Raise your hand if you, too, are a Trader Joe’s fiend.
Keep it up if you’ve ever packed less than the bare minimum just so you’d have enough room to bring back a bursting-at-the-seams suitcase full of goodies.
And keep your hand up if you’ve gotten in trouble by security at a Trader Joe’s in Chicago for taking a picture of a liquor bottle on the shelf.
No? Just me?
It’s okay. I don’t hold any hard feelings. I’m just happy that 2 years later, I no longer have to fly all the way to Orange County to get my Sweet & Salty & Nutty Trek Mix fix. And I am perfectly capable of getting almost thrown out of a grocery store near home, for free!
But the best part – a TJs will open less than 5 miles from this very location.
One of my (many) favorite things in the whole wide world is 21 Seasoning Salute. It’s (surprise!) 21 different herbs and spices packed a single bottle, making it perfect for shaking, baking, and roasting anything. But especially chicken.
Mixed with some lemon zest and honey, you get a compound butter jam-packed with flavor and perfect for slathering over an oven-bound chicken.
There’s something extremely satisfying about roasting a chicken on a Sunday afternoon, with a glass of wine in one hand and a new Food & Wine in the other. Maybe it speaks to that teeny tiny sliver of traditional domesticity that’s usually kept buried as far down as humanly possible. Or maybe it’s that I now have “leftover” chicken to throw together quesadillas and enchiladas for the rest of the week without having to invest too much time in a menu.
Yeah. That’s probably it.
Simple Roast Chicken
A simple compound butter is the key to a flavorful roast chicken.
- ~5lb chicken
- 4 Tbsp butter, softened
- 1 tsp 21 Seasoning Salute (or your favorite multipurpose seasoning)
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tsp honey
- Preheat the oven to 400.
- Using a fork, mash together the butter, spices, lemon zest, a pinch of salt, and several grinds of pepper.
- When mostly incorporated, drizzle honey over the butter and mash together.
- Gently work your hands between the skin and the chicken breast, loosening it.
- Take about half of the butter and spread it under the skin and spread the remainder over the outside of the chicken.
- Place the chicken in a roasting pan and tie the wings down and legs together with kitchen twine.
- Roast until a thermometer stuck in the thigh registers 165, about 1 hour (but rely on the temp, not the time).
- Remove from oven, loosely tent with foil, and let rest for 15 minutes before carving.
Yields: ~6 servings
Estimated time: 1 hour 30 minutes