A.k.a, “The First Foodie Friday,” “John’s Fat Chicken,” “John’s Signature Dish,” and “The Chicken Yang Yang and Mark Finished to the Bone”
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes | Originally enjoyed on: Some Friday in September 2008
To supplement my family’s Thanksgiving turkey, I made the classic foodie favorite: roast chicken.
This recipe is near and dear to our hearts because it was the first dish that started the Foodie Friday tradition. John and Katherine were talking one day, and John suggested that he roast a chicken for dinner for a few friends. Katherine agreed and invited Yang Yang, and John called Mark and Paul. The rest is history.
I myself have made the chicken twice for the past two Thanksgivings. We use this recipe, with a few modifications. When John makes it, he remains faithful to the full-fledged butter and bacon strips; I am terrified of the high fat content these things carry, however, and thus omit the bacon and substitute in Smart Balance for the butter. I should mention that this is the dish that showcased John’s predilection for fat: upon my asking how he cooked the mushrooms, he famously replied, “Chicken fat, bacon fat, and butter.”
The key to moist meat is to basting; make sure you baste every 20-25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
My favorite part of the dish is the vegetables. You can also include potatoes in the same pan. There’s no need to use olive oil or butter, just season with salt, pepper, and herbs and let the chicken drippings do their magic. I use a roasting pan with a rack at home, which makes room for a lot more tasty vegetables.
If you’re looking for a simple way to venture into the roasting world, this recipe is an excellent choice. Happy roasting!