Co-Roast Co-Post

by Sarah on September 2, 2011 · 9 comments

Thanks so much for your support and excitement over my Culinary Bucket List! In case you are wondering, PLEASE steal the idea…I’d love to have some people challenging themselves alongside me. :) I’m going to type it up as it’s own page in the blog so we can track my (hopefully regular^) progress.

^If not we’ll have to feed it lots of bran. And other forms of fiber.

All day today I kept thinking of even MORE things to add, and my co-workers had suggestions as well. I’m asking them for some help along the way, as well as my family…and maybe some of you (as you’ll understand in a minute). I loved that two of y’all told me to roast a chicken first, because guess what? I did!

[And yes, I died it green, but we’ll get to that later.]

I had some help in the process, though. You see, waaaaay back in June, I read Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz, a novel in which she and an ex-boyfriend co-write a murder mystery, commenting on each others work in the process.*

*Yes, it is hilarious. If you haven’t read any of The Spellman Files books, and you like my blog and/or the writing style of Jen Lancaster (Such a Pretty Fat), you MUST check out Lisa Lutz.

That got me thinking…what if two bloggers co-posted, with one blogger sending the other a description of how to prepare a dish and then that blogger carrying it out…adding commentary and photos of her attempt? I thought of it like trying to learn how to make bread from your grandmother and not quite doing it as well as she can…but learning (and laughing) in the process.

I e-mailed Tricia, whom I refer to openly as my “Blog Mama” (yes, even to my REAL mama) and asked her if she would be willing to “teach” me how to making something, such as a roasted chicken…promising “hilarious foibles” if not greatness. :) Being the wonderful blog mom that she is, she immediately sent me back instructions and guidance.

Almost three months later, I finally sent HER a recipe. [Oops.*]

*I hope familial love is unconditional in the blog world as well?

So, for this Freaky Friday* post I have instructions for you on How to Roast a Chicken from my blog mom Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert. [Go visit her to see MY instructions on how to make hummus!]

*Freaky because I’ve NEVER let anyone else write my blog! That is how much I love ya, Blog Mama.


I decided to send you the following and pretend I was telling my daughter how to bake a whole chicken. This is probably way below your cooking skills^ but you never know how much people understand about raw chicken.

^Obviously not. As you will see.

I must also add that I have a major pet peeve about raw chicken. When shopping in any grocery store, baggers are so oblivious they will pack raw chicken with your ready-to-eat vegetables like lettuce. So assuming my daughter or son could be one of those baggers, I will say that raw chicken should never touch food that will not be cooked or items not in a sealed container.

Pick out a whole chicken (sometimes referred to as a Sunday roaster), not cut up but one that has a bag of giblets inside.
[Frying…roasting…same difference, right?]

Put the chicken in a bag and don’t let them stick it in the same bag as your edibles!


When you’re ready to cook your chicken, place the entire package in a clean sink.
[I was a bit concerned about just how “clean” our sink was. So I used a large bowl.

Po-tay-to, po-tah-o, right?]

[You didn’t warn me about the, um, juice? It was a bit like I was potty training the bird.]

Using kitchen scissors or a small knife, remove the plastic wrap carefully discarding it into the trash.

[I used my massive finger strength instead.]

Next remove the giblet package containing the chicken neck, liver and other organs. If you want to make chicken gravy you should remove these pieces from the bag and put them in a small saucepan and cover with water.

[Not in a package. No worries. I got very intimate my chicken.]

Heat the giblets and water over medium-low heat. Cover and simmer until the neck meat is falling off the bone. I always cook the giblets even though I’m not making gravy. You can strain the giblets and freeze the broth, which is now wonderfully flavored. I cook the giblets, pull the meat off the neck, chop the giblets and use it to flavor the dog food for a few days. I usually cut it with extra water so it will last longer. They love it.

[I did this and then remembered I don’t have a dog. So…into the trash goes the liver!]

Back to the chicken. You should have a plumb, thawed, raw, whole chicken in your sink. Check the body (outside) for any feathers or excess skin and fat. Remove as needed and discard. Pull the legs apart and look inside the chicken.

[I feel a bit like a Poultry OB/GYN. Wearing pajamas.

Because yes, I did roast a chicken before 9:00AM.]

You may see random organ pieces (dark red) that look like liver up against the ribs and backbones. Pull out any loose items and discard.

[Oops. I think I boiled those awhile back.]

Now check the other end of the chicken. It may have a lot of extra fat hanging off this end. You can cut it off if you want or leave it on. If you leave it on the chicken, there will be more fatty broth in the pan while cooking.

