This is my 1 hour chicken. Ok, it takes longer than an hour but if I call it 1 hour chicken it feels faster.
I always cook two of them when I do this. There is nothing wrong with a "spare" cooked chicken. I have plans for it in the week since these are only about 4 lb birds, an entire bird generally is inhaled on roast chicken night. Although I HAVE made a full dinner of leftovers from the bones, one thigh and one wing which always seems be left, I prefer the luxury of a full bird!
HEB had whole roasters on sale for .85/lb so both of these only cost me $7 and we'll eat for a week. Not a bad deal at all.
My "recipe" is as follows:
Dry the chickens, plunk their innards in a pot with some fat and fry them dark brown, cover them in water, a piece of celery, a piece of carrot and salt and pepper and set it off to simmer. Use this stock in any gravy you make or seal it up and put it in the fridge for use later in the week.
Set the oven to 400. Season the birds with salt and pepper, sage, herbs de Provence and thyme. Use any herb you want here, these are just my favorites. Season them liberally inside and out, toss 1/2 a lemon inside, squeeze it too and truss them up tightly.
Put a scrape of butter on the bottom of a roasting pan and put the birds in, on their sides. Add a large pat of butter on the top of each bird and roast for 15 minutes.
Remember to baste on each flip a few times.
After 15 minutes, flip the birds to their other sides and add another pat of butter.
After 15 minutes, flip the birds onto their breasts, butter them!.
After 15, flip them onto their backs, turn the oven to 425 and cook the birds through, maybe 20-25 minutes? Cook them till their juices run clear or the breast is at 160 if you are a temperature taker.
Baste them frequently, they'll get crispy and buttery and crazy good.
*in total it's only 1/2 stick for 2 birds (1/4 cup) it just sounds like way more!
Take them out of the oven, put them on a dish covered loosely with foil for about 15-20 minutes. This resting time really matters. I cut it up with scissors, put it on a serving dish and serve it with peas, mashed potatoes and gallons of my delicious gravy. You can also just de-grease the pan (pour all the juices in a heat proof jar or any tall vessel and shove it in the freezer for 10 minutes, the fat will rise and start to harden so you can remove it. SAVE the fat in the freezer, sealed, for when you want to fry anything and have it taste much better) and serve it with the juice as a light sauce which is also painfully good.
It may take a little work but it's easy work and you can be preparing the vegetables and having a glass of wine in between bird flip intervals ;) It really does make a world of difference flipping a bird around, it browns much more evenly and I think the juices are distributed and it's very very moist and fabulous.
Roast one, be happy.