Cowboy Roasted Chicken

Yesterday I didn't have much gumption to make dinner so I decided to make a roasted chicken. Although I put the bird in the refrigerator to thaw the day before it was still partially frozen. I was going to rub the bird with a butter and herb mixture but I knew I wouldn't be able to put butter between the skin and breast. Instead I grabbed my husband's favorite spice blend and rubbed a generous amount on the chicken. 

Image: sweetbaysupermarket.com

After applying the rub to the chicken I put it in a 350 F oven. When 20 minutes had passed I added a little safflower oil to the bottom of the pan. Vegetable oil will also work. Using a basting brush I combined some of the drippings with the oil and used them to gently baste the chicken. Every 15-20 minutes I continued to baste the chicken until it became golden brown. I inserted a meat thermometer in a few areas to test the temperature. Since I knew the bird was originally frozen I inserted the thermometer deep into the chicken without touching the bone. Bones can be hotter than the meat and give a false reading so make sure your thermometer doesn't touch them. Taking the recommendation of celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse I cooked the chicken until it was 160 F. Many sources suggest cooking poultry to 175-180 but chef Emeril has said on several cooking shows that temperature will dry out the meat. 

When the chicken was removed from the pan I covered it with foil to let it rest for 30 minutes. During the resting period the temperature of the meat will continue to climb. If the chicken will not be given time to rest I recommend the 175-180 F range. 

My husband carved the chicken and began nibbling on it while doing so. He ate most of his dinner over the roasting pan because he couldn't quit eating it. 

Later I added the chicken bones and pan drippings to an 8qt stockpot with water, a few bay leaves, sage leaves, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. I covered the pot and let it simmer for an hour to make home made chicken stock. 

It was a delicious dinner and a bargain at $0.89/lb.

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