I can remember a time when handling a whole raw chicken totally freaked me out. Fast forward through culinary school training and I discovered that I loved working with all kinds of meats. The chicken was no exception. I felt liberated when I knew how to cook my own whole bird vs. buying the old, sad dried up ones that had sat in a warming incubator for who knows how long.
I’d like to share this easy, family friendly method with you. Never feel bad if for convenience you need to pick up an already roasted chicken on-the-go, but when you do have a little extra time, count on our method to make this juicy, cost effective bird that you can use for multiple leftover meals like our curried chicken quinoa salad!
- 1 4-5 lb whole organic chicken
- 3 tablespoons salt, approximately
- 1 lemon, cut into quarters
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 1 bunch rosemary
- Butcher’s twine to tie (truss) chicken
- Wash chicken. Remove any innards from the cavity. Pat chicken dry with paper towels.
- Rub chicken inside the cavity and outside on the skin all over with salt. Be generous! This will help dry brine the chicken in the refrigerator, helping add flavor and moisture to the bird and helping the skin to dry out and get crunchy in the oven when browned.
- Go ahead and stick the crushed garlic cloves, rosemary and lemon wedges inside the bird’s cavity. You can also truss the bird at this time (click the image above to go to our Technique Timeout). Let the bird sit in the refrigerator (uncovered or lightly covered with parchment) for 1-2 hours before cooking it (or up to a day).
- Turn your oven to 450F. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you are ready to roast it and bring to room temperature.
- Place your chicken in an ovenproof shallow pan. We want a shallow pan so the heat can really get all around the chicken, not just the top of it.
- Let the chicken cook at 450 F for 30 minutes. Then, rotate it in the oven and turn your temperature down to 400F for the remaining 30 minutes of cooking.
- Remove the chicken from the oven. The skin will be a golden brown. Let the chicken rest before cutting into it for 10-15 minutes. This will insure the moisture that accumulated in the parts of the chicken most exposed to the heat will redistribute throughout the chicken and you won’t lose the moisture when you cut into the bird!
- Enjoy! This may just be the best roasted chicken you’ll ever taste.
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