If you were to ask me what my favorite thing to cook or eat is, it would have to be roast chicken. I know, it sounds super boring and so basic, but this is the dish I make for the people I love. This is also the dish I would throw together if I needed to cook something special and was short on time. Its simplicity makes it perfect for a last minute special occasion or just when you don’t want the hassle of preparing something fancy but you want something delicious and comforting. I love the consistency of making this. I can literally make this blindfolded and know that it would still come out perfect.
This roast chicken is a staple in our house, even our son loves it (he loves chicken so I guess he doesn’t really count). It is usually in rotation when I can find whole responsibly raised chickens on sale. I always buy at least two. One to cook and one to throw into the freezer (or I put both in the freezer). The freezer one we pull out when time is short and I want or need dinner to be super simple. Another perk of roasting your own chicken is that you can save the carcass and make your own broth or chicken stock.
I have told you this chicken is easy to make, but the main reason you should make this chicken is because it is beyond delicious. The chicken cavity is stuffed with lemon, garlic and herbs that permeate through the meat and give it lots of flavor. It is perfectly juicy and it is bathed in butter before going into the oven, so the skin gets paper thin crispy. When I eat this chicken I am reminded of my childhood (my mother always made roast chicken) and I am sure it will be ingrained in my son’s memory. I know he will one day make it for his family. That is how special this roast chicken is. Super simple, but also incredibly delicious. In the winter time, I toss a bunch of root vegetables (that have been tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper) on to the pan with the chicken and roast both simultaneously. That is literally the easiest comforting dinner I make. Otherwise, we eat this chicken with roasted asparagus and roasted rosemary potatoes (or sweet potatoes if we are being healthy).
- 1 4-5 pound roasting chicken
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 whole head of garlic, sliced in half crosswise
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 4-5 sprigs of thyme or rosemary
- butcher's twine or silicone cooking bands
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 425°
- In a small bowl or ramekin mix together the salt and pepper, set aside. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the chicken on it. Remove any giblets or any parts that may be inside the cavity. Sprinkle the inside of the chicken cavity with about ⅓ of the salt and pepper mixture. Then stuff with the garlic, lemon and herbs. Alternate each item, so each of the ingredients are layered in the cavity.
- Tie the legs together with butcher's twine or with the silicone cooking bands and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken (this helps to keep the wings from getting too brown). Brush the butter all over the chicken and sprinkle heavily with the remaining salt and pepper.
- Bake in the oven for one hour, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Allow to rest 15 minutes before carving.
More chicken recipes here!