Do you ever get in a rut where you feel like you’re making the same thing over and over? Don’t get me wrong, the food is amazing but you just get tired of it. Well that’s where we were with chicken. See we both love my Proposal chicken but after making it once a week for a month or so you just get burnt on it. You still want chicken but not that type of chicken. I had a chicken defrosted and wanted to cook it but I wanted, I don’t know.. different. I wasn’t feeling stuffed chicken. I want juicy and maybe something with a kick.
I prepped my chicken by rinsing it out and patting it dry. Actually do you know why you pat dry chicken before you cook it in the oven?
You pat your chicken dry (with paper towels)as it will help the skin get crispy when you cook it. You can even leave it to air dry in the fridge for an hour or so if you like extra crispy skin. Pretty simple, right? As you can see by these pictures the skin is super crispy crunchy and just begging to be gently pulled away and munched on. I rarely eat that part as it is all fat but I had to try it because it was just so tempting. Seriously I am thrilled that I did because it was INCREDIBLE!
As I let it dry out a bit I rummaged through my pantry for something to season it with. If I couldn’t figure something out I would have went simple with just lots of kosher salt and pepper. Let’s talk chicken seasoning. When you make a whole chicken like this, how do you season it? Do you just season the outside/skin or do you season underneath the skin too? I personally always season under the skin on chicken, turkey and game hens. It’s actually better to season it that way than on top of the skin. Know why?
All your herbs and spices are in direct contact with the meat and eventually they’ll penetrate it and infuse the whole chicken with flavor. If you just season the skin, the skin acts as a shield between the meat and the seasoning. The skin will be delicious, but the meat won’t get much of the flavor.
Makes sense, huh?
Back to my rummaging (as this is something I often do when I can’t figure out what I want to make). I spied my bottle of Sriracha and decided that would be the base of my seasoning. Remember not all seasonings have to be herbs. It can be liquids as well. But to make this so it didn’t just pour out I went with a compound butter effect. Essentially what a compound butter is, is softened butter that you mix ingredients into and then allow it to chill to re-solidify.
I took some butter, added in a bunch of Sriracha sauce and honey. See if left with just plain Sriracha you would have just had HOT chicken. There would have been no flavor balance. Trust me, the honey doesn’t take away from the heat but it rounds it out.
I got to stirring the mixture together and then put it in a bowl and allow it to chill. If I left it as-is, the mixture would have been too soft and liquidy to put on. Now it wouldn’t have taken away from the flavor but it would have been a mess to apply. Having the mixture in a more solid state makes it easier to apply.
Once I applied the mixture under the skin I popped this baby in the oven. As it was cooking the smells coming from the oven were incredible! Like you could smell the heat and sweet baking away infusing into the chicken with awesomeness.
Now I did make one MAJOR mistake in making this and please do NOT do what I did. When I went to check this for doneness I opened the oven door (my GOD the smell was incredible!) I stuck my head in the oven partially to stick a temperature probe in it.
Yeah.. BAD idea!
Why was that a bad idea? No I didn’t get burned if that’s what you’re thinking. Think about it… I had hot sauce cooking. And when spicy/hot stuff cooks the fumes get intense and what was inside the oven? Hot spicy fumes! Needless to say I immediately had tears pouring down my face and pulled my head out of the oven so fast blinking away like I was in a blinking race! I immediately went to the sink and put cold water on my face and flushed out my eyes. Again no damage was done and I didn’t get ‘hurt’ but man it was intense! So when you make this and you want to test the temperature, take the chicken OUT OF THE OVEN first keeping your face away.
Now I’d love to tell you that we shared this chicken equally – a leg for him, one for me. Breast meat for both of us. Yeah… let’s just say Mr. Fantabulous has impeccable timing! I got A single slice of breast meat and 2 bites of a leg. Yes, that man ate almost the ENTIRE FRIGGEN CHICKEN himself! I could have beat him for that. However THANKFULLY I had another one in the freezer and was able to make this the next day saving some for me… hidden in the back of the fridge in a container marked “brie cheese”. See he hates that stuff so I was good to go!
If you’re looking to go outside of the box with your normal roasted chicken recipe then definitely go with this one!
- 4lb chicken, giblets and neck removed
- 6 Tbl butter, unsalted and softened but not melted
- 2 Tbl honey
- 2 Tbl Sriracha
- 1 Tbl olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 450F, middle rack.
- Run cold water inside the cavity of the chicken for 2 minutes.
- Pat dry inside and out.
- Place a rack in a roasting pan.
- In a bowl, mix together the butter, honey and Sriracha.The butter has to be soft! If your mixture is too soft, place it in the fridge for 10 minutes. You want a soft compound butter.
- To protect your hands from the hot sauce, put on plastic gloves.
- Using your fingertips, gently separate the skin from the breast.
- Spread about 3 Tbl of the butter mixture between the skin and breast of each bird. Smooth skin back down to cover meat.
- Place the rest of the butter inside the cavity of the bird.
- Truss the chicken with kitchen twine (tucking the wings in).
- Place the chicken on the rack.
- Drizzle the top of the chicken with the olive oil.
- Sprinkle the salt on the outside of the bird.
- Bake at 450F for 20 minutes and without opening the door, reduce the heat to 350F.
- Cook for 40-50 minutes or until the juices run clear and a thermometer inserted into the inner thigh (but not touching the bone) reads 165F.
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute then carve.