The other day I was watching that very popular cooking network with all those famous chefs. One of the chefs mentioned that it was “not” necessary to wash a chicken before roasting and that contact with water would prevent it from becoming crisp.
My mother would be rolling in her grave if she heard that a chicken was not being washed. In fact, my mother used to soak her chicken in a pot with cold running water.
I followed my mother’s advice and took it a step further by adding lots of salt to the water. After soaking, I patted it dry and seasoned it heavily with salt and pepper, inside and out. My mother always placed a lemon and a bay leaf inside the bird with whatever fresh herbs she had in her pantry.
I generously rubbed the bird with herb-butter (the butter aids in crisping and coloring the chicken) and tied and shackled him in a simple fashion.
The roasting is easy.
For a 3 to 4lb chicken, roast it at 450 degrees for 1/2 hour, then remove the bird and give it a happy basting bath. Return the bird to the oven and roast for another 1/2 hour.
Remove from oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes on warm stove top. My mother always covered roasts loosely with some aluminum foil after removing them.
I like to de-glaze the roasting pan with some white wine or sherry, loosening all those tasty bits from the bottom of the pan. Season the gravy as desired and serve with the bird.