The Stock Pot: Fundamental Recipes – Classic Roast Chicken

Classic Roast Chicken

The Stock Pot: Fundamental Recipes – Classic Roast Chicken

Almost every grocery store in America now offers those small, hot-off-the-rotisserie chickens that even I admit to purchasing occasionally for a quick-fix dinner. But for some reason, it seems that many people shy away from roasting their own birds at home, save Thanksgiving and Christmas. This made me curious so I began asking around. Some people shrugged and said they only do turkeys at holiday time. Some said they never thought about roasting a whole chicken. Some claimed that it was too time-consuming (it’s not). But the most cited answer was really surprising:  cooking a whole bird is too intimidating. I couldn’t believe it! People were chicken about roasting chicken!

Hopefully, I can help change that because I think everyone should have a good, old-fashioned recipe for roasted chicken. Besides having the Rockwellian romance of gathering around a whole bird at the table with family and friends, there’s nothing quite like the homey smell of a freshly roasted chicken. But what people don’t realize, is that it is also one of the simplest and economical dinners to prepare.

This recipe yields tender, juicy meat and crisp skin (thanks to a dry brine) that is perfect on its own, as a springboard for some crafty leftovers, or as a basic recipe for chicken salads, pot pies and enchiladas. So, get creative and play around with the possibilities. And relax! It’s so easy to prepare, there’s nothing to be “chicken” about!

The Stock Pot: Fundamental Recipes – Classic Roast Chicken
 
 

Author:
Recipe type: Entrees, Chicken
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • one whole roasting chicken (5 to 6 pounds)
  • kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 lemon, halved

Instructions
  1. Remove the bag of giblets from the chicken. Rinse the chicken thoroughly inside and out; pat dry. Liberally salt the chicken inside and out. Place the chicken in a roasting pan. Refrigerate uncovered for 2 hours or up to overnight.
  2. About 30 minutes before you’re ready to roast, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the butter and olive oil. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and olive oil and season with several grinds of pepper. Stuff the cavity with the thyme, parsley, bay leaves, garlic, onion and lemon. Tie the legs together with some kitchen twine and tuck the wing tips under the chicken.
  3. Roast the chicken for 1-1/2 hours, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 to 170 degrees, the chicken is golden brown and the juices run clear. Remove the chicken to a platter and allow to rest 15 minutes before carving.

Notes
…from the Picture-Perfect kitchen: Planning: The dry brine not only seasons the bird, but makes the skin crispy – so if you can do it a day ahead, you’ll get more flavorful results. But don’t be put off by its appearance as it brines and dries out in the refrigerator – the skin will become translucent, which is completely normal but will brown beautifully in the oven. Product Purity: Using unsalted butter in all your cooking and baking allows you to control the amount of salt in your finished dish. Plus, it has a cleaner, fresher taste. Presentation: If you want to serve roasted vegetables, place whole new potatoes, thick-cut carrot and celery slices in the roasting pan with the chicken. Garnish the chicken with fresh thyme, parsley and bay leaves just before serving. © 2012 Hutchstone, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

You might also like:

Homestyle Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pan Pie with Savory Biscuit Topping

Easy Chicken Enchilladas with Green Chile Sauce

Content and photography © 2012 Hutchstone, LLC. All rights reserved.

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9 Responses to The Stock Pot: Fundamental Recipes – Classic Roast Chicken

  1. Colleen Sommer says:

    I roast chicken at home often and never heard of dry brining, sounds great! Anyway, I have a question. I recently purchased a 2.5 quart enameled roasting pan, is that big enough for a small bird, are there any considerations for using such a small pan? Like, touching the sides, using a rack, etc…Thanks!

    • Hi, Colleen – it may be a snug fit, but your bird will roast fine if it touches the sides of the pan a bit (as long as it’s deep enough to catch any juices). Hope that helps!

  2. Sarah says:

    This looks like a great recipe! I’ve never tried roasting a chicken, but I would love to try it soon. Just a quick question, should the chicken be covered as it is roasting? Thanks!

  3. Pingback: Homestyle Chicken Pot Pie | Picture-Perfect Meals

  4. Susan says:

    I am frankly mystified as to why one would buy a supermarket rotie bird when one could be ‘smelling’ up one’s home with that wonderful spicy smell of a roasting chicken! Busy day, easy supper with time to drink a cocktail and read the paper or chat while dinner roasts away … your technique is perfect and the photo is just mouthwatering …

  5. I am guilty as charged too…Roasted chicken is my favorite so from time to time we do get it from the store however more often “roasted bird” find its place on our dining room table made in my oven because nothing says Sunday lunch for me than roasted chicken with potatoes:) So i do roast it more at home. Fantastic recipe, and mouthwatering photo.

  6. KC Kahn says:

    I dry brined a Turkey last year and it was the best result ever! I’ll be doing it again this holiday. I think a roasted chicken is just the best comfort food. I’m doing my Easiest Ever Roasted Chicken tonight after a long bike ride today! Love your site and I’ll be visiting often!

  7. I found roasting a chicken at home to be relatively easy to do. I love being able to control the added sodium and seasonings. I’ll be giving your recipe a try soon. I like the addition of lemon.