While learning more about whole and nourishing foods, I’ve started buying whole free-range pastured chickens. Roasting a chicken has turned out to be an easy weekend dinner that always tastes good and makes the house smell great!

I’ve previously mentioned that  (thanks to a helpful website!) I just learned how to check a roast chicken for doneness. On the same site, this great video explains how to carve a bird. I was proud of my first attempt to carve my first roast chicken, and as mentioned in the video, you do get better – as well as more confident – over time. My next lesson will be learning to sharpen a carving knife!  The bird I’ve carved here was small, under 3 pounds, so I didn’t separate the drumsticks from the thighs.  I’m getting hungry looking at these pictures and wishing I had one of these in the oven right now!

My current favorite recipe for roast chicken is by Kimi at The Nourishing Gourmet. It’s so simple! Melt butter and brush it all over a clean and dry bird, salt and pepper inside and out, stuff with a lemon, garlic, and some rosemary.  Sometimes I don’t have lemon (such as right now, when only Sunkist non-organic lemons are available at my local Whole Foods, so I’m not buying), and the last time I made chickent I didn’t have any garlic. No matter what, It’s always delicious!  My last chicken had the best drippings left in the pan. I collected it all and put it in my fridge in a jar. Butter, chicken fat, and lemon – so good!  I’ve used it on occassion for frying various things.  The skin on the back of the bird was in the pan during the final roasting stages and didn’t get crisp. So the next day while I was making a salad with the leftover chicken, I decided to fry up the back skin using the chicken drippings to make a sort of chicken cracklin crispy topping. Delish!

Writing this made me wonder how long I had kept the drippings in the fridge, and decided to do a search. I found a breakfast from Forkable that looks so good! I may have to pick up a few potatoes tomorrow to fry them up with the lemony chicken goodness in my fridge. I also love using saved bacon grease for frying potatoes. I made cottage potatoes in my oven a few weeks back, with just bacon grease and plenty of pepper.  My husband was skeptical, but loved them. I didn’t tell him about the bacon grease. hehe…

Back to the whole chicken! I am trying to roast a whole chicken once or twice a month to make sure I always have:

  1. A nice big meal for John and me to share
  2. Leftover chicken available for salads, sandwich, or other meal
  3. Stock! golden, glorious stock
  4. Improved carving skills so I am never nervous if someone needs help at Thanksgiving

Happy Chicken Roasting!