There's never a bad time for a roasted chicken. Especially when the weather is still a bit crisp, and you feel like tucking in for the evening and enjoying a good meal. The smell of roasting bird wafts through the house, taunting your hunger. You almost want to grasp fork and knife in hands and bang on the table, urging it to cook faster.
But roasted chicken can all too often turn out dry. One way to avoid unwanted dryness is to soak your bird in brine, which locks in moisture and enhances all those wonderful flavors we so desire. Another excellent way to ensure your bird comes out of the oven juicy-licious is to roast it on a vertical roaster. Vertical roasting helps sear the inner cavity, keeping all those desireable natural juices and flavors in the meat and not in the pan. Roasting vertically also allows fat and grease to run off, much like rotisserie cooking.
We decided to combine moisture-retaining efforts and both brined and vertical roasted. Crazy, I know. But that's just the kind of wild, recklessness we throw down in the kitchen every day (OK, that's a slight exaggeration).
If you want to skip the brining step (it does take at least 24 hours) and get down to the roasting bit, then pull out your roasting pan and place the vertical roaster in the center. Our preparation was simple and no-frills, but you can certainly add more veggies, herbs and seasoning.
To prepare our bird for roasting we rough chopped a large sweet onion and placed it in the bottom of the roasting pan. We sprinkled a bit of fresh cracked pepper in the inner cavity, but did not season with salt since we had already soaked it in the salt water brine. We respectfully placed our bird on the vertical roaster and gave her a little massage with olive oil. Then, we sprinkled the outside with pepper, squeezed the juice of one lemon over the top and popped it in a 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes (time will vary depending on size).
Finger lickin' good!