Dad’s “company chicken”
This is the chicken that I grew up eating. Dad said that trussing the chicken keeps it juicy, but if the process is too daunting, you could try the recipe without it, too.
- One whole chicken
- One large or two medium onions, sliced into inch-wide wedges
- Lowery’s seasoning salt
- Preheat the oven to 425°
- Rinse the chicken and pat it dry
- Fill the cavities with onion
- Truss up the chicken. Dad always used string to tie the wings and the drumsticks in tight to the body, and he had special skewers to seal shut the cavities. Sometimes I have sewn the cavities shut with needle and thread – and then removed the thread before serving! The idea is to keep the chicken in a very compact shape and not allow any of the inner moisture to escape.
- Rub the chicken with a generous amount of Lowery’s seasoning salt
- Bake in a cake dish or roasting pan.
- After 10 minutes, turn the oven down to 350°. (Do not forget that step!)
- Allow a little less than 20 minutes per pound of chicken, but rely on the meat thermometer to tell you when it is done – that should read 180°.
Molly’s beer-butt chicken
This is how my friend Molly cooks most of her own chickens, and I am including it because it is simple as well as good. — Elizabeth
- 1 can of cola or beer
- 1 whole chicken
- Pour off (or drink) one third of your canned beverage.
- Rinse off the chicken and pat it dry
- Set the can in a cake pan, and place the chicken on top of it so that the can is going into the chicken’s inner cavity, and the chicken is sitting upright.
- Bake for roughly 60-90 minutes at 350°, checking to see if it is done. (A meat thermometer in the thigh should read 180°.) If you don’t have a meat thermometer, some people say the drumsticks should wiggle easily when done. It is important for safety’s sake that chicken is thoroughly cooked, but if you overcook it, it can be dry.
Quakers’ Lemon chicken
This recipe was recommended to us by two different Quaker friends. It is simple but elegant.
- One whole chicken
- One lemon
- Preheat the oven to 350°
- Wash the lemon, and use a sharp knife to poke a bunch of holes in it.
- Set the chicken in a roasting pan or a cake pan, place the lemon in its cavity, and bake it.
- Bake until a meat thermometer pressed deep into its thigh reads 180°, or until you can stab its thigh and the juices run clear.
Caribbean-Spiced Roast Chicken (from www.allrecipes.com)
When we cooked this, we omitted the rum (because we didn’t have any) and the cayenne pepper (because I lost my nerve), and it was still very good! It also made the house smell wonderful while baking — Elizabeth
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 fluid ounces rum
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 (3 pound) whole chicken
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
- In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, rum, and brown sugar; set aside. Mix together the cayenne pepper, clove, cinnamon, ginger, pepper, salt, and thyme leaves. Brush the chicken with oil, then coat with the spice mixture.
- Place in a roasting pan, and bake about 90 minutes, until the juices run clear or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of the thigh reaches 180 degrees F. Baste the chicken with the sauce every 20 minutes while it’s cooking. Allow chicken to rest for 10 minutes before carving.
Most basic soup recipe
Do not throw away your chicken bones! Make soup with them. The result will be more nourishing and tasty than anything you can buy in the store. My kids love it. If you get really into this, and you get really bold, and you start to want chicken feet to throw in your stock, we might be able set you up with some. Seriously.
- Bones from one chicken
- 1 onion
- 1 pound ground chicken or turkey, or leftover chicken meat cut into small pieces
- 5 carrots
- 6 pieces of celery
- 1 teaspoon sage
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Put chicken bones in a crock pot, fill it with water, then turn it on high for 12 to 24 hours. Check occasionally, and add water if it is getting low.
- About 45 minutes before dinner time, cut the onion into small pieces and fry it in a little bit of oil in the bottom of a large pot. Add the ground poultry, if you are using it, and cook it. Last, add the vegetables.
- Set a spaghetti strainer in that same large pot, right over the food, and pour the bones and broth into it so the bones gets stuck in the strainer, and the broth goes through. Remove the strainer and throw away the bones.
- Bring to a boil
- Add salt, pepper sage, and other seasonings if you want.
- Simmer 15 minutes or more and serve.