How To: Roast a Whole Chicken

Knowing how to roast a whole chicken should be a part of every home chef’s repertoire. Not only are whole chicken cheap, they are relatively easy to makes and are impressive to serve to guests. Whole chickens are essentially a blank canvas, you can use whatever herbs or veggies that you have on hand to create a unique flavor each time. I wrote this recipe as a vague outline, so feel free to play around and experiment with different aromatics and herbs to find a flavor that you love.

If you manage to not eat every last bit of chicken, save the leftover chicken and use it in dishes like chicken pot pie, chicken soup, quesadillas, etc. You can even take it a step further and make stock out of the carcass. When done creatively, a whole chicken can be stretched into 2 or 3 meals – great for those watching their grocery budgets. 🙂

Roast Chicken

Olive oil or softened butter
Aromatics – lemons, onions, apples, oranges, etc.
2-3 cloves of garlic, smashed.
Herbs of your choice – thyme, rosemary, sage (whatever you have on hand)
Salt and Pepper
Potatoes and carrots (optional)

Preheat the oven 375 degrees F.

Remove the chicken from the packaging, remove any giblets, and rinse under cold water – inside and out. Place in a roasting pan breast side up and pat dry with paper towels. Trim any loose skin or excess fat from the chicken with a sharp knife.

Gently rub the outside of the chicken with either the olive oil or softened butter. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper, and any other spices that you desire.

Cut the aromatic of your choice into quarters, and stuff inside the chicken. Add the garlic cloves and a few sprigs of fresh herbs into the cavity.

Place the chicken in the oven, and roast for 1 1/2 – 2 hours. (A general rule of thumb is 20 minutes per pound).  The best way to check if you chicken is done is to use a meat thermometer. When the probe is stuck into the thickest part of the breast, it should register 180 degrees F. If you find that the skin of the chicken is browning too quickly, simply place a piece of foil loosely on top of the chicken.

Remove the chicken from the oven, and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting the chicken. This allows for the juices of the chicken to settle, and helps to keep the chicken moist.

Source: A Cooking with Chrissy original recipe

Don’t feel like heating up your oven? Try a whole chicken in the crockpot!

This entry was posted in Chicken, Healthy, How To, Main Dish. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to How To: Roast a Whole Chicken

  1. Cooking whole chickens have always scared me…Turkeys too…I think it stems back to the time my mom put a whole chicken on her arm and chased me round with it as a child 😉

    Too much information.

    • Chrissy says:

      Oh Katie…I think I would be scared of whole chickens too! hahaha

    • Food Lover says:

      😀 it sounds like a hard thing to do when someone talks about a whole chicken or Turkey, but believe it’s very easy and when someone see it on the table they will say you made a great effort “while you didn’t that much ;)”.

  2. Food Lover says:

    mmm looks so yummy 🙂

  3. Christine says:

    Great recipe! I love chicken. So this is perfect for me.

  4. I don’t get why roasting chickens intimidates people… It’s one of the easiest things in the world! Yours looks perfect, Chrissy, and so tender. Thanks for sharing your technique!

  5. I love a good roast chicken! I just made one last night for company. 🙂

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