A simple and easy way to roast a juicy, delicious chicken.
Roasting a chicken should be on every beginner cooks agenda, taking the mystery out of such a delicious and impressive dish. This will give the new cook confidence as well as impress their friends. It’s kind of like roasting a more impressive bird like turkey or duck but way easier. We won’t tell your dinner guests though.
Let them think you slaved away for hours in the kitchen. I have a bad habit of pulling off the skin of the chicken when it comes out of the oven and eating it. I can’t stop myself. Does anyone else do this?
Preheat oven to 425F.
The first part of this is a bit messy so have your ingredients and roasting pan ready on the counter to make this step easier, including placing your salt & pepper in a small bowl so you don’t contaminate your shakers. In the sink, open your chicken package and discard the packaging. Rinse off the chicken and place on your roasting rack, pat dry with paper towels and discard the paper towels.
Please note, raw chicken is contaminated with Salmonella, so now your hands and the kitchen sink is contaminated. Wash your hands in between steps of touching the bird and other items in your kitchen. This will prevent cross contamination. Having everything ready before this step really makes it easier for you.
Reach into the bird cavity and pull out the neck and organs, you can discard these or use them later in another recipe.
Next pull apart the skin from the chicken breast as shown below. It is only loosely connected so this step is easy.
Then place pats of butter in the pocket you made, and go ahead and add your fresh herbs too. If you were using seasoning, you could add that here too. For simplicity, we are using butter, olive oil, herbs, lemons, salt & pepper.
After stuffing the breast area with butter and herbs, drizzle olive oil on the skin, sprinkle with salt and pepper and rub into the skin. This really seasons the skin nicely and makes it extra crispy. Fresh, crispy skin straight from the oven is the BEST!
Cut one lemon into wedges, squeeze lemon juice into the cavity then place the lemon wedges inside the cavity.
By now you have the funky chicken but I promise, the lumpy butter will melt and you will have a nice roasted bird to serve your family and friends.
Tuck the wing tips in to prevent scorching and place chicken on a rack in lower third of the oven. Bake for 1 hr and 15 minutes or until breast meat registers 160F and thighs register 175F on a thermometer. Turn the chicken around half way through the cooking process for even cooking. Another way to tell if your bird is cooked is to slice a piece and see if the meat is no longer pink and the juices run clear. After cooking, let the bird rest for 10 minutes to allow the juices to re-distribute. You may cover with aluminum foil to keep it warm while waiting.
Congratulations! You roasted your first, perfect, juicy chicken. Bon Appetit!
Although we used a classic seasoning family with this recipe, there are infinite flavor combinations for seasoning your bird. You can use Indian spices, Korean spices and oils, spice blends and different herb combinations. Butter does help keep the breast moist and putting oil or butter on the skin helps it crisp up really nice. If you don’t have a roasting pan you can roast in a large cast iron skillet, they are oven safe. Alternatively you can put a rack on a cookie sheet and roast that way.
A basic technique for beginner cooks.
- 1 whole chicken
- 1/4 cup butter, cut into pats or chunks
- handful of fresh herbs
- olive oil for drizzling
- salt & pepper
- 2 lemons, cut into wedges
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Remove chicken from packaging, rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels, place on roasting rack.
- Separate skin from chicken breast and stuff with butter and herbs.
- Drizzle olive oil on skin, sprinkle with salt & pepper and rub into skin.
- Squeeze lemon juice into chicken cavity and place lemon wedges inside chicken.
- Place roasting pan on rack in lower third of oven and bake until chicken breast registers 160F on a cooking thermometer and 175F on the thighs.
- Remove from oven, cover with aluminum foil and rest for 10 minutes.