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It's no secret, I'm a pretty terrible cook. (read more)
My husband tells me that people who love eating should love cooking, so maybe it's just that I don't love eating enough, I'm not sure. Whatever the reason behind it, I don't love cooking.
Most people make New Year Resolutions like: "I will lose weight", "I will save more money", "I will not wake up on the wrong side of the bed every morning".
My resolutions are always the same, or they were, until I stopped making them.
"I will stop biting my nails." and "I will cook more often."
I sort of did the first one. Getting my nails dipped every month means I can't bite them, so I'm calling that a win.
But the cooking...
There is no monthly dip for cooking.
It's especially confounding to me because I love baking, and I'm very, very good at it. But, baking and cooking are like apples and oranges, science and...Scientology (or something, no offense to my Scientologist friends).
Baking is exact! You do this, exactly. Then you do that, exactly. There's a recipe, a formula. If you don't deviate, you will get amazing cookies at the end!
Baking is like holding a treasure map in my hands.
Cooking is like holding a treasure map that someone doused in gasoline and lit on fire.
So when I come across a recipe that I love and that I can make well, I stick with it. This baked whole chicken recipe is one of those. It's simple, it's absolutely delicious, and if you're a family of four like we are, there is a high chance you'll have enough leftovers to turn them into a soup the next day.
I make this once a week, without fail, and everyone loves it, even my husband, who is a much better cook than me and knows it.
* 1 Whole Chicken (it doesn't matter how big, I'll break the cooking time down for you)
* Onion Powder
* 1 stick or 4 tablespoons of margarine (not butter, margarine)
* A bunch of celery
Preheat your oven to 350F.
Take your whole chicken, make sure you pull the gizzards out of the cavity, and place the chicken, breast side down, in a glass baking dish. You can probably use any baking dish, but mine is always glass, so I'm saying glass.
Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and onion powder onto one side of the chicken.
Tip the chicken up on its neck and sprinkle the salt, pepper, and onion powder into the cavity.
Flip the chicken over so the breasts are up. Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and onion powder on this side as well.
Cut your bunch of celery so you have six to eight, six inch pieces of celery.
Put two tablespoons of margarine into the cavity of the chicken.
Shove your six to eight pieces of celery in to the cavity of the chicken.
Put the remaining margarine in globs around the chicken in the dish.
Pop it in the oven and cook one hour per three pounds. If you're not sure about this and prefer more science, use a thermometer. My husband likes to cook it until it's around 165F, but I prefer a bit higher.
Once you are done cooking it, take it out of the oven and baste the chicken in the juices from the bottom of the dish.
Cover the glass dish with tin foil and let it sit for 30 minutes.
That's it! It's amazing, moist, juicy, and absolutely perfect for making chicken soup with the meat and juices the next day.
You can eat the celery if you like, but we never do.
I hope you love it!
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