I'm not the biggest fan of turkey, unless maybe it's deep fried. And if I make a chicken, this is now the only way I do it. It has never failed me. The birds come out juicy and tender with a crisp crust and it makes its own gravy, so be sure to have a bowl of mashed potatoes ready. The spices are great. Sure, you could just purchase a rotisserie chicken from the store, but it won't be half as good. And take it from someone who worked in a deli--do you really know how long those birds were sitting in the cooler before they roasted them.......?
- 1 chicken, about 4 lbs.
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 medium onion cut into fourths or large chunks
- Equipment: Heavy Dutch Oven
In a small bowl, mix spices except for rosemary. Set aside the cut-up onion. Rinse chicken inside and out. Pat dry. Rub chicken inside and out with spice mixture. Place onion pieces in cavity and sprinkle the outside of the bird with dried rosemary. Place chicken in re-sealable plastic. Refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 250 F degrees. Place chicken in heavy dutch oven. I use a cast-iron enamel-lined oval Dutch oven. Pin cavity closed. Tie legs together (optional).
Bake, uncovered, for four hours or until bird reaches minimum temperature of 175 degrees, basting once-in-a-while during last 40 minutes or so. Let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Strain juices to serve as gravy.
Notes: So, if you have a 3 lb. bird, figure roasting for about 3 hours. Because you're cooking at a lower temperature, I think it very important to take the temp. of the bird before removing from oven. BUT, because you are roasting at a lower temp., your bird won't dry out (did I just really say that?).