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
I wish I had one closer…I have to drive 2 hours every couple of months to stock up! Those meyer lemon cookie things are one of my favorite things on God’s green Earth.
Curious – what was the bottle you snagged a pic of? Inquiring minds would like to know!
I truly can’t imagine living without a TJ’s. How do people do it?!
But none of our local Trader Joe’s (there are three within a twenty-minute drive 😀 ) have security!
I had my hand raised WAY up there, we have no Trader Joe’s near us and I am very sad about that. I do have The Fearless Flyer sent to my house though and I read through it and e-mail my son my shopping list of non-perishable items and look forward to visiting him and going through the store slowly buying everything that I can. You are so lucky to have one nearby, sigh. Oh, and I love a good roast chicken, your recipe is basically the way I make mine except I do it at a lower temperature for longer.
What does tying the wings back and the legs together do? I “roasted” a chicken in my crockpot last week and I didn’t do either. Just wondering if I’d get a different result by tying up the bird first…
I am lucky enough to have a TJ’s 5 min from my house, but in the backwards state of PA, no liquor or wine to be found on the shelves. :(. I picked up some of the 21 seasoning salute. It smells awesome, can’t wait to try it.
Hi – Just wanted to drop you a note to let you know I found you via your strawberry cake recipe (which I’ll be giving a go this weekend). And now, thanks to you, I’m a proud owner of this TJ spice mix too. Can’t wait to read more. Thanks for inspiring some healthy dinner and dessert options in our house!