Thursday, April 11, 2013

Baked Chicken!

If you need a new Chicken Idea, this is it! My kids LOVE it! It's easy and needs little baby sitting.
What you will need...
* Whole Chicken
* Fresh Herbs - I use Cilantro and Parsley, basil is great too. (10 total sprigs, really is your preference)
* Whole Lemon - or two, depending on the size.
* Brown Mustard (5 tbsp)
* Garlic Cloves (4)
* Roasting pan or a deep baking dish.

First water rinse and pat dry your chicken.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the ends of your lemon off (Save the largest one, you'll use it), cutting the lemon into fourths. In a bowl, squeeze a few pieces of lemon to make 4 to 5 tbsp of fresh lemon juice. Set bowl aside.

In the Cavity of the Chicken ...
* Place the entire lemon squeezed or not into the cavity (Still saving the end piece)
* 5 to 6 sprigs of herbs (mix and match - up to you)
* 2 cloves of garlic
* When everything is shoved in, close the opening with the end of the lemon. This helps with locking the flavor and goodies in while baking.

The Good news is. You can add pretty much anything you want for flavor. I've added Onion and Bell Pepper to the cavity too. It's all about flavor. If you feel you want more, don't be afraid to add it!

Place your chicken in the roasting pan.

Now the Rub ...
Using the fresh lemon juice, add ...
* 5 Tbsp brown mustard
* 2 Garlic cloves - minced
* Chopped herbs - remaining 4 to 5 springs

(Sometimes I make more rub to inject into the chicken. It has great flavor either way)

Rub the Rub all over the chicken. You're ready to bake. This takes about an hour and half (give or take) to bake completely.

Now, I've always been taught that covering your food in the oven, keeps the moisture in. So I compromise for this dish because I like the skin to have the crunch - the pretty broiled look.......

So for the first 50 to 60 minutes, have the chicken covered.

For the remaining time of the cooking, 30 to 40 minutes, remove the cover and let bake till  temperature. It's suggested that the temp of the meat in chicken should be around 160 degrees F. To be honest .. I don't gauge the temp. I just cut the meat to see if it's all white. If it is, the chicken is done. Try not to overcook, this is when you get dry chicken.


Word to the wise, if you have left overs (I sometimes make two) you could make a different dish with the left over chicken; chicken noodle soup, chicken tacos, chicken and gravy, sandwiches, or chicken spread.