We relocated to St. Croix a few months ago, and I have had to up my cooking game to a whole different level. I apologize for the lack of sharing, and will try to share everything I’ve learned so far over the next few days.
First of all, St. Croix is a part of the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is located in the Caribbean Sea and is the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands. You do not need a passport to visit, we use U.S. currency, and speak English. There is a Crucian English as well…
Being on an island makes it difficult to get some of the items I took for granted in the U.S. and many of the items cost double what I am accustomed to paying. Also, there are new and interesting foods to try!
When we first got here, I was afraid to buy meat at the grocery store as I wasn’t sure where it came from and organic was astronomically priced. I started going to a local butcher called Annaly Farms and we purchased a whole chicken. I know…. just a chicken… What’s so special about a chicken. Well, I have issues with dealing with whole animals. So for me a whole chicken is way outside of my comfort zone. The idea of having to clean out the inside of the chicken and having to put my hand inside the chicken… Eek!
Along with having to cook the whole chicken, I had limited kitchen tools to work with… The place we rented barely gave us plates and utensils and there weren’t any pots or pans. So I bought a glass pan and the chicken and searched a bunch of recipes. What I found was that cooking a whole chicken really isn’t so bad, once you get past the inside. It’s super easy, and yields enough meat for a few meals.
All the recipes call for oil or butter, salt and pepper, and herbs – usually thyme. I used Spanish thyme because that is abundant on this island, and is grown in every garden here.
- whole chicken
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- Spanish thyme
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better the chicken.
- Salt and pepper the cavity. All of the instructions said to truss the chicken. I didn’t have the materials to do this, so I skipped the trussing. I did add some EVOO, Spanish thyme, onion, and garlic inside the cavity as well.
- Then I rubbed EVOO on the outside of the chicken and salt and peppered it. You want a nice uniform coating that will result in a crisp, salty, flavorful skin (about 1 tablespoon). When it’s cooked, you should still be able to make out the salt baked onto the crisp skin.
- Place the chicken in a sauté pan or roasting pan and, when the oven is up to temperature, put the chicken in the oven. Leave it alone—don’t baste it, don’t add butter. You can but it tends to add steam to the bird.
- Roast it until it’s done, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove it from the oven and add the thyme, if using, to the pan. Baste the chicken with the juices and thyme and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board.
I was happy that I conquered my fear of cooking a whole chicken and it turned out really well!!