A whole roasted chicken is a quick and easy fix for family dinners. Or a simple enough solution for meal planning, because you can roast multiple meals at the same time. Prep once, season once, cook once, serve multiple times or to multiple people. But how to roast a chicken? Read on, and you’ll see the process isn’t that complicated!
When I don’t have that much time, but I want to cook for multiple days, I usually choose to roast a whole chicken so that I can use its wonderful parts in other simple lunches for the whole week. There are drumsticks, wings, breast and the rest of it with wonderful potential for salads, sandwiches and a simple meat and potatoes meal. Bonus: learning how to roast a chicken is not that difficult. Oh, and if you want to try something fun, here's how to make chicken on a bottle.
How to roast a chicken in 15 steps
1. Gather your ingredients
You will need a whole chicken with skin still on, some seasoning, herbs, and spices of your choosing, some fat – oil or softened butter –, some garlic and maybe some lemon zest. You can also keep 2 medium-sized potatoes on hand, maybe 2-3 carrots, 2 onions, and whatever else you would like, to roast together. As for equipment, an oven tray will do the trick quite nicely.
2. Remove giblets
Remove the chicken from the packaging. Check it for any giblets you might want to remove. Check out the neck cavity and clean on the inside, too. Be thorough!
3. Dry the chicken
Use some paper towels to pat the chicken dry, inside and out. If you do this and get rid of the moisture, the chicken will roast better. And the skin would be to die for. I know it’s not the healthiest part of the chicken, but honestly, I couldn’t live without eating the crispy chicken skin.
4. Coat the chicken with fat
Rub the exterior part of the chicken with the oil or with softened butter. I honestly always go for butter in this circumstance, because of what it does for the flavors. Don’t forget to coat in harder to reach places like under the wings.
5. Season with salt and pepper
Sprinkle kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (or whatever salt and pepper you like to use) on the whole surface of the chicken. Inside and out.
6. Add more herbs and spices
This is very much up to you. You can use so many things, from paprika to rosemary and thyme. I like to stick some garlic cloves between the skin and the meat so that the garlic flavor leaves its mark on the chicken.
7. Season inside the chicken
You can also season the inside of the chicken. Use some lemon zest and more garlic! I would add all the garlic in the world, honestly, if it would fit. But those are my crazy ways! Whatever you do, don’t fill the cavity all the way, because it will take longer to cook the chicken and the roasting won’t be even.
8. Let it sit a little
Let the chicken sit in the fridge for about an hour, for the flavors to permeate the meat.
9. Prep veggies
This is the time to clean, peel, and chop the veggies you want to cook with the chicken.
10. Preheat the oven
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (218 degrees C). This temp will cook the chicken with crispy skin and firm meat.
11. Truss the chicken
If you truss the chicken, the breast meat will end up more tender and juicy. We all know breast meat can be a little dry sometimes. Tie up the chicken legs at the ankles with cooking twine. Tuck the wings under the breast.
12. Place in the oven pan
Place the chicken in an oven-safe pan, over the veggies you prepped earlier.
Cook the chicken in the oven for 45-60 minutes.
14. Let it rest
Once you’ve removed it from the oven, cover it with aluminum foil and let it rest for 15 minutes, so that its liquids will distribute evenly in the meat.
Dinner is served!
This is the simple version of how to roast a chicken. If you want to get to the next level, try some of these recipes.