There is something about a perfectly executed whole roasted chicken that gets the taste buds drooling. One of My Mr.Tasteful favorite foods is Roasted or Baked Chicken. My mother in-law made the most delicious baked chicken, its been hard to replicate her. I finally found my favorite way of cooking a whole chicken after many attempts with so many variations from brining, cheese cloth, and basing. If you are like me, my biggest pet peeve is a soggy skin. I want or prefer a crispy skin, this is devoured by Mr.Tasteful & my Little Cupcake. I really like the way this chicken turns out every time, it’s easy! Now that I have perfected it I like to share that with you. Its very easy!
I always stock up and buy antibiotic/hormone free chickens when on sale for $.99lb or less. The average while chicken cost about $5.00 or less.
Why do I like to bake the whole chicken? I can use all the parts of the chicken to create a couple dinners and chicken stock plus my chicken base. We eat small portions of proteins so we are able to use half of the chicken for one meal. Then I am able to split up the rest of the chicken for tacos, enchiladas, soup, pasta, salad or chicken pot pie. Then I save the carcase and the wings to make my chicken stock. During the summer months however I tend not to turn on the oven very often and I will buy rotisserie chicken from Costco for $5.00.
I keep my flavor base of my roasted chicken simple. Of course if you don’t plan on having any leftovers, or you choose complimentary flavors you can change the flavor of the chicken with different herbs or a citrus fruit. I do enjoy sage, thyme or rosemary. If I want a spicy chicken I will use cumin and chili powder. However I don’t like to use these herbs if I plan to use leftovers for other meals that require another flavor. For example I wont use sage if I plan on making tacos because that is not a universal herb or an herb I want in my tacos. I would use a sage herb flavored chicken in a pot pie or soup though.
There is no right measurements in my opinion when it comes to cooking roasted chicken, its all about your taste buds and your preferences. So I will give my general measurements, but you may need to adjust to meet your personal preferences. One tip, if you use “table salt” you may need to use less then what my measurements indicate. Table salt is more fine compared to sea salt or kosher salt. I also use fresh ground pepper which is also courser compared to pre-ground pepper, again you may need to adjust measurements for your personal preference & ingredients.
Make sure chicken is defrosted completely. When I want to defrost a frozen chicken I remove from freezer and place in a bowl and let defrost for 24 hours in the refrigerator. OR I place the chicken in a bowl (or in my sink) start off with lukewarm water then allow water to get cold from the frozen chicken, don’t change the water, you want cold water, and in a few hours (5-8 hours) chicken is defrosted. If you have time, I recommend letting chicken come to room temperature, or at least until its not super cold, about 30 min. Remove from packaging and let it sit out for 30 min. Letting the chicken come close to room temperature will allow for better roasting and even cooking. I rinse my chicken off with cold water then pat dry with paper towels. It important to get the chicken completely dry on the outside. Wet skin will not crisp up as well, it leads to longer cook time but then the meat dries out.
1 whole chicken (3 to 5lbs)
2 Tablespoons of semi-melted butter (I use salted butter)
2-4 cloves of garlic minced (depends on size of cloves and how strong of garlic flavor you want)
1/2 teaspoon of dried herb you like, such as parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage (optional)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Oil – You can use whatever oil you like/have. I use Canola Oil because of the high burning capabilities. I love olive oil however it burns easy and I find my oven smokes more, but I still recommend it if that what you have.
In a microwave safe bowl add butter, garlic, herb, heaping 1/4 tsp (I will use 1/2 teaspoon) of salt & 1/4 tsp of pepper and place into microwave until butter starts to melt (for me its about 10 seconds) but not completely If butter melts completely that okay, just let it cool a little.
Using your fingers gently lift skin from meat of the chicken breasts and legs. Then using your hands or a spoon place butter mixture under the skin and rub under skin until covered all over. If your chicken is cold the butter will start to thicken, that’s okay. As the chicken cooks butter will melt and spread. If you have any butter mixture left I will rub on the outside of chicken.
In a separate little container take remainder of sea salt and oil and mix together. Then rub all over the top and sides of chicken. The reason? I really like how the salt clumps together when it bakes, creates a unique skin texture, almost flaky crust. Ive tried rubbing the oil then just shaking the salt on top, however I do not always get the same crust. Therefore mixing oil and salt together into a paste really makes a difference to me.
Optional Step: Do you stuff the cavity of the chicken? If you ever want to add more flavor to chicken I like to place a couple chunks of lemon, I will also use a quarter of a small onion and stuff it in the cavity. The more you stuff inside the cavity it may effect the cooking time, don’t over stuff the cavity. I do not always stuff the cavity, it’s not a necessary step, just an option if you like to add to the flavor of chicken.
Chicken is ready. Place in a baking dish, I like a 9×13 glass dish.
Pre-heat oven to 415 or 425 depending on how hot your oven runs, if oven runs hot place on 415. Once oven is hot place chicken into oven and bake for 30 minutes. I do not base my chicken, I leave it alone. After you roasted chicken for 30 min at 415, turn temperature down to 350 and let chicken cook for an additional 45min to 1 hour (depending on size of chicken) or until the leg of chicken jiggles easily when you try to wiggle it. Another good indication is if the liqued is no longer pink (look between the leg and thigh of chicken for juice color), The juice will run clear or golden brown like color. If you have a small chicken that weighs about 3.5lbs check after an additional 30 minutes. If chicken is 4+lbs I suggest an additional 45 min for cooking time. If chicken is 5+lbs then roast for an additional 1 hour.
Once chicken is done remove from oven and let rest for 10-15 min. This will allow the juices of the chicken to be soaked into meat, it also allows the chicken to continue cooking. Once 10-15 minutes is up carve chicken and serve.