Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Simple Roasted Chicken and Herbs

One of my favorite ways to cook chicken is to roast it in the oven with a sprinkling of a few herbs and spices.

There is no real recipe here, and the method couldn't be easier, regardless of how many pieces of chicken you'd like to cook.

To begin, start heating the oven to 350°F. Meanwhile, find a pan large enough for the amount of chicken you'll be cooking.  Be sure to line the pan with parchment or spray it with non-stick spray. In fact, even if you use parchment, give it a little shot of pan spray to hold the herbs down.

Next, sprinkle the herbs and spices of your choice directly onto the pan or the sprayed parchment. My favorites are a crushed dried thyme and Cavender's Greek seasoning. In the past I've used seasoned salt, Montreal Chicken Seasoning, cajun seasoning, substituted savory for the thyme, etc. What you use is entirely up to you.

Interlude:  Look at what I splurged on last week...an adorable little mortal and pestle for crushing herbs.

OK, back to the chicken.  Place the chicken pieces, skin side up, in the seasoned pan. You could remove the skin, but I always leave the skin on. It helps keep the chicken moist (especially the breasts) and gives it more flavor. I eat the crispy skins, but Shane removes his (and gives it to me...).  You do whatever you like.

As an aside:  Your chicken pieces may vary.  I learned to cut up a whole chicken from my mom.  We cut the breast into three pieces.  The one at top center in the photo has the wishbone in it.  I save the wings and back in the freezer for soup at a later date.

OK, back to the chicken again.  Once the chicken is in the pan, sprinkle the pieces with all the same seasonings you used to season the pan. Use as much or as little as you like. We like a lot of seasoning.

Place pan in the oven and roast at 350°F. You won't believe how amazing this chicken will smell after roasting for about 20 minutes. Roast the chicken for about 50-55 minutes, or until pieces temp out at 165°F when checked away from the bone in the thickest parts of the thigh or breast. You can remove the chicken from the oven at this point, when they look like this...

Or if you like, let it cook a little longer (about 70 minutes total); the meat will be VERY tender if you do and it will look like this.

You won't have any leftovers left over, but if you do, it tastes great on sandwiches or as part of the filling for a burrito.


Sheila said...

Oh, I love the looks of that chicken in the last photo. Love the mortar and pestle--maybe I need one of those too!!!
I just started using parchment paper in the past year or so--wish I had thought of it sooner.
Kevin used to laugh at my cut up chicken--he said it had pieces he had never seen before--some times I would get creative and just cut where-ever!! I'll have to try your method--I usually just roast a whole chicken and then not very often for some reason.
Thanks for the method!!

SonyaAnn said...

I love your mortal and pestle.
I gain weight just from reading your blog!!!

McVal said...

Oh yummy! I'm a chicken skin type person too! Turkey skin as well! You don't want me around the turkey before serving or you will not want your roast turkey to be in any Thanksgiving pics...
Cute mortal and pestle!

Lisa B. said...

Love your splurge! Your chicken in the second photo looks yummy. We also love chicken done this way. We could eat chicken every day!

Annie Jones said...

Sheila: I ♥ parchment paper. My parents bought me a big food-service box of it a few years ago. I have no idea where they found it, and I don't know what I'll do when I run out. I guess call the caterer I used to work for and sweet-talk him into getting me another box of it.

SonyaAnn: Then my job here is done. ;)

McVal: I can't resist the stuff. I also like the fat on a pork chop if it's cooked up nice and crispy. It'll kill me, but I'll die happy.

Lisa: I do like chicken, but Shane is the real fan. He could eat it every day, too, I think.