Usually, when I roast a chicken, I use my aunt Meme's ancient Wagner Ware "Drip-Drop Baster" roaster which had belonged to her mother and undoubtedly saw the inside of a woodburning cookstove's oven many times. I'm not going to completely abandon that method of roasting chicken, but when we were at the Dutchman's Store in Cantril, Iowa, this spring, I purchased the Crow Canyon Home red enamelware roasting pan that you see in the pictures below. I hadn't used it until today, however.
Because the fire in the Margin Gem was already burning, I added a bunch of small sticks and pieces of bark because I wanted to get the oven up to at least 400 degrees. Roasting whole poultry at a high initial heat causes the skin to brown beautifully, and that was the goal.
After the fire was roaring, I placed the whole chicken in the center of the roasting pan and surrounded it with some small red potatoes that we had purchased at our local farmers' market this summer. I then added several pearl onions from our garden, some celery stalks, and sections of whole carrots. Next, I took a whole bulb of garlic and separated it into its individual, peeled cloves and dispersed them among the vegetables. Into the cavity of the chicken, I placed the leaves of the celery stalks, two of the garlic cloves, and one whole pearl onion.
I sprinkled some Lawry's Seasoned Salt, several pinches of poultry seasoning that I also purchased at our local farmers' market from Wild Rose Farm, and some freshly ground pepper over the whole kit and caboodle.
|The chicken and vegetables seasoned and ready to be roasted.|
I decided to keep the oven running hot for the duration of the roasting time, so I used a lot of small sticks and pieces of wood. I added a little boiling water from the teakettle about midway through, and in an hour and half, our dinner was done. Nancy and I both thought it was excellent.