This is a very simple recipe for cooking chicken, delicious right out of the oven, or the next day for salads, sandwiches, chicken pot pie, etc.
It does take about 2 – 2.5 hours to cook a 5 – 7 LB chicken. (about 20-25 minutes per pound). I love crispy chicken skin, to achieve this, I use the high heat method. This requires pre-heating the oven to about 450 degrees, cooking the chicken for about 15 minutes, than lowering the temperature to 350/375 to finish off the cooking.
If you don’t have 2 – 2.5 hours to cook a whole chicken, you can buy bone-in and skin-on chicken pieces (or carve up the chicken yourself). Your cooking method is basically the same, just reducing the time to about 45 – 60 minutes. Keeping the bone in and skin-on results in the best flavor and juiciest chicken. Still very delicious!
Serves about 4 – 6 people
1` 5 – 7 LB whole roaster chicken (or chicken parts with bone-in and skin-on)
1 stick unsalted butter, softened at room temperature or a quick shot in the microwave
1.5 TBS dried herb blend (like Italian, Herbes de Provence) Or you can use fresh herbs of your choice
Juice of 1 lime *(The lemon and lime give a nice bright tang to the flavor – they can be omitted if needed)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or finely chopped
1.5 TBS kosher Salt
1.5 TBS pepper
If you wish to make a gravy/sauce, then you will need the below ingredients:
1 14 oz (approx. 2 cups) can low sodium/fat chicken broth
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 carrots, rough chopped (about 2/3 cup)
2 stalks celery, rough chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 small onion, rough chopped
1 med sized Yukon gold potato, washed and cubed (any potato will do, but Yukon Gold potatoes have a thinner skin)
2 TBS flour for a slurry if needed to thicken sauce
PREHEAT oven to 450 degrees
- Place a wired rack in a roasting pan with about 2 – 3 inch sides.
- Add the chopped carrots, celery, garlic, potato and onion to the bottom of the roasting pan and scatter over the bottom of the pan.
- Remove chicken from packaging, remove any gizzards or parts from inside the chicken cavity. Rinse chicken under cold water, be sure to rinse inside the front and rear cavity. Pat dry with a paper towel.
- Place the chicken on the wire rack until ready to season.
- In a bowl or food processor, place the butter, salt, pepper, herbs, garlic, lemon and lime juice and mix well.
- Using bare hands, or latex gloves, smear the butter mixture in side the cavity of the chicken, use your fingers to loosen the skin on the chicken breast, and stuff more butter under the skin. Then use any remaining butter mixture to smear all over the outside of the chicken, front and back.
- Remove your gloves and/or wash your hands throughly with hot soapy water to prevent cross contamination of the raw chicken.
- This step can be skipped, however, keeps the juices in a bit. Truss the chicken – I usually just tie together the legs with butchers twine to keep them in. If you do not tie them, not a big deal. However, if you chose to stuff the chicken, you should truss the chicken.
- Pop the chicken into the oven for about 15 – 20 minutes at 450. After the 15/20 minutes, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees.
- After a total of 30 minutes has passed, open the oven door and baste the chicken with the juices on the bottom of the pan. Continue to baste every 15/20 minutes. If the bottom of the pan is dry, add in the chicken stock.
- The chicken stock should be added after about 1.5 hours of total cooking time. This gives the stock a chance to mix and get flavored with the vegetables and juices from the chicken. This will be the base for your sauce. If you are using chicken parts and they are directly on the bottom of the pan, hold off on adding the chicken stock until after the chicken is done.
- When you notice the chicken is nice, brown and getting crispy, time to check the temperature of the chicken. For a whole chicken this is typically after 1.5 – 2 hours of cooking time. You will need to insert a meat thermometer between the thigh and the chicken. The temp should read about 160 degrees, if not, it needs more cooking and give it another 15 – 20 minutes then check again. If it is at or exceeds 160 – pull it out of the oven. Chicken is fully cooked at 165. Since the chicken will continue to cook after taking it out of the oven, it is save to pull it out when the temp reads between 160 – 165.
- Lift the chicken and tilt to let any juices in the cavity to stay in the pan. Move the chicken to a cutting board and tent it with a sheet of aluminum foil and let sit for 10 minutes. This will let the chicken finish cooking and the juices redistribute.
- in the mean time, make the sauce: Pour the contents from the bottom of the pan into a stove top safe pot. Bring to a simmer for a few minutes. If you can, puree the mixture with the vegetable bits as this adds good flavor and improves consistency. If not, strain the sauce and return it back to the sauce pan.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. If it is too salty, you can adjust by adding cream/or sour cream depending on your taste goal.
- If you like the flavor, but it is too thin, then make a slurry and add to the simmering sauce. A slurry is made by putting 1 – 2 TBS of flour into a covered jar and add 1/4 – 1/2 cup of cold water. shake vigorously to remove lumps. Slowly, in a stead stream, and while whisking, add 1/2 of the mixture to the sauce. Continue whisking and let it simmer for a few minutes. If still too thin, add more of the slurry. If good – leave it be.
Carve the chicken, or plate the chicken pieces and you are now ready to eat. This is great with any roasted vegetables and/or potatoes.
Save the bones for a great CHICKEN STOCK, just add the bones to a deep sauce pan, toss in roughly chopped onions, celery, carrots, garlic, a mix of Italian herb mix or any other veggies/herbs. Sautee for about 7 – 10 minutes, then add enough water to cover the contents with an extra 3 inches higher. Simmer 3 – 4 hours. Strain and reduce if needed to strengthen the flavor.
I often use the left over chicken and sauce for a base in CHICKEN POT PIE. This is simple weekday dinner finished in about an hour.
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
- Cut up any chicken left over into bite sized pieces.
- Add the sauce to a pan with a small bag of frozen peas/carrots (or use fresh), diced fresh onions and finely diced potatoes. If too thick, you can add water and/or more stock (chicken or vegetable).
- Let simmer until the potatoes are just cooked through. Then add the chicken back in and turn off the heat.
- While the dish is cooking, prepare a baking pan using either puff pastry or fillo dough.
- If using puff pastry – line the bottom first, poke holes with a fork and bake for 15 minutes to set the puff pastry and keep it from getting soggy when you add in the filling. After you add the filling, top off with another layer of puff pastry.
- For Fillo dough, line the bottom with about 6 layers, basing with butter in between, be sure to have the dough go up the sides of the pan, then add the filling and top off with about 6 more layers of fillo dough. You don’t need to pre-bake.
- When assembled, bake for about 45 minutes, or until the top is browned and the filling hot.
My son loves this. I mix up the veggies I use and cut up the ones he doesn’t normally eat small enough it is easier for him to eat them vs trying to dig them out. 🙂