chicken – try to get an organic one
butter (room temperature)
Preheat the oven to 400F. Rinse the chicken under cold water, pat dry inside and out with paper towels. Make sure there are no giblets inside the bird. Place in roasting pan. Rub a small amount of butter all over the bird as though you are moisturizing it. Sprinkle salt and pepper over it. Cut the lemon, squeeze one half over the bird, and stick the other half inside. Roast for 20 minutes per pound plus an extra half hour. It’s ready when the juices run clear, or your meat thermometer registers 180F (insert thermometer into the thickest part of the breast). The leg will be very loose in the socket. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.
If your pan is too big, there is a chance that the butter and chicken fat could burn on the pan’s surface. Then you will need a good exhaust fan, and a partner to wave a magazine under the smoke detector.
I always check the temperature of the chicken during the last half hour of roasting…sometimes it’s done sooner than other times.
Our way of keeping the peace: the carver gets first dibs on the salty, golden skin.
While Jeff carves, I make the gravy recipe that is listed on the box of cornstarch. It’s the one I remember from home.
Source: Nigel Slater, Nigella Lawson
You’re going to need mashed potatoes to go with this.
Peel, cut and boil as many potatoes as required. Mash or press through a potato ricer. Mix in as much butter and milk as you like until smooth. Season with salt. Grate nutmeg over top.
Tip: Start your potatoes right after you pop your chicken in the oven. Spoon the mashed potatoes into a heatsafe bowl, cover with foil, and place on top of a pot of simmering water. They will stay hot until it’s time to eat, and you will save your sanity!