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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Baked Chicken

We had a little girl and her mom come over the other day to bring us some Holiday treats and when I opened the door she said "MMMM, It smells sooo good in here Mom."  I told her I was making Baked Chicken and she looked at her mom and asked, "How come you never make that?"  Well... the truth is a lot of people don't make it because they think it is a lot more difficult than it really is.  (And she was right- it makes your house smell amazing.)

One of the best compliments I have ever recieved from my dad would have been the first time he had my baked chicken- I don't think he ever thought I could cook... but he was more than surprised when he tried my chicken that had been roasting in the oven for three hours.  I slaved over that chicken... but over time I have learned that a baked chicken doesn't require that much work... Just a few tricks that were up my sleeve and a few ingredients also. 

Baked Chicken

1 roaster chicken
Olive oil
4 T. butter
1 onion, whole
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 cup to 1 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse the chicken, and remove all the giblet ans fun stuff you may find lurking within the cavity.  Dry the chicken, very well with paper towels.

Place a fresh peeled onion inside the cavity.  Pour some olive oil onto the chicken and smother it around, covering all parts of it.  Salt and pepper the bird to your liking- I say a teaspoon because I don't want to freak anybody out, but I like to salt the bird completely.   Salting it in a nice, thick coating will create a nice crisp, and obviously salty, but delicious skin.   Finish seasoning with pepper, and garlic salt. 

Now- for the magic trick...
Cut the butter up into 4 Tablespoons.  Slice the chicken in four places, see above picture.  Don't slice all the way through, just create a nice pocket for the butter.  Or as I like to call them, little bundles of joy!  Place the butter into the pockets. 

Now, place the water in the roasting pan with the bird.  I fill the pan halfway up with water.  That creates an amazing base for your gravy.    I like to make this a day in advance and let it sit in the fridge and bake it the next day.  You may do that, but if you prefer it is ready to go now.   A normal roaster should take about 2 and 1/2 hours to bake.

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