How do I roast a chicken? Let me count the ways. I have roasted so many chickens in my lifetime,that I couldn’t begin to count. I’ve tried countless recipes from friends and numerous cookbook renditions, and I have finally decided on what constitutes a “perfect roast chicken” for me. I’ve taken a little bit from various recipes. It’s simple……almost foolproof. It has taken me years to get to this point. I’ve tried so many different glazes and ways to stuff a chicken that I believe I’ve exhausted every possible scenario. Most have been delicious, but my “perfect roast chicken” is moist, succulent and so very tasty with very little preparation. It is divine in it’s simplicity. You won’t want (or at least you won’t need) any gravy to disguise the meat. I think you will be happy with it, just as it is, right out of the oven, juicy and flavorful.
While this recipe is for one 4 1/2 to 6 pound chicken, I often make two 3 to 3 1/2 pound chickens so I can insure that I will have leftovers for a sandwich or salad the next day. You can even add the leftover meat to soup. The leftovers are an important part of the meal for me. This lean source of protein can be used in so many ways, that I just sleep better at night knowing that there is some leftover chicken in the fridge. Okay, not really, but it does make me happy to open the fridge and have this delicious, rich source of protein readily available for a variety of lunch ideas or a nutritious snack.
RECIPE: one 4 1/2 to 6 lb chicken. Double the ingredients for two 3 pound chickens. DO NOT DOUBLE THE COOKING TIME
1 4 1/2 to 6 pound roasting chicken
freshly found black pepper
smoked paprika ( approximately 1 TBSP)
1 large bunch fresh thyme
1 large bunch fresh rosemary
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 TBSP butter
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced (do not double for 2 chickens)
2 large russet potatoes, cut into large pieces (do not double for 2 chickens)
drizzle of olive oil
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Remove the giblets and all inners, and rinse the chicken well, inside and out.
- Place the chicken in a roasting pan, large enough to hold the chicken (chickens) and the onion and potatoes. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken (chickens).
- Stuff the cavity (cavities) with the thyme, rosemary, both halves of the lemon, and all the garlic. Tie the legs together with kitchen string.
- Liberally salt and pepper the outside of the chicken(s). Sprinkle with the paprika, as much as you like. It gives the chicken a smokey taste, as well as a beautiful colored skin, once cooked. Don’t skimp.
- Break the butter apart into small pieces and dot the chicken with the butter.
- Place the potatoes and onions around the chicken(s) and drizzle with olive oil.
- Roast the chicken(s) for 1 1/2 hours or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. **If roasting 2 chickens, you might need to increase this cooking time by 15 minutes or so.
- Remove from the oven, and tent with aluminum foil for 5 minutes before carving. You can drizzle the juices over the meat if desired.
- Make sure you keep some for leftovers before serving. You’ll sleep better!!