This roast chicken recipe may seem a little involved because you are cooking a whole chicken, but once you get the hang of it, it’s dead easy.
Cooking a whole chicken takes practice. The first time my Dad made this roast chicken dish there was a bit of howling from the kitchen as he tried to attempted to truss the chicken without the drumsticks slipping out of the string. But the results are just so darn good, he kept at it and its been in my repertoire. (Thank you Dad)
First, I make a brine for the chicken for the simple reason that the chicken will stay moist under the high heat of roasting. Yes- it adds to the recipe, but your home with nothing to do but become a better home chef!
- 4 – 5 lb chicken
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 6 bay leaves
- ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley
- ½ bunch thyme
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 8 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 3 ¾ liter or 1 gallon water
- combine and bring to boil and chill,
- remove the neck and innards from the chicken, then sit in the brine covered overnight for 10 hours or feel free to cut up the chicken into 10 pieces for 4 hours.
Once the chicken is out of the brine pat dry with paper towel. Extra-dry skin = extra-crispy skin. The chicken needs to be at room temperature before it goes in the oven, or the chicken will not cook evenly. DON’T skip the step of tying the chicken legs together. It keeps them closer to the body of the chicken and guarantees more even cooking. If you don’t have kitchen twine, use unflavored (I repeat, unflavored!) dental floss.
Ready to roast a chicken like a pro? Preheat your oven, grab the garlic and baste on with your bad self.
- 1 (4- to 5-pound) chicken
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lemon, halved
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
Preheat the oven to 475ºF with rack in center. Place the chicken in a roasting pan or cast iron skillet. Melt the butter with the garlic in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Brush the melted garlic butter all over the chicken. Season the chicken liberally all over (including inside the cavity) with salt and pepper. Place the two lemon halves and the sprigs of rosemary inside the cavity.
Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. (Keep it simple with a loop around each leg and knotted in the center.)
Roast the chicken for 1 hour basting it every 15 minutes by using a spoon and tilting the pan to collect the juices then spooning them atop the chicken, (this also keeps the garlic from burning) cook until and internal temp is 165ºF and the juices run clear (When testing the temp with a meat thermometer, insert it into the breast but do not touch the bone for an accurate reading.) Rotate the pan after every time you baste the chicken to guarantee even cooking.
Remove the chicken from the oven and transfer it to a cutting board. Allow the chicken to rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.