After testing a few methods of roasting a Heritage Chicken, this method was hands down the winner. Although the flavor was always very good with other methods, I was looking for the method that would keep the meat juicy, but also get it close to fall off the bone tender.
1 - 3# Emmer & Co. Heritage Chicken
1 - tablespoon + 1 teaspoon salt
1 - tablespoon baking powder (a tip from Emmer & Co.)
4 - tablespoons salted butter
1 - teaspoon black pepper
1 - teaspoon thyme leaves
1 - onion, orange, apple, or other sweet or savory food to fill the cavity
4 - stalks celery, halved
1 - onion, sliced
salt & pepper
1½ - cups water
Enameled Dutch Oven
- Rinse chicken and remove neck from cavity. (Reserve neck, adding to the pot for additional flavor or give to your favorite pet!) Blot the chicken dry with paper towels.
- Mix salt and baking powder together and gently rub all over the chicken. Refrigerate uncovered for 4 to 24 hours.
- Position top oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 500°.
- Remove chicken from the refrigerator. Melt butter and add pepper, thyme and remaining teaspoon salt. Rub seasoned butter into the chicken skin and cavity. *The butter will adhere to the cold chicken without running off.
- Fill the cavity of the chicken with coarse chopped onion or orange halves, or other savory or sweet foods. This adds additional flavor and helps chicken cook more evenly.
- Place celery and onions in the bottom of the Dutch oven and place chicken breast side up on top of vegetables. Place the chicken in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
- Add the water to the pot and cover and continue to cook at 500° for another 10 minutes. *Optional: Before continuing with this step you can also turn your chicken over after initial roasting, so the breast is facing down. For the best browning, pile your vegetables to the center or add a few more to keep the breast out of the liquid.
- After 10 minutes, shut your oven off and leave the chicken in the oven for two hours. Do not open the door during this time.
- Remove chicken from the oven and transfer to a platter or cutting board. Chicken segments will release fairly easily or carve as desired. Season with a little salt and pepper.
- Strain juices from the pot and serve with the chicken or thicken to your liking for gravy.
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