I distinctly remember the first time that I roasted a chicken. I was probably 8 or 9 and my mom had left a whole chicken in the fridge for my babysitter Sarah and I to make for dinner. We both knew that it takes a while for the chicken to roast, so around 6 pm we took it out of the fridge and set in on the counter. Reading the instructions on the little white sticker on the top the first thing that we had to do was remove the giblets. After Sarah explained to me what exactly giblets were apparently 8 year-old me completely refused to even come close to the chicken now that I knew there was still all of those PARTS in there! Sarah rolled up her sleeves and after several attempts of trying to get that little bag out of the cavity we were unsuccessful. I’m not sure how long we debated over it and did one of those “it’s so gross, get it away from me” dances, I’m pretty sure Sarah’s mom came over to remove the giblets for us. After that debacle, it took me a while to touch a raw chicken without being grossed out.
One of the great things about cooking a whole chicken instead of buying pre-cut and de-boned pieces is that it is cheaper. If you have to feed more than 3 people, buying a whole chicken is a few dollars cheaper than buying it separated. In my case, Jon and I eat what we want that night and then use the leftover meat for sandwiches and such. Also, you can have both white and dark meat.
Although yes you are going to have to remove the giblets, I have used this recipe several times and the results are a juicy chicken with crispy and flavorful skin. It is easy and you can make it without a hassle or preparation time in the kitchen.
Here is what you will need:
1 whole chicken
Salt and Pepper
2 cloves of fresh Garlic or 2 tablespoons of minced.
1/2 Sweet Onion
2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter softened
Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees F. Unwrap your chicken, remove innards, rinse it with cool water and pat dry the skin with a paper towel. (This helps to remove any juices from the package and makes the skin flavorful.) Make sure to remove any extra fat from the inside of the cavity.
Rub the cavity with salt and pepper and garlic. Put the springs of thyme inside the cavity. I prefer to use fresh thyme, but this time I didn’t have any so I used dried herbs. Take the lemon and roll in on the counter for 10 seconds pushing down on the center with your hand. This will help release the juices in the lemon and give you more flavor. Slice half way through the lemon so that juices can get out but not all the way through so that you have two pieces. Stick the lemon into the cavity and then tie the legs together. This will help to keep everything inside the cavity and make sure that the drumsticks do not fall off while it is roasting. I didn’t have any twine yesterday so I used a skewer to keep it shut. Not as effective, but I wasn’t going to go to the store for twine.
Rub the outside of the chicken with the softened butter and then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Set the chicken aside.
Slice the onion and put them in the bottom of the roasting pan. If you are like me and do not have a roasting pan, I use my large glass pan and it works just fine. Once you have spread the onions on the bottom of the pan put the chicken on top of the onions.
Roast the chicken for about 1 1/2 hours. To make sure that it’s finished pierce the breast and thigh meat with a probe thermometer. The meat has to be over 165 degrees to be finished, so around 170 is safer. Make sure that you are not touching the bone when taking the temperature. This will give you a higher reading that what it actually is.
Take the chicken out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board with indents around the edge to catch any juices. It is important that you let the chicken sit for 10-15 mins. This gives it a chance to absorb some of the juices and makes it even tastier.
Congrats on roasting a whole chicken! I told you it wouldn’t be that hard!
If you have any questions please let me know.