Last night it finally got cool around here and it felt like a good night for Magic Chicken. So I made some. Magic Chicken, you say? What makes it magic? Does it perform tricks? Cook itself? Sit up and dance across the plate?
No, it’s just roast chicken. But the magic is in how easy to make, yummy and JUICY this bird is. Guys, this is one damn delicious roast chicken. And it makes a metric ton of gravy, if you;re into that kind of thing.
To make Magic Chicken, take a chicken, preferably raw. (Mine was fancy-dancy and come from Whole Paycheck Foods. It was treated humanely and not given antibiotics or hormones or live alien babies to eat. I feel better about my poultry that way.) This one weighed somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 pounds or so.
Cut up a medium sized carrot, a medium sized onion, a couple stalks of celery, and 2 small- to medium sized lemons. Everything just gets a rough chop, not tiny dices. We’re going for rustic here, people. Peel anywhere from 3-8 cloves of garlic, depending on how big your cloves are and how much you like garlic.
Rinse off the chicken and pat it dry. Try not to imagine it dressed in lederhosen, a la Amelia Bedelia.
Put the bird into your favorite roasting pan and start a-stuffing. I usually add one hunk of onion, one hunk of lemon, one hunk of carrot, a couple hunks of celery, a clove of garlic, rinse and repeat. Keep stuffing in this manner until it looks like the chicken would be very uncomfortable with all of that stuff in there, but not so that it’s packed so tightly things can’t move. If you like, you can stuff the neck end of the bird as well. If you have leftover vegetables, go ahead and roast them alongside the bird on the bottom of the pan.
Give the chicken a little rubdown with some good quality olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
Roast in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the skin *just* begins to darken. Turn the heat down to 325 and roast for another hour to 90 minutes, depending on the weight of the chicken. You’ll know it’s done when you want to eat the dishtowels because your kitchen smells so heavenly. Also, the legs will fall off if you wiggle them even slightly.
Take the bird out and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Then pour the juice that collects on the plate back into the roasting pan and make some gravy – but take the roasted veggies off the bottom of the pan first. (I literally got about 1/2 cup of juice off the plate last night.) Slice it up and serve to hungry friends and family.
You can thank me later. Please to enjoy!