In these tough economic times we are all looking for a way to save a buck. One easy way to cut a corner is to be smarter about the groceries you buy. I read my grocery circulars almost religiously and the first thing I scan the pages for is to see what meat is on sale. There is huge savings to be had by hunting for a sale in the meat department and stocking up when the store has a deal. I challenge myself to not pay over $2.00/lb for all of my meat. To some that sounds impossible, but its really easier than you think. You just have to educate you self and build your meals around the bargains that you find as opposed to just picking random meals. That being said, you DON'T need to sacrifice quality or taste to save a buck. A great cost savings in the supermarket is to buy whole chickens as opposed to boneless skinless chicken breast. A whole roaster can be found for as little as $.87/lb. where as chicken breast is normally in the neighbor hood of $4.99/lb. I stock up on whole chickens because the options are just infinite. Not only is a whole chicken sort of a blank culinary canvas, but it can also be used to feed you and your family for several days at a time and not just one meal.
Here is a great recipe for a very simple roast chicken. As with most of my recipes I encourage you to add or omit what sounds good to your or just work with what you have on hand. As long as you have butter or olive oil, salt and pepper you can roast a delicious and satisfying chicken.
Here is my recipe for Herb and Garlic Roasted Chicken. IMPORTANT: after serving, DON'T THROW THE CARCASS/LEFTOVERS AWAY! Instead, just pick the remaining meat off the bones- there is more than you think- and wrap it up and put in the fridge for later. We are going to use those tomorrow in a recipe that will show you just how far you bird can fly!
Herb and Garlic Roast Chicken
1 tbsp sage
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tsp ground bay
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
Good pinch of kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 425. After rinsing chicken, inside and out, place chicken, breast side up, a roasting pan. Measure all ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir until blended. Using your index finger, loosen space between the skin and the flesh of the bird. Do the same on the legs by cutting a small slit in the top of the leg .Wiggle around until you have loosened the skin all the way down to the thigh. Using a teaspoon, spoon oil/herb combo in between skin and flesh. Do this all around the bird leaving about ¼ of the oil. Use the remaining oil on the exterior of the chicken and coat well. Sprinkle a bit more kosher salt and black pepper on top. Pop in the oven and let cook until done. This is normally about 20 minutes per pound of chicken. A standard sized chicken about 1.5 hours. To be safe, use a meat thermometer and cook until the temperature cooks to about 180.
Baste the chicken every 30 minutes or so with the drippings from the roasting pan. If skin begins to brown too much before the bird is done, just cover with tinfoil. When chicken is cooked thru, remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes before cutting.
Use drippings to make gravy- click here for GRAVY 101.