Baked whole chickens are just about the simplest thing you can make with limited time and resources and still come out with a creation that would merit the reaction “Wow!” I made it first in high school under the direction of a teacher who also taught me how to make lasagna.
Many years later while broke and jobless in a house in Quezon City, Philippines, we gathered our resources to buy a whole jumbo chicken which I marinated and baked. We ate it for Christmas dinner and proceeded to cocktails and guitar playing. And then our dog named Vishnu quietly reached up onto the dining table and grabbed the rest of the chicken, prompting our screams as she ran out the door. Vicoy, an uncle figure in that household, chased after Vishnu and pulled the bird out of her mouth and brought it back inside. We then asked what he planned on doing with a carcass that had already been inside a dog’s mouth and on the ground. Disgusted, he threw it back out for Vishnu to feast on for her best and last Christmas. (Poor dog died the folowing year shortly after nursing her only litter.) But again, I digress.
Serving a whole roasted bird with shiny brown crispy skin could be just as rewarding as serving a labored-over lasagna. But the difference in prep time and the versability of a baked chicken is hard to beat. I hope you enjoy one of my favorite dishes to make and I hope you also get the WOW you deserve. Continue reading