I always have to chuckle at those commercials where a family accuses a mother of being “roaster-phobic.” The solution is a chicken that comes prepped and ready to roast so that she can overcome her fears and make her family a beautiful roast chicken for dinner.
It’s all well and good until you realize that she’s serving her family a chicken that’s been pre-seasoned with who-knows-what and then cooked in a plastic bag. Hmm… I don’t know about you, but I find that slightly less than appetizing. So, this week I thought I’d share the method for roasting a chicken that works for me.
I actually hadn’t roasted a chicken until a year or two ago. I guess I was a bit “roaster-phobic” myself and was slightly intimidated by the idea of roasting a whole chicken. The other part of it was that I am usually just cooking for two, so a whole chicken is a lot more than we will eat for a single meal.
Once I gave it a try and roasted my first chicken, though, I was hooked. It takes some time in the oven, but it’s easy and the prep work is quick. Plus, you can’t beat the fact that you have some pretty versatile leftovers for some super quick and easy dinners the rest of the week. You can even make stock with the bones and scraps to get the most out of your work!
How To Roast a Chicken…
Ok, so let’s get to it! Like I said above, roasting a chicken is really quite easy. Once you’ve got it down, you can mix up the flavors to jazz it up and keep things interesting. For now, though, let’s just tackle an easy garlic and herb roasted chicken.
Here’s what you need…
- 1 whole chicken (whatever size you prefer is fine)
- Roasting pan or shallow baking dish large enough to hold the chicken
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh herbs (I like sage and thyme)
- 6-8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- Kitchen twine
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Meat thermometer with oven-safe probe
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Take the chicken out of the wrapping (if it isn’t already), and pull out any giblets that may be stuffed in the inside. You can save them for stock or gravy, if you please. Carefully rinse out the chicken and then pat the inside and outside dry with paper towels. Transfer the chicken to the roasting pan so that the breast is facing upward.
It’s important to season the inside of the chicken as well as the outside, so start by sprinkling the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper. Stuff the herbs and garlic into the inside of the chicken. Cut a piece of twine that is approximately 1 foot long, and use it to tie the legs together. Not only will this hold the herbs and garlic inside the chicken, but it will hold things together so that the chicken cooks evenly. It’s also a good idea to tuck the wings underneath the bird, as well.
Now, to get that nice golden color as the chicken cooks, drizzle some olive oil all over the chicken. Sprinkle the outside with salt and pepper, and then use your hands to rub the oil and seasonings evenly all over the outside of the chicken. Place the meat thermometer in the chicken on the inside of one of the thighs, being careful that it isn’t touching the bone. If you like, you can place some potatoes or other veggies around the chicken in the roasting pan, but that’s totally optional.
Transfer the chicken to the oven (uncovered) and let it roast until the temperature reaches 165°F. Remove it from the oven and let it rest for at least 15 minutes before serving to let all of the juices redistribute. You can transfer the whole chicken to a platter, and be sure to save the pan juices for gravy.
That’s it! Now, wasn’t that easy?