Simple Oven Roasted Chicken

I’ve only roasted a chicken a handful of times, but am thinking it is going to become a bi-weekly endeavor! Not only do you end up with tasty protein that you can use in a variety of ways, but you can also throw the carcass in your crockpot to make delicious stock! Bonus: its cheaper than buying a pre-cooked whole chicken!

Last month, I used this recipe from The Pioneer Woman for its simplicity. But this time, I came across a BuzzFeed article.

“BuzzFeed held a contest between eight famous roast chicken recipes to find out which method really is the best.”

The winner uses three ingredients: salt, pepper & chicken! Anything that simple is worth trying! I didn’t follow either recipe to the tee, but combined them.

Other tips for a perfectly roast chicken:
Simple Oven Roasted Chicken
Simple Oven Roasted Chicken
  • Verify your oven actually bakes to the temperature you set. My oven has always been 5-10 degrees hotter than the setting, so I lower it accordingly. You can purchase an oven thermometer for less than $10 on amazon.
  • Use a meat thermometer to determine when the chicken is fully cooked.
  • Place the oven rack on the bottom 1/3 of the oven to keep the top of the chicken from absorbing too much heat reflected off the oven ceiling. Do ovens have ceilings? I guess they do now!
  • A slightly smaller chicken means it is a younger animal, so theoretically the meat will be less tough. This is the same principal that differentiates veal from other beef.

Simple Oven Roasted Chicken

Ingredients:
1-Whole Chicken (mine was around 5 lbs)
1-2-onions
2-cloves garlic
1-lemon
2 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 Tablespoon Crushed Dried Thyme/Rosemary (fresh is better)
1 Tablespoon Fresh Ground Pepper, divided

1 Tablespoon Salt, divided

Tools:
Roasting pan (I don’t have one… used a 2.5qt Corningware Oval ceramic baking dish)
Wire Rack (I don’t have one of these either, I substituted an onion, see below)
Twine (Do you see a theme… I don’t have this either!)
Meat Thermometer
Paper towels
Method:
1. Let your chicken warm to room temperature, about 45 minutes.
2. If using dried herbs, mix them with EVOO, half the salt, half the pepper in a small bowl. Set aside to reconstitute the dried herbs while the chicken is warming. With fresh herbs, wait to chop them until after the chicken has warmed.
3. After the chicken has sat out for 45 minutes, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
4. If not using a wire rack, slice onion into 1″ tick half moons. Place 4-6 of these on the bottom of roasting pan/baking dish. This keeps the chicken elevated and will help the skin be more evenly roasted.
5. Mince garlic cloves and mix with remaining salt and pepper in a second small bowl.
6. Zest & juice the lemon and add to the bowl with garlic.
7. Unwrap chicken and place on a paper towel lined plate. Remove any giblets from the cavity (Keep to make stock if you want, otherwise throw away).
8. Pat dry chicken, inside and out with clean paper towels. Do this several times to really make sure she’s nice and dry! Discard the paper towels lining the plate if they become saturated and replace with new ones for the next steps.
9. Rub garlic, pepper and salt mixture on inside of the chicken cavity.
9-and-a-half. If you have twine, truss the chicken now. I’ve never done this, but the instructions here seem to be fairly self explanatory.
10. Flip chicken to breast side down.  Rub 1/3 of herb oil mixture all over the outside of the chicken.
11. Transfer chicken to the roasting pan/baking dish, breast side up. Rub remaining herb oil mixture on top and sides of the chicken.
11-and-a-half. Tuck in the neck skin or cavity opening if you didn’t truss as best as you can. Don’t fret if it comes undone while roasting, not a huge deal. (Also, there’s a way to truss a chicken without any string… )
12. Slide her into the preheated oven for 45 minutes.
13. Check temperature in the thickest part of the thigh. If it is 165 degrees, remove from oven. If not, cook for 5-10 more minutes and check again.
14. Let chicken sit for 15 minutes before carving and enjoy!
Have you roasted a chicken before? Any recipes or tips to share?
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