Learn to Roast a Perfect Chicken Already
Get off your roost and roast!
Ok, folks, it’s 2018 and you need to learn to roast perfect f#$%ing chicken already. The time has come for you to put down that dry rotisserie chicken from the grocery store (yes, even the one from Costco…and I LOVE Costco), and learn how to roast your own bird. It takes literally 15 minutes of prep and will taste SO. MUCH. BETTER.
Here are some things to consider before you get started:
1. Do NOT rinse your chicken.
More bacteria is spread by the splashing water than by just leaving your chicken alone. It’s going into a 425º oven, it will be fine. Heat = kill germs, so relax.
2. Towel Dry
Pat your chicken completely dry with paper towels – inside AND out. This will get rid of any slimy residue that you might be tempted to rinse off and will also allow for a super crispy skin!
3. Salt Bae
Season your chicken liberally on the INSIDE first. All of the flavor of your chicken will come from inside the cavity, so sprinkle a heaping amount of salt in there and stuff it with your favorite aromatics. You can even dry, season, then rest in the refrigerator overnight to dry that bad boy out. Dry bird = crispy skin.
4. Butter is Better
Whether you use melted or softened, rub that prized poultry down with some REAL butter – no spreadable oil here, people.
5. Racks on Racks
Make sure your chicken is not sitting directly on itself, i.e. roast it on a rack or on top of tasty vegetables so it doesn’t roast in it’s own fat and get SOGGY.
6. Nap Time
Make sure you let your chicken rest for AT LEAST 10 minutes before slicing into that bad boy. You want to savor those succulent juices, not clean them up after they run all over your counter, right? Tent the chicken with a foil blankey so it stays nice and warm, and give it some time to relax after it's trip in the oven.
Recipe below as adapted by our queen mother, Ina Garten.
Best Roast Chicken
Hangry Timer: 2 hours
What you need:
1 (5-6 pound) roasting chicken
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs (or any herbs you have)
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
*See notes below.
What to do with it:
Preheat the oven to 425º F.
Remove the chicken giblets.* Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the inside and outside of the chicken dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.
Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.
*Many tips for you here: Use any herbs you have on hand to stuff inside the bird, but just use SOMETHING - fresh or dry. You can also use any vegetables you have in your pantry/fridge, such as potatoes, celery, peppers, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, etc. They'll all turn out beautifully after roasting under this prized poultry. Enjoy!