Whole Baked Chicken

Whole Baked Chicken
We went to the local farmers market again today. I noticed a small whole chicken I immediately became excited about making a whole chicken roast, and of course recording and sharing the recipe. It was a lot of fun to make. When you think of making dishes like this you automatically think it will be a lot of work and a big mess. This simply is just not the case. Let's get started!

1 onion
1 lemon
garlic (to your desire)
salt & pepper
olive oil
whole chicken (~2lb)
bacon (6 slices)

First things first, you want to go ahead and preheat your oven to 400F. Now we can start cooking. Coarsely chop lemons, onions, and rosemary. Throw them all in a bowl with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix it all up and let the aromatics get to know each other well.
Stuff the mixture in the chicken. The aromatics not only give the chicken a great flavor, but also help to keep the meat from drying out. After stuffing the chicken to capacity, close the flap of skin to lock in all the great flavors.
 Once the chicken is nice and stuffed, give it a nice pat down with a dry paper towel. It is important that the skin of the chicken is good and dry in order for it to become crunchy like everyone loves.
Now this can be the tricky part. You want to tie the chicken up so that the legs and wings are tight against the body. This will help everything cook as one unit and prevent dried out legs and wings with an undercooked body. You will start at the wings, wrapping the string from the front of the chicken under and behind the wings, then around the top of the front of the wings and under and behind again. When you come out of the wings you will go in between the leg and the body. Wrap around the knuckles from the inside to the outside, then just wrap the knuckles together a few times very tightly. If you do not get all of the moves right it isnt a big deal, just so long as the chicken is a nice solid unit.
Now for the extra yummy part...BACON! Wrap the chicken in bacon, this will take about 6 slices. The bacon both adds flavor and moisture preventing the chicken from drying out. You do not need to wrap the legs with bacon because they seem to do a pretty good job of not drying out, but you can if you want.
Your chicken is ready. Go ahead and put it in a pan and if you would like add some baby portabella mushrooms, or any mushroom or vegetable of your choice. I used baby portabella mushrooms, a little olive oil, rosemary, and s+p.
Throw the roasting pan in the oven for a little over an hour. You can check if it is cooked through by making a small deep cut into the breast area. If the liquid comes out clear you are good to go, if it is slightly pink you want to cook it a little longer. I think everyone knows how important it is to thoroughly cook chicken. I removed the bacon from the chicken and served it on the side, but you can definitely leave the bacon on and serve it that way as well.

The juices left in the bottom of the pan from the bacon, chicken, and mushrooms make a great sauce for the whole plate. I roasted some potatoes as well for a well rounded meal. So perfect.

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