Roasting a chicken can be intimidating if you’ve never tried it before, but I swear it’s easier than you think. It’s an inexpensive way to make a delicious meal that will give you plenty of leftovers for lunches and dinners.
This simple recipe will give you the flavourful crisp skin with perfectly moist white and dark meat inside.
When they are on sale, I’ll buy a couple of chickens and roast them up for the week. If I’m already going through the trouble to making one chicken, I’ll make two. I can serve one for dinner that night and then slice up the other one for lunch meat.
What you’ll need:
- 1 or 2 (4-5 pound) chickens, neck and giblets removed from cavity, washed and dried
- 1 large onion, cut in quarters
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
First you need to make sure the neck and giblets are removed. Sometimes they are in a little bag inside the cavity, depending on how big the bird is. Rinse the inside and outside and then pat dry with a paper towel.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Place the chickens on top of the rack of a roasting pan. I picked up this great stainless steel roasting pan and it is the perfect size to fit two birds. If you don’t have a rack for your roasting pan, you can also oil the bottom of the pan and then cut another onion into thick slices, lay them on the bottom of the pan and then place the chickens on top. This will keep the meat from sitting in the juices.
Season the cavities of the birds with salt and pepper, and then stuff them with the onion quarters.
Using baking twine, tie the legs together and tuck the wings in under the bird.
Brush the skin with olive oil, or a combination of olive oil and melted butter.This will give it a great crunchy exterior.
Alternatively, you can lay strips of bacon on the top of the skin, which will help baste the bird. This is how my mom does her chickens and holiday turkeys and there is always a fight for who gets to steal the first piece of bacon from the top when it comes out of the oven (it’s usually my dad – he’s a quick one).
Season the skin with salt and pepper.
Roast the chickens at 425°F for 20 minutes, then 350°F for 50-60 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 180°F and the juices run clear. It may take longer depending on how big your chickens are.
Remove from the oven and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes before carving. This will help the juices stay in the bird and keep it moist for when you serve it. If you’d like to use the drippings to make a gravy, you can do so at that time.
You can slice it up and serve with mashed potatoes and vegetables for a classic roast dinner which I love to serve up on Sunday night to start the week off right. This also leaves us with plenty of leftovers for lunches or dinners throughout the week – Cobb Salad, Chicken Black Bean Quesadillas, Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Bake, or even just a hot chicken sandwich with gravy.
If you’re having a small Thanksgiving gathering, a couple of roasted chickens is a great alternative to a large turkey, or you can also make a Roasted Turkey Breast.