The Fundamentals: Whole Roasted Chicken

Posted on November 5, 2016

The Fundamentals
Oven Roasted Whole Chicken
If you follow this website, and you definitely should because we are talented, insightful, hilarious gentlemen, then you know that we love preparing whole chicken. The bird was meant to be cooked intact. On the grill, we make beer can chicken and rotisserie chicken. We smoke chicken in our Bradley Smoker. Of course, they all taste great. But, their predecessor, the classic, the granddaddy of them all is the oven roasted chicken.

When we own all of these culinary toys, using an ordinary oven may seem dull. Au contraire, mon frère. Before you run, you must learn to walk.

We lived for two years in a rural Romanian village while serving as Peace Corps volunteers. There, we enjoyed limited access to foodstuffs. Our village had no grocery store. The locals raised their own animals and grew their own produce. There were a collection of small bodegas, but they offered narrow selection. We, however, could find frozen whole chickens. From 2005 to 2007, we consumed a ton of them and mastered the art of the roast.

We were inexperienced cooks. But, anyone can roast a chicken. It’s child’s play.

Heat the oven to 350° F. Cook the chicken in a roasting pan until it reaches an internal temperature of 180° F—or about an hour and fifteen minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven, let it cool, butcher it into quarters, and eat.

Oven Roasted Whole Chicken

Allow us to offer a couple of tips for elevating the experience.

  1. Apply melted butter the skin, then coat it with a rub of salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika to the chicken’s surface. However, do not neglect what lies below. Cut slits in the skin and using your finger, slide seasoning underneath the skin.
  2. Stuff the inside of the bird with halved lemons, garlic cloves and fresh thyme. This adds flavor and ensures peak juiciness.
  3. Use a rack in the roasting pan and beneath the rack, cook root vegetables. They soak up the goodness that drips upon them. Pictured above, we added onion, carrots and fennel bulb. In the Peace Corps, where we endeavored to maximize our meals, we included rice and extra chicken stock. Now, that’s a satisfying meal.
  4. Tie the bird together with butcher’s twine. It keeps everything in place.
  5. Employ a cooking thermometer, monitor it and remove the chicken precisely when it hits the target internal temperature. This prevents the meat from getting dry.

Happy roasting, friends! Feel free to share any insights that you glean.

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