Peppercorn Encrusted Roast Chicken

Serves 4-6

One 2-3 pound (or larger) baking hen, thawed
Freshly ground black peppercorns
2 tsp Italian Seasoning (optional)
Unsalted butter
TBSP table salt (or to taste)
Dijon mustard

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out to prevent steaming
2. Truss the bird for even cooking, then salt to taste
3. Place the chicken breast up in a large cast iron skillet, Dutch oven or roasting pan
4. Cook whole chicken for 10-15 minutes at 450°F, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and roast for 20 minutes per pound, or until done
5. Remove roasted bird from the oven and baste several times with the pan juices, then sprinkle with Italian seasoning, if using
6. Grind generous amounts of peppercorns all over the bird to cover thoroughly
7. Cover loosely with foil and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board
8. Carve and serve as desired, with dijon mustard on the side

Lea chops veggies for meatloaf“Done” means the juices run clear when a sharp knife is inserted into the joint between the body and the thigh), The safe internal temperature for cooked chicken is 165° Fahrenheit (75° Celsius). A meat, or instant-read thermometer, is your best bet for determining the temperature of your chicken, and if you’re cooking a whole bird, it should be inserted into the thickest part of the thigh but not touching bone.

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