How I Roast A Chicken.
It seems I’ve been a bit obsessed with chicken roasting lately, no? I get obsessed easily. Especially when something is insanely delicious. Here is how I do it!
I buy a chicken. Yes, it can be sort of scary.
I tend to get one that is 5-6 pounds. This means it will last approximately 15 minutes in house. Someone eats for four. Not me.
I unwrap it and immediately get the worst part over with. I use tongs to pull out the gross stuff inside – the stuff that my grandpa used to insist on eating at Thanksgiving – and I set it aside. I can’t deal with this yet. I’m too immature.
I usually pull it out and immediately place it in a large ziplock bag. Something else I normally do? Roast these chickens close to our trash pick-up day. The last thing I want it the carcass sitting in our trash for days. Bugs scare me. For real.
Then I dry the entire thing with paper towels VERY thoroughly.
I either throw it on a clean counter or a cutting board, then I coat it with salt and pepper inside and out. Lots of salt and pepper. Probably about a teaspoon each or even more? Don’t skimp.
Oh, and this may scare you, but inspect the bird for any additional feathers that need plucking. Yeah… I know. But I promise after you do this once, it gets so much easier.
Then I cover the whole thing in olive oil, rubbing it with my hands.
You may remember that I tried the butter and herb route before too. That was delicious, but this method is so simple and we actually think it tastes better. Crispier and more flavorful.
By this time I have most likely sliced 1-2 onions to throw in the pan.
I have used a larger roasting pan before, and then used a small one. I gotta admit… I prefer the small. That may be wrong for some reason or another, but it totally works for me. I just make sure the pan has a larger lip on it. Obviously this also depends on the size of your chicken.
See? Fat bird in a little pan.
I’ve stuffed it with lemons and garlic before, used different herbs and flavors, but again – this is our favorite one. We think it tastes the best. Super simple!
I’ve been roasting a 5-6 pound chicken at 425 degrees F for about 85-90 minutes. It works like a charm. While it’s roasting, I usually clean and sanitize my counter where the chicken sat.
But before you remove it, make sure the chicken is cooked through. I use a meat thermometer and also slice near one of the legs to make sure the juices are clear. I think my mom told me that too. See? Always right.
Then I slice it so we can have the white meat of the breast and the thighs/dark meat.
Don’t discard the carcass – use it for stock!
My days of discarding the skin are long gone too. Um, have you ever tasted the crispy skin from a freshly roasted chicken? It is pure heaven. Bliss. Utopia.
Then we eat.
And if there is any left over, I save it for the week for lunches and dinners.
Some of you have asked why I would roast a chicken on my own – why not just buy one and spare the extra expense and time? I used to feel the same way, but there is honestly nothing that tastes as delicious after you’ve roasted a chicken. Trust me, I have brought home a lot of chicken in my life. Do you know who I’m married to? And I also sort of like this whole cooking thing. In case you haven’t noticed.
After you eat your chicken, you must follow it with something delectable.
I didn’t forget about you – recipe coming soon!
Now who is going to roast a chicken this week?
169 Comments on “How I Roast A Chicken.”
So, wait a minute…you touch the chicken? With your bare hands?
I think I just died.
Why in the world wouldn’t you touch it if you’re cooking it?
Also, it won’t taste nearly as good if it’s bought in a store. You should really kill your own. Just requires a little more plucking ;)
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After getting so excited about your descriptions of roasted chicken, I bought a chicken for roasting at Trader Joe’s! And I made roasted chicken, which was delicious, except I covered mine and it did not get as crispy as yours. Next time, though, I am determined to have crispy skin! Also, I cut up a bunch of “stuff” to put in the pan– green and red peppers, onion, green onion, and the most amazing bit, about 20 cloves of garlic. They roasted just as beautifully as the chicken and tasted like heaven. Mmmmm…. And I followed it up with chocolate chip brownies. :-D I am definitely doing it again soon!
I can pull the bag of yuckies out, but I still have issues with seasoning the INSIDE of the bird. Makes me skin crawl just typing that.
Me too!! Anytime my hand actually touches it I freak out.
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Thank you for the tips on roasting
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I’m in college and I just used this recipe to make a whole chicken in my TOASTER OVEN in my dorm room! It worked perfectly.
