Sep 21 09
by cara
at 8:12 PM
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Perfect Roast Chicken

How is it that I’ve never roasted a whole chicken before?  I’ve roasted 4 or 5 turkeys for holidays, but never a chicken.  For the past year or so, I have purchased a rotisserie chicken nearly every other week from the grocery store.   I guess I thought that buying rotisserie was the easiest thing to do, but it is definitely NOT the cheapest way to go.  And it turns out that roasting a chicken at home isn’t that hard, and yields some really flavorful results.  It only takes about 10 or 15 minutes to prep (and I’m sure it gets easier with time), so don’t be intimidated.  For extra flavor, tuck butter and rosemary between the skin and the meat in addition to filling the cavity.  You can use the browned bits left in the pan to make a pan sauce, but for now I’m just keeping it simple!

I served my Roast Chicken with Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes and a Spinach Strawberry Salad.  The next night, I removed all the meat from the chicken bones, used some of it for Chicken Tortilla Soup and froze the rest for future use.  To stretch this chicken even further, I used the chicken carcass (ew!  Hate that word!) to make my first ever batch of homemade chicken stock (12 cups!).   I’ll share all these recipes soon.  That’s a long way to stretch a chicken!

Perfect Roast Chicken

Perfect Roast Chicken

adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School


  • 1 fresh whole chicken (about 4 pounds)
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lemon, cut into ¼ inch rounds
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

Prepare Chicken: Heat oven to 450 degrees F.  Remove giblets and liver from cavity; discard (or reserve for another use).  Let chicken rest at room temperature 1 hour.  Trim excess fat from cavity.  Rinse chicken thoroughly under cold water, inside and out, then pat dry, making sure the cavity is as dry as possible.  Season cavity with salt and pepper, then stuff with lemon, rosemary, and garlic.  Rub skin with 2 tablespoons butter.  Tie legs together with twine.  Season all over generously with salt and pepper.

Roast:  Place chicken in a large ovenproof skillet or a small roasting pan (filled with a rack, if desired).  Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh (avoiding bone) registers 165 degrees F, 50 to 55 minutes.  Transfer chicken to a platter.  Let rest for 10 minutes.

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  1. That is a beautiful, beautiful bird. Look at how golden the skin turned out!

  2. I have just added ‘1 4lb roasting chicken’ to my grocery list. I have wanted to try this ‘rubber chicken’ idea (I didn’t coin that phrase but I can’t remember where I heard it) for a while but I’ve always been so intimidated! Do you put any liquid in the pan?

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