How to Roast a Chicken

This is a foolproof recipe for roasting the perfect chicken. Amaze your friends and astonish your family. It's great for leftovers, too.

Ingredients

  • One 3.5 - 4 pound (1.5-2kg) chicken (kosher chickens are the juiciest - you might also try a free-range bird)
  • One lemon
  • Salt (use kosher or sea salt--one to two teaspoons)
  • Freshly ground pepper--a couple of teaspoons
  • Oil (to grease roasting pan)
  • Optional: Fresh herbs, your choice - rosemary, thyme, or tarragon.

Steps

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    Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Make sure one of the oven racks is in the upper third of the oven.
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    Remove the innards from the chicken and wash well.
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    Dry thoroughly inside and out with paper towels and place the bird in a shallow, lightly oiled roasting pan.
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    Sprinkle a little salt and freshly ground pepper inside the cavity of the bird.
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    Slice up one lemon and place it inside the cavity.
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    Close the opening with toothpicks and tie the legs loosely together with a little bit of kitchen twine.
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    Rub a little salt and pepper onto all sides of the chicken, place it in the roasting pan breast-side down (the picture above shows the bird breast-side up), and place it in on the rack in the top third of your oven.
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    After 50 minutes, remove the chicken from the oven, flip it over, and return it to the oven to finish roasting breast-side up.
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    After another 45-50 minutes of cooking (figure on 25 minutes per pound), remove the chicken, allow it to rest for 20 minutes, then carve and serve with the pan drippings.

Tips

  • You can vary this by adding fresh herbs (tarragon or rosemary are a nice choice) along with the lemon to the cavity of the bird prior to roasting.
  • Let the chicken rest for 20 minutes after removing it from the oven. This enables the juices to disperse throughout the chicken.
  • You can do this on a Weber kettle, too, by the indirect heat method. Just grill-roast right on the rack with a drip pan below.

Warnings

  • Don't be discouraged by the number of steps here, they're not hard to follow. With such a simple list of ingredients (a chicken, salt, pepper, a lemon, some oil to grease the pan), it's easy. Try it!

Things You'll Need

  • Shallow roasting pan
  • Wooden toothpicks
  • Kitchen twine
  • Paper towels

Article Info

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