With its crispy skin and juicy meat, roasted chicken is one of the tastiest, most satisfying dishes you can make. If you’ve never roasted a chicken before, or if it’s been a while since you did, I’ll take you through the steps:
Here’s what you’ll need:
One whole chicken, about 4 to 5 pounds
A roasting pan with a rack
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Butter or olive oil for rubbing on and under the chicken skin
Carrots, celery and onion
2 cups of chicken stock or broth
1 tablespoon each of butter and flour for thickening the gravy
An instant-read thermometer for testing the temperature of the chicken
A mesh strainer, for straining the gravy
Optional: Garlic, fresh herbs and citrus fruits such as lemons or oranges
Kitchen twine for trussing
Roasting a chicken will take you about an hour and a half from start to finish, which also includes making gravy.
Basic Roast Chicken
Preheat your oven to 425°F.
Remove the neck and giblets from the chicken’s body cavity and pat the chicken dry, inside and out, with paper towels.
Rub the outside and inside of the chicken with butter or olive oil, then season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper — both inside and out.
Truss (tie the legs together) the chicken securely with cooking twine. This step is optional, but it will help your roasted chicken cook more evenly.
Thick slice half an onion and quarter one single celery stalk and one single medium carrot. Scatter these veggies in the bottom of a roasting pan. They will flavor the gravy that you will make later.
Set a roasting rack over the vegetables and place the chicken (breast-side-up) on the rack.
Transfer the roasting pan to the oven. After the chicken has roasted for an hour and 15 minutes, check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer inserted into the deepest part of the thigh. The thermometer should read at least 160°F. If not, continue roasting, and check again in 15 minutes.
When the chicken is done, remove the roasting pan from the oven, carefully lift out the rack with the roasted chicken on it and transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board. Let it rest there for 20 minutes, uncovered, while you make the gravy.
Place the roasting pan with the roasted vegetables on the stove top. Remove the large pieces of vegetables. Add a tablespoon of butter and heat over medium heat until the butter melts. Add a tablespoon of flour and stir to form a paste. Pour in the 2 cups of chicken stock or broth into the pan and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat until reduced and thickened. Some cooks like to strain the gravy to remove any bits of vegetables but I like to leave them in there.
Season the gravy to taste with Kosher salt and black pepper. Once the gravy is finished and the chicken has rested, you can carve the chicken and serve it with the homemade gravy.
You can stuff the chicken with fresh herbs or other aromatic items. Thyme, rosemary, sage and marjoram are great choices, but any fresh herbs will do. For flavor and aroma add a couple of lemons or oranges cut into wedges and fennel fronds. Add a few peeled cloves of garlic to the carrot-celery-onion mixture before roasting.
Here are some additional ways to roast chicken.
How to Roast a Whole Chicken in the Crock Pot
- 1 (4 lb) whole chicken, insides removed and patted dry
- 1/2 tablespoon of paprika
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose seasoning
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
Mix together paprika, all-purpose seasoning, garlic powder and salt.
Place 4 medium-sized foil balls in the bottom of a crock pot. This will act as a stand to prevent the chicken from drying out.
Rub seasoning over the entire chicken (including the inside). Place on top of the foil balls. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 – 4½ hours, or LOW for 6½ – 8 hours.
Roast Chicken with Maple Glaze
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3), peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, cut into 8 wedges
- 1/3 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoons fresh-ground black pepper
- 1 chicken (3 to 4 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
- 6 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
Heat the oven to 425°.
In a large roasting pan, mix the sweet potatoes, onion and cranberries with 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Push them to the edges of the pan, leaving a space in the center for the chicken.
Rub the cavity of the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Twist the wings behind the back and tie the legs together. Put the chicken, breast-side up, in the center of the roasting pan. Coat the chicken with the remaining tablespoon oil, sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper, and dot with the butter. Roast the chicken for 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the maple syrup, thyme and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and stir the potatoes. Brush the chicken with about 2 tablespoons of the glaze and drizzle the potatoes with about 1/2 tablespoon of the glaze.
Return the pan to the oven and cook, stirring the potatoes and brushing the chicken with the remaining glaze 2 more times, until the chicken and potatoes are just done, about 30 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a serving plate and keep in a warm spot for about 10 minutes.
