All that is to say: here’s a recipe for a whole chicken.
Lebanese Roast Chicken
Easy as hell and really delicious. If you make this for a woman, you’ll probably get laid. This has become my standard roast chicken recipe; it’s so good that I don’t do it any other way anymore.
A note about marinating: the difference between marinating something for an hour or two or overnight is not really something you’ll notice. Likewise, if you only have time to rub the marinade onto the chicken and put it in the oven right away, by all means do it. It’ll still be great.
1 chicken, around 3 lbs*
2 cloves of garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon ground coriander
3 tablespoons olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1. Bash the hell out of your garlic cloves, then mince them really finely with a 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. The idea is to get them juicy, which the bashing helps, as does the salt. Put the minced garlic in a bowl with the rest of the salt and the coriander (if you have the means—a mortar and pestle, a food processor, or a coffee grinder—buy whole coriander seeds and grind/bash them yourself).
2. Add the juice of the lemon, then the olive oil. Stir it with a fork until it comes together a bit, but don’t worry about mixing it too well—it’s not important.
3. Rub the mixture all over the chicken, inside and out. You’re gonna end up with a bunch stuck to your hands, but don’t worry about it. If you can, refrigerate the chicken overnight, or for an hour or two, or for as long as you’ve got.
4. Pre-heat the oven to 450º. When it’s there, put the chicken in a roasting pan, breast side down (this helps protect the breast from overcooking), and grind some pepper over it. Put roasting pan in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 390º, cooking at that temp for a further 15-20 minutes, until the bird is quite brown. At that point, turn the chicken over, put back in the oven and roast for another 10 minutes or so, until the breast browns nicely.
5. A lot of people will tell you to let a roast rest for 10-15 minutes after you take it out of the oven, for the juices to run back into the meat. This will make things taste better, but again, it’s another one of those things that doesn’t matter that much. If you’re ready to eat, carve that fucker up. Obviously, check to see if it’s done first: pierce the skin; if the juices run clear, not pink, it’s done. If you’re still not sure, just cut into a meaty part of the thigh (away from a bone) and look in there.
*With the way chickens are now being bred, it may be difficut for you to find a 3 lb. bird (small chickens=tastier chickens). If you end up having to buy a chicken that’s a bunch heavier than that, change the cooking times to this: 10 minutes at 450º, turn down to 325º for 20min/lb (i.e., 1h20m for a 4lb bird), or until it’s nicely browned, then turn the chicken over until the breast browns.