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Mom’s Scarborough chicken

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 lb whole chicken
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tb salt
  • 2 rounded tsp Parsley
  • 1 tsp Sage
  • 1/2 tsp Rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp Thyme

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine oil and spices with salt.
  3. Rub oil blend underneath and on top of chicken skin with your hands. (See more below to get more specifics and pictures.) Be sure to get the oil blend down into the thigh area.
  4. Place chicken in a large dish and bake for 1 hr 15 min, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees in several places.

More about this recipe…

“Are you going to Scarborough Fair? Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme; Remember me to one who lives there, she once was a true love of mine”

Or, so goes the Simon & Garfunkel classic my mom and dad used to sing. I always found my mom humming the tune while she was preparing a chicken for the oven and later on she told me why: “Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme” she said “are the best chicken seasonings! I always remember what to put on the chicken by singing that song.”

I have always loved this seasoning blend best on a baked chicken. I have tried other things over the years as well, but this is my go-to and my favorite. And who doesn’t love a recipe with it’s own theme song? (Cheeseburger from VeggieTales anyone?)

I like my birds very herby, and some in my family prefer the tame version, so I give you the in-between. Lots of flavor, not too much, and a crispy skinned chicken with a juicy texture everyone will love.

We paired it this night with Nshima and brussel sprouts because I forgot to make rolls…

In order to make this recipe really work you have to get your hands dirty. I’ve tried it the lazy way and just put everything on top, but it just doesn’t come out right. The breasts get dry, the skin gets gooey, it’s just worth the extra effort.

My daughter helped me snap this picture, because my hands were obviously dirty.

So you use your hands to separate the meat from the skin, break the little bits that keep you from getting down into the thigh area.

Once you get the skin loosened up you can use your hands pr a spoon to scoop the herb and oil mix into the bird and rub it all over. Any extras go right on top rubbed into the skin.

Mine looked like this when done, I used the extra skin to tie the feet into place because I was using a smaller pan than usual.

Than you literally pop it into the oven and wait… be patient. The skin should get golden and crispy, and the meat should be cooked through before you rush this onto the table. If you are afraid of it getting over-crisped or burnt in your oven you can place a loose cover of foil on top.

Look at this beautiful bird!

This recipe is easy, inexpensive, and very very good. I hope you give it a try! And let me know in the comments what you think!

P.S. -Don’t be too shy to double the seasoning if you are a BIG flavor person!

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