Saturday, June 22, 2013

#147 Greek Inspired Roasted Chicken

Roasted Chicken is one of the  easiest dishes to  fix for dinner and it is healthy too. I made this Mediterranean inspired Greek Roasted Chicken. We had a jar full of kalamata olives and so I decided to make a rub using it. Herbs were a plenty since it was on sale for $.99, grocery discounts always make me happy, especially if they sell herbs for  half the original price, organic herbs  can get pricey but it is essential in good cooking and in my opinion, must never be skipped. I've always wanted to start planting my favorite herbs, and will do so very soon. Finally I will have a small herb garden, I need to :)  as you can see in the photo below, I used lots of fresh herbs! I actually overstuffed the poor bird! But I think I will be forgiven, because it's main purpose is to nourish another form of life, not only did it nourish us, it gave us joy. :) I wanted to find out if  using all the herbs will add a strong unbearable flavor to the chicken, but the result was quite the opposite! It was delicious, the flavors were not shy, yet far from overwhelming. It was a perfect blend of the fresh and dried herbs, lemon, garlic and the kalamata olives.

Yield: 4-6 servings


Whole roasting chicken
1/4 cup butter
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup jarred kalamata olives, finely chopped
1 lemon, quartered
1 onion quartered
sprig of fresh thyme
sprig of fresh sage
sprig of fresh mint
sprig of fresh rosemary
sprig of fresh basil
4 cloves of garlic

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 F. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry all over with paper towels. Remove the giblets from the cavity of the chicken, generously add salt and pepper into the cavity, and return the giblets. Squeeze the lemon in the cavity, then add the lemon itself, pushing in each half gently. Insert quartered onions, garlic and all the fresh herbs: thyme, sage, mint, rosemary, basil.
  2. In a small bowl, combine:  1/4 cup butter, 2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint,1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon dried basil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper. Gradually working your fingers under the skin to gently loosen it so it does not tear. Rub the mixture under the skin, and all over the chicken. 
  3. Gently slip chopped kalamata olives under the skin.
  4. Truss the chicken and place it breast side up, on a rack if you like, in a large baking pan. Roast in the center of the oven until the bird is golden on the outside and the leg joint moves easily when you rotate it, about 1 hour.
  5. Remove the chicken from the oven, add pepper generously all over. Flip the  bird onto the breast side and let it rest, uncovered for at least 15 minutes and as long as 30.
  6. Carve the chicken and arrange it on a warmed serving platter. Cut the giblets into thin slices and arrange them on the platter. If a substantial amount of cooking juices remain in the baking pan, place it over medium heat and bring to boil. Scrape up any browned bits, stir in 1/2 cup of water, and pour the juice over the chicken.
So if you are not gentle in adding the rub in between the meat and skin of the chicken, you will tear the skin, just like what happened here.
I added more kalamata olives in the roasting pan and some parsley too which cooked great with the chicken. We loved it! Roasting chicken at home is fun and it tastes so much better!

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