Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Perfect Roasted Chicken

This is a fantastically easy way to cook a whole chicken. It's also a great way to practice for a Thanksgiving turkey, if you've never cooked a whole bird before. It's kind of like a practice run. :)

I bought this chicken at Super Target for $2.99. It was on sale. I was very excited.

The ingredients:

One 3 1/2 pound chicken, rinsed and patted dry; 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh herb (thyme, rosemary, and/or marjoram), plus extra for stuffing the cavity; 1 tsp. salt; freshly ground pepper; 1 lemon or orange, cut into eighths. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees and move the oven rack to the lower third of the oven. Then line a roasting pan with foil.

Now, I didn't have any fresh herbs, so I substituted with dry. I did 3 tsp. (one of each of the herbs I used, which were thyme, basil and parsley)

Do you like my little mixing bowl? I bought it at Target for 75cents. I use it for mixing dried herbs or for dipping sauces. I think it's cute!

Okay, here's my chicken all rinsed and patted dry. I checked the insides for giblets and removed any I found.

I cut my oranges.

I loosened the skin of the chicken breast and rubbed about half of the herb mixture underneath. The I dumped the rest into the cavity of the bird and rubbed it in. I stuffed the oranges in and could only get 6 of the wedges in, so I fed the other two to Julia, who's always hovering around waiting for me to feed her. I'm sure you're shocked.

I sprinkled the top of the chicken with salt and pepper and rubbed it into the skin.

Now, place the chicken into the the oven with the breast side up and the legs facing the back of the oven. This will help keep the breast from cooking too fast. Roast for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to 400. Cook for another 30-45 minutes, checking to make sure that the chicken isn't browning too fast. If parts of it do start to brown too fast, just cover those parts with foil. Once the chicken reads 175 degrees with a meat thermometer, it is done and get it out of the oven!

Cover the bird with foil and let it stand for 15 minutes so the juices can settle.
Don't forget to take all the orange or lemon wedges and fresh herbs (if you used them) out before cutting the chicken.

Look! It's perfect!

The chicken was very juicy. We all loved it and Evan couldn't carve the chicken fast enough--the girls ate the meat as soon as they were served and would beg for more!!

We ate ours with oven fries and roasted brussel sprouts. It was delicious! And, even with the piglets we call children eating as much as they could, we still had some leftovers!!


  1. VA,

    Can you tell me more about roasted brussel sprouts? I only recently discovered that I like brussel sprouts, but I've been afraid to cook them. Any tips? Thanks!

    - Chelsey

  2. Yes!!!!

    We eat them 2 ways: steamed or roasted.
    To steam them, I just cut them in half and steam them for about 15 minutes or so. Then I season them with salt and pepper and try to eat most of them because I don't like sharing brussel sprouts.

    To roast them, I cut them in half (I have found that cutting them in half is fantastic when cooking them) and drizzle some olive oil over them and some kosher salt and pepper. I put them on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven at 375 for about 20-25 minutes. Once the sides are kind of brown and crinkly, I consider them done. Then, I eat as many as I can because I don't like sharing them. :)

  3. Cool! We will be having brussel sprouts next week!

    I actually make sweet potatoe "fries" the same way... I peel them and cut them into thin strips, then put them on a cookie sheet with olive oil, kosher salt and pepper, then cook them at about 400 for 30 minutes or so (depends on how mushy/crisp you want them). They are delicious!