So, I decided that today I would cook up what I needed to, and then figure out the rest after that.
. . . . This is how I started this post yesterday morning. Then I opened the fridge and saw the leftover shrimp, so I made Creamy Shrimp and Rice Salad. I meant to cook the chickens yesterday, but ended up needing a quick "dinner in a hurry" option, so it was the Brown Butter Tilapia for dinner last night instead.
What can I say? Life happens and plans change. But the chicken is getting cooked today!
I only buy whole chickens when they go on sale. I buy as many as I can and keep the majority in the freezer for when I need them. This particular shopping day, a store had whole chickens on sale and the limit was only two. So, I bought my two and I kept them both in the fridge so I could cook both at the same time. (I had just watched an episode of The Chew that talked about the benefits of having leftover cooked chicken. And I whole heartedly agree.)
If I'm going to use all the propane to heat up my oven, you better believe I'm going to cook everything I can while it's hot! I'll serve one chicken tonight for a Roast Chicken Dinner, and the second one I'll use for dinners later in the week.
OK enough talking, let's get started. (Forgive the lack of pictures for this post. I really hate having to disinfect my hands and the camera every time I take a shot.)
I can't say this enough during this post. WASH YOUR HANDS after every time you touch the chickens, or anything that the chickens have come in contact with. Use warm soapy water and a good soap. Lather for 30 seconds (sing the ABC's or Happy Birthday slowly). You don't want to make yourself or your family sick!
Get all your non-chicken ingredients ready first. Here's what you'll need:
For the Orange Sage chicken with Honey Orange sauce:
|Butter, onion powder, salt, ground sage, granulated garlic, freshly ground back pepper, 1 whole onion, garlic cloves, oranges and honey|
|Butter, seasoned salt, garlic and onion|
I started with the rub for my Orange Sage Chicken.
Put into a small bowl: 1 tsp each of the onion powder, granulated garlic, salt and sage. Add 1/2 tsp freshly ground back pepper. Mix with your fingers until combined.
|One orange sliced, 1 small onion quartered and 3 cloves of garlic|
Now for the messy part:
The first chicken is going to be my Basic Roast Chicken. No fancy flavors, just simple, yummy chicken.
Drizzle the bird with oil or melted butter and coat all sides (inside and out) with seasoned salt. Then stuff the cavity with your "mise en place" (a peeled and quarted onion and a few cloves of peeled garlic). This bird is done!
WASH YOUR HANDS!
|Basic Roast Chicken ready for the oven|
The second chicken - the one I'm serving tonight for dinner - will be slightly fancier. It's an Orange Sage chicken with a Honey Orange sauce.
Loosen the chicken skin away from the meat of the bird with your fingers. When the skin is loose and you can put your fingers all the way to the back of the breast meat then it's time for the sage rub.
|To loosen the skin use a couple fingers and slide them back and forth while gradually moving towards the back of the bird. You'll need to do this for each breast.|
Then use the remaining 1/2 of the mixture and rub the outside of the entire bird with it.
Take 2 Tablespoons room temp. butter (that you hopefully set aside earlier so you don't have to touch anything else with your "chickeny" hands).
Pinch off small pieces of the butter and place them evenly distributed over each breast, UNDER the skin.
Now take some orange slices and place them on top of the butter, on the breast meat - underneath the skin. (Are you confused yet? . . . Just remember:" rub, butter, orange slices" - all under the skin.)
Put as many orange slices as you can in, while still being able to put the skin back in place. I was able to fit 4 in; 2 on each breast.
Put the rest of the orange slices inside the cavity of the chicken, along with a few cloves of peeled garlic and a small, peeled and quartered onion.
After an hour and 1/2 my Basic Roast Chicken was done, but the Orange Sage chicken still needed some more time (It was a little bigger bird.)
You want the ratio to be 2:1 orange juice to honey.
|I had this much honey left in the jar (1/4 cup) so that's what I used|
Melt about 1 Tablespoon of butter in a saute pan along with the honey and the orange juice. (The sun's going down, so my pictures are getting dark. Sorry!) If you want a more pronounced orange flavor, you could also add 1 tsp of orange zest.
Add a tiny sprinkle of salt (about 1/8 tsp) and some freshly ground black pepper. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
Drizzle over Orange Sage Chicken just before serving.
Here are the recipes:
Basic Roast Chicken
1 5-6 lb chicken
oil or melted butter (1/4 cup or so)
1 onion, peeled and quartered
4 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
Take innards out of the chicken; rinse the bird and pat dry with paper towels. Place the chicken in a roasting pan. Drizzle with oil or melted butter. Rub to ensure even coverage. Sprinkle seasoned salt over entire bird (inside and out). Stuff cavity with onion and garlic. Cook at 350 for 90 minutes, or until the thigh meat reads 175-180 on a meat thermometer. (The temp will rise a little as it rests.)
Orange Sage Chicken with a Honey Orange Sauce
1 5-6 lb chicken
1 tsp ground sage
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons butter (salted), room temp.
1 orange sliced thin (1/4 inch slices)
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
Mix together sage, granulated garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Take innards out of the chicken, rinse the bird and pat dry with paper towels. Place the chicken in a roasting pan. Use your fingers and loosen the skin from both chicken breasts. Use 1/2 of the sage mixture and rub it into the breast meat, underneath the skin. Rub the remaining 1/2 of the sage mixture all over the skin of the entire bird. Then dot the breast meat with the room temperature butter, underneath the skin. Place orange slices underneath the skin, to cover the breast meat (2 slices per breast). Make sure the skin gets put back in place. Stuff the cavity of the bird with the remaining orange slices, the quartered onion and the garlic cloves. Cook @ 350 for 90 minutes, or until the thigh meat reads 175-180 on a meat thermometer. (The temp will rise a little as it rests.)
Honey Orange Sauce
1 Tablespoon butter (salted)
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tsp orange zest (optional)
1/8 tsp salt (to taste)
freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
Melt butter in saute pan. Add honey, orange juice, zest (if using), salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce mixture by 1/3. When the color has darkened and it has reduced, turn off heat and allow to cool slightly. Drizzle over Orange Sage chicken just before eating.