As a dietitian, it is best that you know how to cook. If you can teach a person to cook, you give them the skills to feed themselves for a lifetime and a whole lot of other hungry people as well.
*Side note* A little background about myself, I started cooking around 9 years of age. I made my own hot sandwiches, noodles, and fried rice. When my parents bought a computer for us back in 1995 or so, we got a desktop. Computers back then used to give us CD’s with programs that we needed to install. One of the programs was a digital recipe book that taught you how to cook. Growing up in an Asian household, you never got fluffy pancakes for breakfast so that was one thing I really wanted to learn. I failed horribly making pancakes for I never was able to get the baking soda or powder. I never understood why it wouldn’t be fluffy. And that is my tale of how I gracefully entered the cooking world.
Now back to my story on roasted chicken.
As I hone in my skills as an amateur cook, I find that cooking gets easier with practice. Bonus is that I relish when someone actually enjoys my cooking. I recently roasted my first whole chicken. While meandering through the grocery store known as Sprouts, I came upon the deli area and found that whole fryer chickens were on sale for 69 cents per pound, limit 4 birds fyi. My total cost for this chicken was about $3.99 or something like that. I really wanted to try out the air chilled chicken but it wasn’t in the cards for me to try because it would’ve made my wallet cry. So I opted for the more inexpensive ‘natural’ whole fryer chicken.
FYI: If you know anything about food labeling, labels are often misconstrued. FDA states that there is no definition to define the term ‘natural’ but has allowed companies to use the term if there are no added colors, synthetic materials, or artificial flavors. If you click the link, it will lead you to the basic definition of ‘natural.’
My boyfriend loves chicken. He came over one night and asked what was there to eat. When I brought up chicken, he instantly lit up and was excited. With a face so delighted to eat chicken, it encouraged me to make one mean roasted chicken.
When cooking this chicken, I followed the package directions.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F
- Take out the giblets and things — roasted them per boyfriend’s request
- Massage fat on the chicken such as oil, butter, or margarine to prevent the chicken from drying out in the oven — used about 1-2 Tbsp of unsalted butter.
- Rub on your favorite seasonings — my go to was herbs de provence, thai chilli seasoning, Flavor God Everything Seasoning, and sea salt.
- Stuffed my chicken with garlic cloves, additional step not part of the original directions
- Used banana leaves to tie the legs together because I didn’t have cooking twine
- Pop it in the oven for 1 hr and 45 minutes until the juices run clear. If you have a thermometer, use it and go for 165°F.
While the bird was cooking, I would baste it while in the oven. I didn’t have a fancy tool, just used a spoon and drizzle the fat drippings onto the bird. Did that twice during the cooking process. Note you do have to wait a bit for the fat drippings to form before you can baste. You’ll know when you can do it when you see a pool of fat at the bottom of the pan. I don’t really like fat, but fat really does contribute a ton of flavor.
So while I waited for the chicken to cook, I sat next to the fan. The hard stuff is over. Just patiently waiting for chicken.
When the timer goes off, take out the chicken and wait for it to rest so the juices can redistribute into the meat. And voila, cut and serve. My boyfriend took a chunk from the breast and it was really moist.
The chicken was absolutely delicious and took some leftover breast meat to work and the meat was still moist. Boyfriend says I am on point with my cooking these days. Maybe it is because I cook with love, #tear.
Till next time! Be adventurous even when cooking ya’ll.