The perfectly roasted chicken is like a mystical unicorn or an urban legend. It always seems to happen to a friend of a friend of your second cousin. A nicely roast chicken should be flavorful, juicy and should have a beautiful golden and crisp skin. Often times you manage the beautiful skin, but the meat is bland and dry. Today I’m going to share my secret for always perfect roasted chicken.
The beauty of it is that you can use any herb you like, or what’s available. The other wonderful thing about this chicken, is that… it is SUPER easy to make and requires no fussing about. I promise. Really. You can take my word for it or my name isn’t Anamaris! And it is.
The other cool thing with roast chicken… leftovers! At the Price household, we’re not breast lovers, but the breast makes the most delicious chicken salad ever! I do have to admit that even I enjoy just eating the breast meat, and that’s saying something. Ok, I’ll stop gushing. On to the chicken business.
When it comes to roasting the bird, the first thing is to start on its tan early on. So you would roast it at a high temperature (450°) for about 15 minutes before reducing the temp to 325° for the long haul. On average, it takes about 20 minutes per pound to roast the chicken perfectly. If you have a meat thermometer, you’ll want to insert it into the thick part of the thigh–avoiding the bone, and it should read at least 165° C.
Perfect Roast Chicken
1 4-6lb whole chicken
3-4 tbsp butter, soften
Chopped herbs–I used rosemary, Italian parsley, garlic
Fresh black pepper, ground
1 lemon, quartered
10-12 garlic cloves, whole & unpeeled
2 carrots, quartered
1 large onion, quartered
Preheat oven to 450°. First, remove all the innards from the chicken. Usually, they tuck the neck and giblets inside the bird; you don’t want to roast it with those in there. You can save them to make the gravy or to make broth later. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Pat dry with a paper towel.
Combine the chopped herbs, about 1/2 cp all together, with the softened butter and season with a bit of salt & pepper.
Pull away on the chicken skin and insert bits of the herb butter between the skin and meat. Rub the skin with a bit of olive oil or leftover herb butter. Combine the salt, pepper and paprika, use it to season the cavity and the skin of the chicken. Fill the cavity with the lemon, some carrots, rosemary stem and whole garlic cloves.
Prepare the roast pan. Place the rest of the carrots, garlic cloves, onion, rosemary around the bottom of the roasting pan and rack. Place the chicken on the rack. I like to roast with the breast down, this way it benefits from the drippings from the skin and dark meat. Again, we are not breast lovers, so we choose to roast the breast at the bottom to keep it nice and moist, if you love breast and want the crisp skin on it, then roast it on top.
Pop it in the oven at 450° and cook it for 15 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 325° and cook for just under 2 hours (for a 5-pounder). Once done, remove the chicken from the oven and allow it rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.
You can use the drippings to make a gravy.