My husband used to stop by the grocery store on his way home from work on Fridays and buy one of their rotisserie chickens. And as much as I liked not having to worry about a main course, I had a feeling I wouldn’t like the chickens they were using. Probably the cheapest chickens in the store, and probably at or past their expiration dates.
I don’t care so much what Omer eats – he’s abusing his body in enough other ways that some hormones in chicken probably aren’t going to kill him. But Fiona loves chicken, and I’ve heard too many scary stories about girls going through puberty early because of hormone-laden meat and poultry. So I do what I can.
It took me a few tries to find a cooking method and rub that my husband likes as much as the grocery store chicken, but this was the winner. And it’s super easy.
Between the prep time, cooking time, and resting time, I start this process about an hour and forty-five minutes before we want to eat. I prepare everything that I can and gather all of my ingredients and tools (twine, pastry brush, etc.) before I start with the chicken, so that I don’t have to wash my hands seventy-five times.
The rub I got from this recipe, but the method I use to cook the chicken is different.
Easy Blackened Chicken
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- extra salt & pepper to taste
- 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
- about 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small whole chicken, about 4 pounds
Pre-heat oven to 450°
Mix everything but the extra salt and pepper, onion, oil, and chicken together in a small bowl to make the rub
Remove whatever is in the chicken’s cavity (neck, giblets, other gross things I never use for anything) and pat the chicken dry with paper towels, inside and out
Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan
Season the inside of the cavity with salt and pepper, and stuff in all of the onion
Truss up the chicken so that the wings and legs are snug against the body; I like to tie the legs together (this also helps keep the onions in place), then tie twine around the middle of the bird to keep the wings close to the body
Place the chicken breast side up on the rack and using a pastry brush or your fingers, rub oil all over that side of the bird; sprinkle almost half of the rub on and press it into the oil with your hand, so that most of it sticks
Flip the bird over so that it’s breast side down, oil the other side of the bird, and sprinkle on almost all of the remaining rub, setting aside about 1 tablespoon aside for later
Put the bird in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes
Remove the pan from the oven and carefully flip the bird over so that it’s breast side up (I do this by sticking a big fork into the neck cavity and turning the bird); sprinkle with the remaining rub and return to the oven for another 45 minutes
In my oven, at that temperature, for that length of time, the bird is always done, but you may want to check yours the first couple of times to make sure (the thigh should be between 160° and 170°)
Remove the pan from the oven and set the chicken on a plate or carving board; tent with aluminum foil to keep it warm
Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes so that the juices can redistribute