Growing up my favorite meal was roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy (actually I ate it plain with butter most times) fresh corn and jello. Yup, I said jello. I requested this dinner every year for my birthday dinner. It was perfection. In fact, I specifically remember having a sleepover at the Elmer’s home and us girls drove all the way to QFC just to buy a roasted chicken (I think it was later at night) and then devour it back at the house. Possibly even in the breeze way or laundry room. Is that right girls?
Then I grew up and forgot all about roasted chicken. Why? Because buying boneless skinless took over my life. It was easy to buy, easy to freeze and defrost and easy to cook up. But, then I remembered my long ago love for roasted chicken and found this recipe. I know this is going to seem like no big deal, but friends, I need you to just stop for a moment, go grab yourself a paper and pen and make your grocery list so you can make this dish. That good? YES. Close your eyes and imagine a super moist chicken breast, extra crispy skin covered in a delicious apple cider-y glaze and then topped off with so yum gravy. Now go wipe the drool from your chin and proceed to the store.
I mean hello! just look at the beautiful golden, delicious skin!
I love bringing back old favorites. Don’t you? So many memories. It makes me feel like I’m young again, or younger I should say.
Honey Roasted Chicken
(I halve the recipe and make one bird since I have a little family)
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
2 whole chickens (3 1/2 to 4 pounds each), giblets discarded
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup honey
5 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces and chilled
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and move the rack to the center position.
In a small bowl combine the salt, pepper and paprika.
Pat the chickens dry with paper towels and rub the spice mixture under the skin and over the outside of each chicken. Tuck the wings behind the back and tie the legs together with kitchen twine to ensure even cooking without burning of those little wings!
Stir the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water together in a small bowl until no lumps remain; set aside.
In a small saucepan bring the honey and 4 tablespoons of vinegar to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until the mixture is reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Slowly whisk the cornstarch mixture into the glaze. Return to a simmer and cook for one minute. Set aside.
Arrange the chickens, breast side down, on a V-rack set inside a roasting pan. Roast until the chickens are golden, about 35 minutes. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and carefully with a wad of paper towels, flip the chickens so that they are breast side up. Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Pour 1 cup water and the broth into the roasting pan. Return the roasting pan to the oven and roast until the thigh meat registers 165 to 170 degrees, about 35-45 minutes. Brush the chickens evenly with a thick layer of the glaze (you’ll have some remaining to brush on later) and continue to roast until the glaze is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and brush with the remaining glaze and let it rest for 15 minutes to ensure that the juices redistribute and settle. If you cut too soon all of the juices will run out and you will be left with a dry bird.
While the chicken is resting, pour pan juices and any accumulated chicken juices into a saucepan and skim any fat. Stir in the thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce is slightly thickened and reduced to 1 cup, about 15 minutes. Off the heat whisk in the butter and remaining vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Carve the chickens and serve, passing the sauce at the table.