Skim off the fat from the roasting pan. Pour the pan juices over the chicken and the sweet potatoes.
Roasted Chicken with Spicy Salsa Verde
- One 4-to 5-pound chicken
- Kosher salt
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeded
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 small onion, peeled
- 1 small bunch fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons salt-packed capers, rinsed and chopped
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint
- 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 salt-packed anchovy fillets, rinsed and minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 hot pepper, seeded and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 shallot, minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Make the salsa verde:
Combine the extra-virgin olive oil, parsley, capers, mint, red pepper flakes, anchovies, garlic, lemon zest and juice, hot pepper and shallots in a bowl and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow the flavors to meld for at least 15 minutes before serving; if planning to serve after more than an hour, add the lemon juice at the last minute to keep the color vibrant. Yield: 1 1/2 cups.
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Lift the chicken skin up and wedge 3 lemon slices and 1 bay leaf between the skin and each breast. Put the garlic, onion, thyme and remaining lemon slices in the cavity of the chicken. Rub the entire chicken liberally with olive oil.
Put the chicken in an ovenproof saute pan or roasting pan breast-side up, slide it into the oven and roast until the thigh reaches 160 degrees F, or until the cavity juices run clear, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 to 20 minutes.
Cut the chicken into 8 pieces and drizzle with the Salsa Verde.
Roast Chicken with Lemon Shallot Sauce
- 1 4- to 5-lb. chicken
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 medium lemons
- 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 pound shallots
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup reduced-sodium or homemade chicken broth
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Loosen skin of breast and thighs and work some salt under the skin. Rub remaining salt all over chicken and in the cavity. Chill, uncovered, at least 3 hours and up to overnight.
Preheat oven to 375°. Zest lemons. Slice 1 lemon; juice half of the other.
Pat chicken dry, inside and out. Rub zest under as much of the skin as possible and rub any remaining zest inside the cavity. Rub chicken all over with 1 tablespoon olive oil and the thyme. Put lemon slices in the cavity.
Set a V-shaped rack in a heavy roasting pan large enough to hold shallots. Put chicken in the rack, breast side up. Add shallots to the pan and drizzle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, turning them to coat.
Roast chicken until chicken leg moves easily and skin is brown and crisp, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours (remove shallots after 1 hour and set aside). Tip chicken so juices from cavity pour into roasting pan. Transfer chicken to a carving board and let rest, covered with foil.
To make the sauce: Pour pan drippings into a measuring cup with a pouring lip. Trim tops from shallots and squeeze soft insides into a blender. Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon fat from pan drippings and add drippings to the blender. Add 1/2 cup broth and the wine and pulse until smooth.
Pour sauce back into the roasting pan. Cook, scraping up brown bits and adding more broth if you want a thinner sauce, over medium-high heat on your biggest burner (or straddling 2 burners) until sauce turns a nutty brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in the reserved lemon juice. Carve chicken, discarding lemon slices and serve with the sauce.
Roast Chicken with Pumpkin
- 1 chicken (3 to 3 1/2 pounds), quartered
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 1 small sugar pumpkin or butternut squash (about 2 1/4 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch slices
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 3 tablespoons water
Heat the oven to 450°.
Coat the chicken quarters with 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Arrange the chicken quarters, skin-side up, in a large roasting pan.
Mix the pumpkin cubes with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and the sage. Add the pumpkin to the roasting pan.
Bake, stirring the pumpkin occasionally, until the chicken breasts are just done, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and remove the breasts from the pan. Tilt the roasting pan and spoon off most of the fat from the pan.
Return the pan to the oven. Continue cooking until the chicken legs and the pumpkin are done, about 10 minutes longer. Remove the chicken and pumpkin from the pan.
Pour off the fat from the roasting pan. Set the pan over moderate heat and add the water. Bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan to dislodge any brown bits. Boil until reduced to approximately 2 tablespoons. Add any accumulated juices from the chicken. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and pumpkin.
- Roasted Chicken (chasenchanceranch.wordpress.com)
- Recipe: Roasted Chicken Thighs and Acorn Squash with Balsamic and Sage Potatoes and Onions (manhattan.ny1.com)
- Slow Roasted Chicken (marksdailyapple.com)