I know what you're thinking. But Captain Dapper, why the hell would I want to know how to roast a chicken? Isn't that why they sell their rotisserie birds at the grocery store? And isn't a date more likely to be impressed by an expensive meal from a restaurant?
I hear where you're coming from, dear reader. But imagine this scenario. You're trying to woo that special guy or gal. You've been out on a date and you think you're smitten. He/she, however, still needs a little convincing. On your first date you were smooshed between a bunch of other noisy diners in a busy (and expensive) restaurant. You spent most of the meal trying to hear one another but you know you actually missed half of the conversation because you couldn't hear a damned thing.
So you call up your potential new boy/girlfriend and you say, "Hey, I feel like we barely got to know each other on our first date. How about another go? This time, I'll cook for you."
Your date agrees. I mean, who would turn down a home cooked meal? An hour or two before your date arrives, you throw a chicken in the oven (using the recipe below, of course) and by the time he/she arrives your home will smell enticingly delicious. Your date will think you spent the entire day prepping the meal (you don't have to admit that it only took twenty minutes of prep time) and will be powerless against your charms. The best part, of course, is that after dinner there's no need for that whole "my place or yours" decision. You're already at your place!
Captain Dapper's Easy Roast Chicken and Vegetables Recipe
- 1 whole roasting chicken (2-4 pounds)
- 2-3 tablespoons softened butter
- Salt, pepper and other seasonings
First, you'll want to unwrap the chicken and rinse it thoroughly, inside and out, under warm water. Then pat the bird dry with paper towels and place it in a roasting pan, breast side up. Next, brush the entire bird with softened butter. Sprinkle the buttered bird with salt, pepper and any other seasonings you might like. As you can see in the photo at the top, I stuffed my bird with a bunch of sage. I also shoved a couple cloves of garlic and bit chunk of fresh ginger inside the bird. Now, prep your veggies by washing them and them chopping them into a uniform size. To save time, you can pick up prepared veggies at most grocery stores. I used small potatoes and carrots for my roast but you can use any root vegetable you like - beets, parsnips, sweet potatoes, etc. Arrange the vegetables around the chicken in the pan. If you have any white wine or vermouth sitting around, add about half a cup to the pan. This might also be a good opportunity to make yourself a little cocktail as well. Hey, if the bird gets to soak in booze, you should get to drink a little!
And that's it - the bird is prepped and ready to go. Cover the pan loosely with foil and bake in a 425 degree oven for 25 minutes. Then, remove the pan from the oven, brush butter on the chicken, turn the temperature down to 350 and roast for additional 1 to 1 1/2 hours. You'll want to brush the bird with butter or drippings every twenty minutes or so to keep it from drying out. You may also want to remove the foil for the final thirty minutes of cooking to help the get nicely browned. You can use a meat thermometer to help you gauge when the chicken is ready. You can also pierce the chicken at the thickest part of the breast to make sure the meat is no longer bloody.
Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 15 - 20 minutes. Place the vegetables and chicken on a platter and be prepared to impress your date. (Note: If you're not familiar with carving a bird, you may want to do so in the kitchen away from your date. Nothing ruins a romantic mood faster than the cook dropping f-bombs while trying to carve up the main dish!)
Bon appetit and happy boning!
Images: Jason Loper