Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Simple Is Best: How To Roast A Perfect Chicken
Roast chicken in a staple in our house, I love how versatile it can be! I switch up seasonings from time to time and use it shredded in sandwiches, wraps and other meals. Sometimes I just love being able to enjoy it whole and roasted in the oven.
In my opinion, the key to a good roast chicken is seasoning aggressively and not overcooking it. The method I use is to cook it at 400 degrees at about 20 minutes per pound. Still, the best way to make sure you're not over or under-cooking your chicken is to use a meat thermometer and check that the temperature is 165 degrees in the thigh meat. Also, remember to rest your chicken for about 30 minutes before carving so you don't lose all those juices as soon as you slice it!
Depending on my mood and what's in my fridge, I swap out ingredients in the recipe below. Sometimes I use olive oil instead of butter, or fresh herbs if I have them on hand instead of dried, or I might not have an onion in the fridge so I rely on lemon and garlic in the cavity. You really can personalize a roast chicken to exactly what your family likes. Check out my go-to recipe below!
Simple Roast Chicken
1 lb. bag of baby carrots (or cut down regular ones)
1 lb. small yellow potatoes (scrubbed and quartered)
4-6 lb. whole chicken
3 tbsp. unsalted butter (softened)
Salt & Pepper
5-6 sprigs of fresh rosemary (or a few tsp. of dried)
5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme (or a few tsp. of dried)
2-3 fresh sage leaves (or 1 tsp. of dried)
1/2 yellow onion
Extra virgin olive oil
The first thing you want to do is make sure your chicken is clean (empty out the cavity of any innards) and dry. Place it on a clean cutting board (not wood!) and pat it dry with paper towels. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Roughly chop or pick the leaves from your herbs and mash them into the softened butter, along with a good few pinches of salt and pepper. Zest the lemon into the mixture and mix well to combine. Smear the herb butter all over the chicken (inside and out) and make sure to loosen the skin over the breast with your fingers and smear the mixture under the skin. Do a final sprinkle of salt and pepper all over the bird.
Slice the onion into quarters and add it to the cavity. Do the same with the lemon and add it to the cavity (just add as much as will fit).
Add the carrots and potatoes to the bottom of a roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Toss so the veggies are well coated, then place the chicken on top. Tuck the wing tips under the bird and roast in the oven until a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 165 degrees. If you're concerned about the chicken breast meat drying out before the dark meat is done or that the skin is getting too dark, just tent it with some foil and finish cooking.
When the chicken is done, remove from oven and let it rest for 30 minutes (at least!) before carving. Serve alongside the roasted veggies.
Click Here For Printable Recipe