This wonderful recipe belongs to Cristina Ferrare, Chef, New York Times Best-Selling Author and Host of Hallmark Channel’s Emmy-nominated Home and Family. Cristina is one of the best cooks I know. Several years ago, she invited us to share an evening with her family and mutual friends to experience her cooking, I can still remember it like it was yesterday. Lucky for us, that wasn’t the only time, we were also invited one year for Thanksgiving. She cooks with love and makes the whole elaborate process look effortless with her warm and contagious energy. If you haven’t checked out her cookbook, Big Bowl of Love, don’t miss it. You’ll find this recipe entitled, “Cristina Ferrare’s Perfect Roast Chicken” among many others. Below is a general description of the steps. Please refer to the recipe for full details.
We decided to call it “Fall Off The Bone 3hr Chicken” mostly because it’s hard for most of us to believe that you can actually roast a chicken for 3hrs with amazing results but trust us, just as we trusted Cristina, you can!
To make the marinade, whisk together Dijon mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, and soy sauce, (although not pictured we highly recommend low sodium soy sauce). Add the garlic and mix well.
Stuff the lemon rind into the chicken cavity along with half of the fresh parsley, rosemary, and thyme. Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
Place the chicken in a heavy roasting pan. Wrap the tips of the drumsticks and the wings in small pieces of foil to protect them from burning while roasting (the wing tips may also be removed if desired). Pour the marinade over the bird and top with chopped fresh or dry herbs. Cover (you can use heavy-duty aluminum foil if you don’t have a lid for the roasting pan). Seal tightly. Try to make sure the aluminum foil is not resting on top of the skin, or it will stick and come off when you remove the foil; leave an air pocket. Roast for 90 minutes with the foil on. Then remove the foil and continue to roast for an additional 30 minutes.
Add chicken stock. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the roasting pan to loosen the bits that have collected on the sides and bottom of the pan. Baste the chicken well. Continue roasting uncovered for 60 minutes, basting every 15 minutes. Add more chicken stock, if needed, a ladle full at a time to keep the bottom of the pan from burning.
Remove the chicken from the oven. Remove the chicken from the roasting pan and place it on a carving board to rest for 10 minutes before carving. Cover lightly with foil. Add ½ cup chicken stock to the roasting pan, and stir to release any crusty bits that have collected on the bottom and sides of the pan. Place a strainer over another pot, and pour the juices from the roasting pan through the strainer. Remove the strainer and discard its contents. Skim off any oil that has risen to the top of the pan juices. Carve the chicken, pour the pan juices over the meat, and sprinkle with chopped parsley or thyme.
There are two SECRETS to this recipe! Secret 1: The marinade, turns into a super delicious pan sauce that you can pour all over the crispy, moist chicken or over mashed potatoes. If you have the time, marinate the chicken in a large ziplock bag overnight in the refrigerator before cooking. Secret 2: Baste the chicken as often as directed, and you will have tender, fall-off the bone, mouthwatering chicken.