I was drawn to the October 2012 issue of Cook's Illustrated containing the article "The Whole Chicken Story" by Lisa McManus. This enlightening expose´ on chicken quality, manufacturing techniques, and statistics gives one food for thought. Over 8 billion chickens are produced for US consumption annually; however, producers use various techniques to bring their product to market that may include the use of antibiotics, poor quality feed to bulk the chicks, and less than humane processing techniques. McManus recommends a chicken labeled USDA organic and if possible processed using air chilling. If your chicken label has an ingredient list including more than "chicken" you may not be completely satisfied with the end product and consuming higher levels of sodium if the chicken is brined or injected.
Following is a simple recipe that I prepare weekly for my family. I serve this whole roasted chicken as a main course for dinner or stored in the refrigerator and chilled for protein snacks. Enjoy!
1 3-4 pounds USDA organic chicken (I have not found an air chilled chicken)
1 TBSP favorite dry rub ( I use Mt. Evan's Butcher's Rub from my local spice store- Savory Spice in Denver, Colorado)
Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Place breast side up in roasting pan and rub skin with dry rub. Fill the bottom of the roasting with water. Cook in 350 degree oven covered for 1-1 1/4 hours or until meat thermometer registers 190 degrees measured at the chicken's breast. Remove from oven, cover with lid or foil, and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
I use a Cuisinart Programmable Multi-Cooker for my roasted chickens and the birds come out tender and moist with the meat falling from the bones.