chicken and let it rest for 15 minutes
- If not cooked then cook it some more.
Remember its not rocket science… just food porn. So mix up the ingredients list and tell me about your experience. I’m always looking for new ideas!
In Depth Walk Through
About the Ingredients
- FROZEN Chicken – Before anything, make sure the chicken is defrosted. A lot of people will do it many ways but I suggest being safe and either place the entire chicken under running water for half an hour or so or better yet, place it in the fridge and leave it overnight. Once it’s defrosted and when you’re ready to start cooking, pull it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature, I would say leave it out shy of an hour. If you cook it while its still cold, it will come out hot on the outside and not so great on the inside. Of course if you’re not comfortable with it being left out for an hour then at least leave it out for half an hour.
- Get your container or roasting pan and line it with aluminum foil. I find that it helps with clean up later. From here, I start putting everything in there.
- Garlic- Today what I did was take whole cloves of garlic fresh out of my costco bag. Some of you may not have costco and may have to peel yours. You know what, between you and me, its your garlic and you can do whatever you want with your garlic. Peel it, shred it, squish it… hell, you don’t even have to put garlic into the dish if you don’t want to. And the same goes for nearly every other ingredient. You could even experiment and put other things I didn’t list. Go wild.. who wants to be normal. But back to the recipe at hand…
- Eggplant – I had an eggplant waiting to be used which I have never ever prepared other than broiling it. So here I thought I’d try something new. I chopped and quartered the eggplant. Then placed them into a callander or some other kind of draining receptacle. I doused the eggplant with a heavy layer of salt. And left it there to do it’s moisture magic for about half an hour. Afterwards I rinsed the eggplant pieces and set it aside.
- Carrots – I peeled and chopped up in pretty big bite sized pieces.
- Mushrooms – I rinsed them (I know some chefs are rolling in their graves after reading that) and left them whole.
- Onions – I chopped up any which way, though I think the next time I will leave them also whole.
- Olive Oil – Drizzle a little all over that menagerie of vegetables. It will get a more drippings from the chicken while cooking.
- Before you do the butter, if you choose to do the butter… a few words of caution. A few purists will insist that you only salt and pepper the bird and that using butter in anyway shape or form will add moisture to the cooking process and ruin your future crispy skin. But I digress and more importantly like butter to help keep the meat moist.
- Butter – Melt it a little bit by your preferred method and mix as much cayenne as you want, or any other dried taste modifier. Put rosemary, or thyme or whatever you have in the cupboard. Yeah, I said cupboard.. does anyone use that term anymore? If you’re using fresh herbs then I would suggest, as it was suggested to me, to add it to the chicken late in the game (think half an hour into cooking the chicken – I have yet to try this since I dont have any fresh herbs on hand).
- ROOM TEMPERATURE Chicken – Once the chicken is not cold anymore get ready to get really intimate with it. Pull the liver and giblets and whatever else you find inside the chicken. If you want, its been advised for later carving to remove the wish bone. Personally, I don’t and figure that the bone in would add that much more flavor for the ruined roast that I was about to perform. Other than that, hold the chicken in front of you bottom up where the big hole is. Now try to slip your hand between the skin and the body. Don’t be too forceful otherwise you’ll punch a hole through the skin and nobody likes big gaping gorilla hand sized holes in their chicken skin. What you’re trying to do is separate the skin from the body not completely but enough for a pocket to be created. Go as far as you can or as far as you’re comfortable with. Now do that with the other side and then flip it and repeat. Once you’re done genorously salt the skin and a little pepper as per your tastes. The salt will help crisp up the skin while in the oven. Now grab that melted butter/herb/spice that you have in a bowl on the side and pour that in the skin pockets your created. It will get messy, and it will probably get over the place if you’re anything like me. Hopefully you’re anything but like me and will have come out of this squeaky clean. Please tell me your secrets if you have done that.
- *Another word of advice about twine and your chicken. Personally I don’t like to use twine because I don’t have twine. I generally use a combination of turning the wings back on themselves so they are hiding under the chicken, closer to the body and the thighs helping with more even cooking. The twine process is supposed to do that too… if you have twine. And then I will use some aluminum foil by placing it on top of the breasts to prevent the less dense meat (ie white meat like the breasts) from drying out or burning.
How We Cook It
- First preheat the oven to 500 degrees, or as hot as you can get it. Not all ovens are the same and that’s why I rely on my inexpensive separate oven thermometer instead of the built in digital one. Who knows who did what with the oven before I got to it… After that’s up and running place the entire ensemble of chicken, butter and vegetables into the oven. Let it sit there for about 20 minutes. The skin will get all bubbly and what not BUT don’t freak out.
- Then reduce the temperature down to 400 degrees and continue cooking for about another 45 minutes. I like to leave the chicken alone and let it do its thing.
- Then pull it out, check the temperature of the thighs and make sure they read 160 degrees or there abouts. I like to poke the thighs with a knife and see whether the fluids running out is clear or not. If its clear then you’re good to go, and if its not then you’ll probably want to cook it for a little longer. If its cooked then wrap the chicken with some foil and let it rest for 15 minutes for the juices to go where they need to go. If you leave it in the oven it will just dry out or worse yet, burn up. If its not cooked yet, then cook it some more.
- *I have tried the beer can method of having it sit up and I find that I need a lot of aluminum foil to prevent the top from burning up; though I am still experimenting with it (and by experimenting I mean drinking more beer).
- I have tried the breast side up first to brown and then flipping it to keep the moisture in the breasts while focusing on cooking the thighs through though I find that it leaves the skin not crispy at all.
- *CAUTION: This time around I found that the skin came out perfect and the chicken was great except for the bottom half which after carving was a touch too pink for my taste. So I cut down the body splitting the breasts from the body. Note that the skin on this half of the chicken was not crispy since it was face down this entire time. I then placed the breasts on a serving platter and flipped the other half skin side up onto the roasting pan and cooked for another 15 minutes at 400 degrees. That came out just right with the added bonus of more crispy chicken skin.
What do you like to roast?
We’re always looking for cooking inspiration!