June gloom is starting a bit early in L.A., and yesterday was chilly and foggy. While I love the sunshine, I also appreciate an excuse to cook warming foods! And roasting a whole chicken with aromatic flavors is an easy way to create a delicious dinner for family or a group of friends on the weekend. This recipe is divine!
The cooking time may seem a bit long but — not to worry — you won’t be working during the majority of it. While the bird’s in the oven, I hang out with my boys — which at the moment means I’m required to either play Clue (I’m always Miss Scarlet) or draw (which I’m much better at).
Apple and bacon make for an incredible flavor combination. I love adding lentils or brown rice to the pan when the chicken is done — they will soak up the tasty juices and complete this hearty, warming dinner. Yum!
- 1 (approximately 6-pound) whole chicken
- 3 strips applewood-smoked Bacon
- 1½ cups hard apple cider
- 1 large apple (Fuji or Granny Smith), cored, and cut into about 16 slices
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Place a paper towel on a plate and set it aside.
- In a medium-sized sauté pan over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until it's crispy, about 2 minutes per side. Turn the heat off, remove the bacon, and place on the paper towel-covered plate to drain. With the heat still off, add the apple cider to the pan and let it sit for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, remove the insides of the chicken, rinse inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels. Place the chicken breast side up in a small roasting pan that's at least a few inches bigger than your chicken on all sides (approximately 9 X 13 X 2-inches should be perfect). Season the inside and outside of the chicken with salt and pepper and place the bacon strips inside the cavity, along with a few of the apple slices. Then pour the cider mixture over the chicken and place the remaining apple slices around the chicken in the pan.
- Place the pan in the preheated oven and roast until the chicken is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Very carefully, use tongs to flip the chicken over so it's breast side down, placing one part inside the cavity and one gently on the top of the breast side. Return the chicken to the oven and continue to roast until internal temperature is 155 degrees -- this should take about 1 hour. (For an accurate reading of the temperature, place the thermometer deep into the flesh, away from bones.) The final internal temperature will be about 165 degrees, as the chicken will continue to cook for several minutes outside of the oven. The juices should run clear and the legs should move easily when it's done.
- Wait least 15 minutes before carving, to allow the juices to settle. Remove the bacon and apples from the cavity. Break the bacon into small, bite-sized pieces and serve it with the chicken and apples.
- Strain the sauce, pour it into a small gravy pitcher, and season it to taste with salt and pepper. Pour this over the chicken, bacon and apples as you serve each portion, or over the sliced chicken on a large platter.