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How to Roast a Chicken

Updated on June 12, 2010
How to roast a chicken photo: svacher @flickr
How to roast a chicken photo: svacher @flickr

Why You Should Learn How to Roast a Chicken

Chicken is a healthy meat that also tastes delicious if prepared properly. Plus, chicken is cheap, and we all need ways to save money on groceries. Roast chicken is one of the tastiest ways to prepare a chicken. It's easy to do, and makes even beginner cooks feel like chefs. A roast chicken is very cheap, and it results in what seems like a luxurious meal. Plus, the leftovers can be reused. Even the bones can be reused to make homemade stock.Here is how to roast a chicken:

How to Roast a Chicken - Preparing the Bird

Figure about a pound of chicken for each person, so a five pound chicken will feed about 4 or 5 people.

Remove the giblets and neck bones from the cavity. You can either discard these or use them to put into a gravy or stuffing. If you are saving them for later, immediately refrigerate and use in a couple of days. Rinse the chicken thoroughly under cold, running water. Then pat it dry.

Put the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan. This keeps the grease away from the chicken, keeping it from becoming greasy and soggy.

Rub the chicken all over with butter, olive oil, or your choice. Then add your preferred spices. Simply salt and pepper will do. But sage, rosemary, and thyme- alone, together, or in any combination are excellent seasonings for roasted chicken.

To give roasted chicken even more flavor, add flavoring to the body cavity. Some ideas are onions, garlic, or lemons. I like to add butter, garlic, and lemons. An alternative is to stuff the chicken with dressing.

It's purely a matter of preference whether to truss a chicken or not. Trussing simply makes the bird look prettier. If you are short on time, untrussed poultry will cook more quickly.

How to Roast a Chicken

Next, put the chicken into the preheated oven.

Every 15-20 minutes, take the chicken out of the oven. Quickly shut the oven to keep heat from escaping. Use a basting brush to baste the chicken with its own juices. This is the secret to moist chicken with crispy skin.

If the chicken starts to get too brown before it's done, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.

How Do I Know if a Roasted Chicken Is Done?

The general guidelines for roasting chicken times at 350 degrees Fahrenheit are about 20 minutes per pound, plus an additional 15 minutes.

Chicken is one of the foods most prone to disease-causing bacteria, so it is very important to use a meat thermometer to test if it's done. Put the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, missing the bone. If it's done, the thermometer will read 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you don't have a thermometer, see if the drumstick wiggles easily. Insert a fork into a drumstick, the juices should be clear. And buy a meat thermometer!

Let the chicken sit for about 15 minutes before carving. You can use the juices from the roasting pan to make gravy if you wish.

How to Roast Chicken Video

How to Roast a Chicken Comments or Suggestions?

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    • mysterylady 89 profile image

      mysterylady 89 7 years ago from Florida

      You have given a clear, easy-to-follow recipe. Do you watch "the Barefoot Contessa"?

    • SteveoMc profile image

      SteveoMc 7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      I am going to have to show this to my wife, she likes to bake the chicken until there are no bones left. That takes quite a long time and insures that the chicken will be tough and dry. If I wanted that, I would buy one of the greasy messes that come precooked and frozen.

    • lizmoss71 profile image

      lizmoss71 7 years ago from Orpington, UK

      Very good hub, thanks.