This recipe is my first attempt at providing a blog that’s “semi-homemade”. A good friend of mine, who despises cooking almost as much as she despises calamari, requested a semi-homemade recipe. So I have to admit right away that this recipe isn’t semi-homemade BUT this is definitely a component to a semi-home cooked meal! Serve it with some boxed side (Skywalker and I love cheesy broccoli Rice-A-Roni) and some Jazzed up Green Beans and you’ve got dinner on the table in no time with only one component made from scratch.
Quick tangent on the term “semi-homemade”. Unfortunately that term makes me think of Sandra Lee and sorry, but I don’t like her. I’ve seen her cooking show a few times. As you may have guessed, she creates meals with pre-made products. I have no qualms with her show. My issue has to do with a cookbook of hers that my niece owns. Some time ago, she decided she wanted to make a spaghetti recipe from aforementioned cookbook. Well let me tell ya, the measurements were WAY off. If I hadn’t been there to assist and realize how off it was, the recipe would have been a massive fail. Not cool for a new cook! Or really any cook for that matter. Yeah, sure, it’s probably not Sandra Lee’s fault. Heck maybe she even submitted the correct recipe and the editor or someone messed it up. But I have to blame someone and I blame her. Who said dislikes had to be rational??
Ok so back to this homemade component of a semi-homemade meal. Here’s what you’ll need (please excuse my chicken as it apparently needed a facelift). Begin by preheating the oven to 500 degrees.
Once you remove the innards of the whole chicken, you’ll want to rinse it inside and out. Pat the chicken dry, rub it down with the olive oil and set aside. The next thing I did was chopped up the cloves of garlic. I wanted them to be small so I ran my knife through the minced garlic so it was a very fine mince. This would have been a good time to use a pilon. We’ll learn about those another time.
After prepping the garlic, I combined all of the dry ingredients. There's oregano, the sazon packet, salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, crushed basil and adobo. Look how pretty it looks!
I wasn’t sure how to approach incorporating the garlic into the seasoning mix but I figured, I'll just add the garlic right in. So I did and mashed it up some more. Once again visions of a pilon danced through my head.
I then took the garlic spice mixture and rubbed it BENEATH the chicken’s skin. I wiggled my way into the legs, wings, all over. I wanted my chicken to be full of flavor so I made sure to get it wherever I could. I also put about ¼ of the mixture inside of the chicken cavity. Once the garlic spice mixture was all used up, I shoved green pepper into the chicken cavity. If I had onion, it would have been onion. But I had half a green pepper and it needed to be used, so used it was. Look, you can see up the chicken’s skirt! At this point I also sprinkled the chicken skin with some freshly ground pepper and Kosher salt.
So here’s the neat part. This almost 5 pound chicken will be done in and hour or less. You can use this technique and change up the seasonings to use whatever floats your boat. Once you’ve got your chicken all prepped and ready to go, stick it in a roasting pan BREAST SIDE DOWN. You may have learned this before but think about it. All that fatty dark meat will be releasing liquids as it cooks… which will run down the chicken towards the breast meat so it's sorta continually basting the chicken breast thus creating juicy goodness. I have yet to acquire a roasting pan so my lovely Dutch oven was put into use.
Roast the whole chicken for 15 minutes uncovered. Already we can see some changes after 15 minutes. There’s very little liquid at this point but baste as best as you can.
Lower the temperature of the oven to 450 and roast another 15 minutes, repeating the process of basting before resuming the roasting process.
Reduce the oven temperature to 425, baste the chicken and finish roasting for about 20 – 30 minutes. To ensure juicy, yet fully cooked chicken, I STRONGLY recommend a meat thermometer. You want the thigh meat to register 165 degrees. I cooked the chicken for 30 more minutes. Aight she a beaut???
I will say that while the breast meat was nowhere near dry, it wasn’t as juicy as I’d hoped. This is why I say check it at the 20 minute mark, depending on the size of your chicken. I’m willing to bet a cool dollar that I could have pulled it out five or so minutes early and hit perfection.
As it stands, Skywalker and I had some delicious chicken with a side of… you guessed it, cheesy broccoli Rice-A-Roni.
4.5 lb Whole Chicken
1/2 green pepper, de-seeded
1 packet of Sazon seasoning (equal to about 1tsp for substitution purposes)
1 tsp adobo
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp crushed basil
3 garlic cloves, minced and mashed
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
- Rinse chicken thoroughly inside and out under cold running water and remove all fat. Pat dry with paper towels and coat with 1 tbsp of olive oil.
- Mix the salt, pepper, oregano, basil, paprika, adobo, sazon packet and cayenne pepper together.
- Add crushed/minced garlic to spice mix.
- Rub mixture under the skin, all over the chicken and a small bit inside of the chicken cavity.
- Place halved green pepper into chicken cavity.
- Roast the chicken in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Lower the oven to 450 degrees, baste the chicken and continue roasting 15 more minutes. Lower the oven to 425 degrees, baste the chicken and continue roasting for 20 to 30 minutes until a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees is reached in the thigh area.
- Let cool 15 minutes and serve.