Whether you cook a little or a lot, knowing how to roast a chicken should most definitely be something you know how to do! It takes very little effort to prep the bird for the oven, and the rewards start when those amazing aromas begin wafting, leaving you time to ponder side dishes, or life in general.
I do believe that if more people knew how easy it was to roast a whole chicken, they would do it. It’s the perfect thing to do on a Sunday afternoon, perfuming your home with one of the best kitchen scents around, and setting you up for not only the most delicious Sunday dinner, but with potential leftovers to help you get through the week.
Here’s what you need (other than the chicken of course):
- an oven proof pan that’s just big enough to hold the chicken (I use a skillet, wrapping the non-oven proof handle with a double layer of foil)
- a cutting board or cutting board liner to prep the bird on
- about a teaspoon each of salt and pepper in separate little bowls to avoid cross contamination (you’ll discard what you don’t use)
- a few inches of proper kitchen twine (don’t pull a Bridget Jones here and use blue string!)
After giving the chicken a generous seasoning, it goes in the oven for about 1 1/2 hours or by temperature until 165° on a thermometer. If you can baste once or twice after the first half hour of cooking, you’ll be rewarded with great colour & delicious skin! That’s it. Adding a ‘raft’ of veg underneath is optional, as is making a sauce with the pan drippings. You just might want to do both – instructions are included in the recipe. To keep side dishes easy consider something to make in the oven like roasted mini potatoes or fennel gratin. Tossed green salad is another great accompaniment!
Many times, the best things in life – and in the kitchen – are the simplest! Roasting a whole chicken is just that, and hopefully will become part of your kitchen routine. Here’s to Sunday cooking and good eating~
- 1 roasting chicken, about 2 lbs.
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 large carrot
- 1/4 cup wine or beer (optional, but adds a lot of taste)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon style mustard
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Remove the chicken from the fridge at least 30 minutes before you start cooking; you want it at room temperature for best cooking results.
- Dry the chicken with paper towels, then give it a good, generous all over seasoning, including the cavity, with salt & pepper.
- Twist the wing tips underneath.
- Tie the drumsticks together using kitchen twine.
- Let the chicken sit while you heat the oven to 375°F.
- At this point you can simply put the chicken in the pan, and into the oven for about 1 1/2 hours until golden & crispy, or until 165° on a thermometer - basting once or twice during cooking.
- Once cooked, remove from the oven and tent with foil for 15 or so minutes, giving the juices a chance to redistribute before carving.
- Cut the celery in 2 or 3 large pieces.
- Peel, halve, then quarter the carrot.
- Alternate as many veg will fit in the pan to make the raft, placing the chicken on top.
- They will be delicious - serve them with the bird!
- Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the pan to a plate and tent with foil.
- Remove veg to the same plate.
- Drain or spoon off the fat, leaving the cooking juices in the pan.
- Over medium high heat add beer or wine if using, let reduce for 1 - 2 minutes.
- Whisk in the mustard.
- Add stock, whisking until combined. Cook for a just few minutes, until slightly thickened.
- Pour into a serving cup or jug, and serve with the chicken.
- *Whether you make sauce or not, you should tent the chicken with foil for 10 - 15 minutes after cooking - like all things roasted, you want the juices to redistribute before cutting!
- **For some luxury, add a tablespoon or so of cream to the sauce.