[All I have to say is chicken-fat-broth-soaked carrots and parsnips are DELICIOUS!!!!

Mmmmmm chicken fat…]

Rinse the entire chicken with cold water cleaning out both ends. Drain well. Remove the whole chicken to a roasting pan placing it breast side up. You can dry the chicken with paper towels taking care to keep raw chicken juice from touching every surface in your kitchen.

Or just be sure to note where you will need to clean after getting her in the oven.

[Or just keep Wet Ones nearby?]

I will now refer you on to my posts about roasting a chicken. I’ve tried a bunch of different recipes but believe the rosemary lemon instructions to be the best.
[I also happened to have all the necessary ingredients, as we have a large rosemary bush in our front yard.][I’m only left-handed when also operating a camera.][Did I mention I was wearing pajamas? This all happened before most of the world was awake. Because roasting a chicken prior to 9:00 AM is totally normal, right?]

You can season the outside of a chicken any way you want. You can roast it in a shallow roasting pan, a crock-pot, a casserole dish or a covered cast iron pot.
[Too small?]

If you have a large covered roasting pan, you will need to remove the lid 45 minutes before it is ready to brown the skin. If using the open roasting method, you can cover the bird with foil if it begins to brown too quickly.

[Creating a “roasting rack” with vegetables is”a thing,” right?]Be sure to rub olive oil all over the chicken skin, massaging the thighs and breasts – ha ha – as you go.
[This was a little awkward as I tend to think all chickens look like little short-armed men. I generally want to name them all Maurice, for reasons only God and The Steve Miller Band would understand.]Rub 3 crushed cloves of garlic on the outside. Slice half a lemon and put the slices under the breast skin. [Please note how this lemon slice mysteriously DISAPPEARS….it IS Freaky Friday, isn’t it?]

Put the other half of the lemon in the cavity along with 2 more cloves of sliced garlic.
Slide a stalk of rosemary under the breast skin with the lemons. [I bet you didn’t tear the skin while doing this, did you? That’s what I get for trying to shove TWO rosemary stalks in there…instead of just one.]

Sprinkle the outside with more rosemary leaves, salt and pepper.

One other thing about chickens. You can use kitchen string to tie the legs together which really does help prevent overcooking the legs. They are usually the first part to be cooked so bringing them closer to the whole bird slows that down. There is sometimes a large flap of skin and fat and you may be able to tuck the legs under that lip to hold them down closer to the body.
[Kitchen string? Garden twine soaked in water? Same difference….right?]

Cover and bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for an additional hour or until done.

Now wash your sink, faucet, counter tops and utensils with very warm soapy water to prevent contamination.

[Totally did that. I swear.]


Look what I did “Mom”!!!!And aside from dying the bird slightly green….

(Hey, it is my signature color!)

…I think I did pretty darn well.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow September 2, 2011 at 6:08 am

So nice to *meet* you, Sarah. Tricia is one of my favorite bloggers. Enjoyed your hummus post at her place and I do love a good roasted chicken. Especially with a little humor thrown in to boot. 😉 blessings ~ tanna


Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table September 2, 2011 at 6:18 am

It's so pretty! You are super brave – I've never tried roasting a chicken (clearly, since I'm still buying the dry ones from Whole Foods). :)


Tricia @ Saving room for dessert September 2, 2011 at 7:20 am

I am proud beyond words. You are the best blog daughter in the whole bloggesphere! Take that bucket list! Love ya lots :)


Maria @ Oh Healthy Day September 2, 2011 at 8:25 am

Props! I can't wait to see what you did with it afterwards :) We all know you made at least four amazing things out of it!


iheartvegetables September 2, 2011 at 9:05 am

Bahahaha a Poultry OB/GYN would probably be my least favorite job ever 😉

This is SUCH a cool idea!!! I want to try this. I think my culinary bucket list is going to be a lot of meat dishes. Because i'm a vegetarian and I need to learn how to prepare these so that my veggie hating man-friend will love me.



Alex@Spoonful of Sugar Free September 2, 2011 at 9:34 am

YAY!!! You roasted your first chicken-congrats! Wasn't that hard, huh? And rather tasty?


Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean September 2, 2011 at 10:06 am

love this idea! so fun!!! and also love the vegetable roasting rack :) very creative!


mexigarian September 2, 2011 at 4:07 pm

congrats on your first roast chicken! does this mean you have never roasted a turkey for T-day, then? The bird looks delicious. It makes me wonder if the lemon and the rosemary came through. Those are some of my favorite ingredients for flavoring.


teabagginit September 3, 2011 at 7:16 am

that chicken looks wonderful – please tell me it didn't end up in your food processor in some way or another!


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