I have a counter top oven that broils, rotisseries, has a non convection and a convection setting and I love it! I can not recommend a regular countertop oven enough for a small apt or dorm (the outside of the oven does get hot like a toaster oven will and for a longer period of time so be safe). But for less than $100 they are great.
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We made this tonight and it was a hit. Thanks for a great simple recipe!
I’m having some friends over for dinner tonight, and I thought “I should roast a chicken. How do I do that? I’m scared. I bet Jessica would tell me.” – and lookie here what I found.
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“Roast these chickens close to our trash pick-up day. The last thing I want it the carcass sitting in our trash for days. Bugs scare me. For real.”
Why not save the carcass and make a stock???
I make stock often (or soup: http://www.howsweeteats.com/2011/09/easy-roasted-chicken-noodle-soup/) but I tend to roast a chicken at least once a week and don’t go through enough stock or have room for it all.
I cook a chicken about every week, except I just wrap the carcass and everything up in saran wrap and toss it in the freezer. Epic stocks when made with several chickens worth of bones!
One of the best investments my husband and I ever made was in an upright deep freezer. I save those bones and such and then make 20 quarts of broth at a time, portion it, freeze it. The deep freezer lets us buy when whole chickens (and other meats) are on sale. I also make freezer apple butter, and other freezer ‘canned’ items. A chest deep freezer is often a bit less in cost but I really loath digging for what I want.
I literally just bought a whole chicken today. I have never prepared a whole chicken before but thought it was time I learn and I didn’t want to buy the already prepared roasted chicken at the supermarket. Have you ever prepped it in the crockpot? I think that is what I want to use since it is so hot out this week.
I’ve never done it in the crockpot, but have heard good things about people that do! The only thing I think that would be missing is the crispy skin. But I could be wrong.
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I have made this chicken several times in the last few months and it is delicious! Completely fool-proof. My chicken is roasting away as we speak. Excellent!
I have NO idea why, but for some reason, every time I roast a chicken, my smoke alarm goes off. The room’s not too smokey, but was wondering if you ever encountered this type of problem before? I’m considering trying a new roasting pan. I can’t give up roasting chicken.
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I guess I found this post when you wrote it, or whenever you did your brown sugar chicken, and let me tell you, I became obsessed with roasting chickens. I’m 20 and all of my friends are petrified of whole chickens and I just get in there and become it’s friend and you taught me where to get started and how to be comfortable and let me tell you, you’re incredible. Thank you!
I can’t imagine not washing/cleaning the chicken immediately after taking from the plastic bag.
This was the first time I’d ever roasted a chicken and this recipe was easy and delicious!
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Thanks so much for an amazing and simple recipe – it was the key to a three-peat success for me. I have a terrible reputation for roasting poultry – and I totally redeemed myself over the last two weeks thanks to you! http://goingwestcoastal.com/2013/11/05/i-rocked-dinner-roasted-chicken/
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I made this, exactly as written, and LOVED IT. You’re the queen of roasted chicken!
I made my butter and gsrkuc chicken last night and roasted it standing on one of those special stand things for the chicken.
I’ve never found stuffing the cavity does anything.
Explain to me please.
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Lovvvve your recipes!!
I’ve roasted a chicken using your method, but a problem I have is the bottom of the pan is like an inch or more of fat/juice.. so the bottom part is soggy. It’s juicy once the skin is off, and I use it in recipes skinless, but I wouldn’t want to serve it whole. I use a square glass pyrex dish.. is this my problem you think? Any tips on how yours is crispy all around? I’ve looked online to no help .. Since I use your method I was wondering if you knew how I could solve this to look more like yours!
Thanks so much in advance.
PS I am the same with bugs and plan my meals around trash day.. or my hubs drops it in the dumpsters in the plaza near us!! Eek that’s so bad but I can’t deal..when we moved into our house the previous owner left his Gnarly recycle bins and a week later we found them and our trash in the garage Crawling with maggots… uggggggh. My skin crawls just thinking about it still!!
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I love your recipe for the chicken
step by step
very well done
pads of butter under the skin and on the skin tastes much better and crisps the skin
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Why not make the leftovers into chicken pot pie? Takes about 35-45 minutes total cook and prep time and super yummy ?
I thought you always roasted chicken (and turkey) breast side up. Is there some reason you have your chicken “upside down”?
hi lynda! yes, i roast it upside down so all the juices run down and make the chicken breast even juicier and more flavorful!
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