just me

Balsamic Roasted Chicken

In Chicken on February 10, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Omigod. I know.

Roasted chicken is great because it is one of the most variable dishes you can make. Seriously, no matter what you have on hand (as long as you also have a chicken), you can make a delicious meal out of it. That, and the fact that raw, naked chickens are very good dancers is why I make them so often. I love experiments! Most of the time they turn out great – the other times, I’d rather not talk about.

This, however, was one of the happy times. The meat was moist and delicious, and the skin was fantastic. You know, lately I’ve been getting into the habit of eating the chicken skin. This is not good. I don’t need extra fat and calories. At all. In fact, I need a good deal less. But what’s the point of all these beautiful rubs and bastes if you don’t eat the skin? At least a nibble.

As an aside – I know I need to diet, really I do. I like to be thin just as much as anyone else. But you know what? It’s not worth making yourself miserable over. As long as you’re healthy, that’s all that matters. I can do push-ups (NOT the girly-kind) and pull-ups, run for an hour (7.0mph, thankyouverymuch) without passing out, and bellydance for hours. Who cares if my thighs jiggle? So I’m not a size zero. Oh well, I’m happy. And besides – my beauty ideal is closer to Marilyn and Lucy than Lindsay and Paris. So there. I’m beautiful, AND I can eat. Envy me.

Okay, just had to get that off my chest. Back to the chicken. It was great! And since there’s only two of us, it makes multiple dinners. Tonight, we ate the limbs (with Marsala potatoes and salad), and in a couple of nights we’ll eat the breasts in a chicken caesar salad with homemade dressing – keep an eye out; I’ll be posting the recipe soon.

Balsamic Roasted Chicken


For the rub:

3 cloves garlic, pressed

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

several dashes salt and pepper

1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

about 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the baste:

1 1/2 balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon dried rosemary

1 large chicken

2 tablespoons butter

sprinkle of rosemary


Rinse your chicken and pat it dry. Play with it awhile if you want – it’s fun to put it in different funny situations around the house – but clean up with Lysol afterwards. You don’t want chicken germs everywhere. Resist the urge to wrap it in a blanket and carry it around the block to see people’s reactions. It’s uncouth.

The rub should be dry and crumbly, but it should kind of stick together.

Make the rub: Combine the garlic, parsley, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, and vinegar, and stir. Drip in the olive oil, stirring as you go. Stop dripping the oil when the mixture reaches a sort of pasty consistency. You want it to just hold together.

See? The rub goes UNDER the skin.

Now here’s the gross part. Run your hand underneath the skin of the chicken, separating it from the breast, but keeping it on the chicken. I know, I know, but you’re almost done. Create a pocket over the entire breast area of the chicken, and using your hands, smooth the rub all in there. Try to keep it as even as possible, but it won’t be perfect. Now you may remove your hands from the chicken. You’re welcome.

Brush the surface of the chicken with about 2 tablespoons melted butter, and sprinkle with rosemary.

Roast uncovered in a 350 oven until done (about 20 minutes per pound).

While the chicken is starting to roast, make the baste: Over medium heat in a small saucepan, combine the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, and rosemary. Simmer until reduced by half. Using a brush, baste the chicken with this fragrant concoction every 15-20 minutes or so, until done.

Look how pretty! Good enough to eat!

When the juices run clear and the leg moves easily in the socket, your bird is done! Let it rest for a few minutes before carving. Then try not to eat the whole thing yourself. Just try.


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