Roasted chicken with mashed potatoes, gravy and veggies is my perfect Sunday meal. The chicken takes a little while to make because of roasting time, but it really couldn’t be easier.
Roasted chicken is one of very few dishes I make that only requires three-ingredients: a whole chicken, salt, and pepper. That’s it! The last time I made it, I had some lemons and fresh rosemary on hand, so I stuffed them in the chicken. Stan asked me if I bought it a drink first. He thinks he’s funny.
You can prep it in five minutes, throw it in the oven, and in approximately one hour you’ll have a delicious chicken that’s crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
The neighbors always know when I’m roasting chicken because it looks and sounds like my house is on fire. Smoke pours out of the kitchen windows and the fire alarm usually goes off at least once. Poor ventilation, a convection oven and chicken grease really aren’t the best combo.
Stan came up with a new technique to somewhat mitigate the situation. We open all the doors and windows in the house. He puts one of those box fans in the kitchen window to suck out the smoke, and before I open the oven, he assumes his position and uses a newspaper to fan the smoke toward the window, away from the fire alarm. It’s an ordeal, but it’s well worth it.
When I make this dish, I usually roast two at a time so I have leftover healthy, homemade chicken to use in various meals throughout the week. And, if I’m feeling really ambitious, I make chicken stock – also super easy.
My family came over for dinner last Sunday, and I served roasted chicken with mashed potatoes, roasted cauliflower and green beans, a mushroom medley (from the freezer section at Trader Joes), and homemade gravy that I made with the chicken drippings. The chickens roasted for one hour, and I was able to make everything else in that time.
So many roasted chicken recipes call for lathering it in loads of butter or oil, but that just isn’t necessary. You’ll see.
You will need a roasting pan, and kitchen twine to truss the chicken. If you don’t have kitchen twine, you can use dental floss. Not ideal, but I have used it before, and it does work. If you don’t have dental floss, go buy some and use it. Dental hygiene is very important!
- 1 whole chicken, approximately 4.5 pounds (I prefer organic)
- One lemon
- 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 450 degrees
If you have a convection oven, great. If you don’t, no problem. Your roasting time may just be a little longer. It took me 60 minutes to roast two 4.5 pound chickens at 450 degrees on convection.
Step 2: Prep your chicken
Many chicken recipes instruct you to wash the chicken before prepping it. Don’t do that. It’s totally unnecessary and just gets chicken gook all over your sink. Cooking your chicken to an internal temperature of 165 degrees will kill any dangerous germs or bacteria.
There are two tricks to getting the ultimate crispy, juicy chicken:
- Make sure your chicken is completely dry: using paper towels, pat the chicken all over, including the inside, to get rid of any moisture. You want it to roast, not steam.
- Bring it to room temperature before cooking it: for optimal juiciness and shorter cooking time, let the chicken sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes before roasting. This is a good tip for cooking all meat.
Step 3: Load it up with salt and pepper
I am usually very conservative with salt, but not for this recipe. Since salt and pepper are really the only flavors, you want quite a bit on there. Season the chicken all over, including the inside.
Step 4: Stuff it (optional)
If you are going to stuff it, do it now. I stuffed each chicken with 1 lemon cut in half, and 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary. I think it adds a little extra flavor, and the lemons are roasted and delicious when they come out, and perfect for a drizzle.
Step 5: Tie It Up
Jeez, stuff it, tie it up… This is starting to sound like a chapter in 50 Shades of Grey.
Trussing your chicken will ensure your chicken cooks evenly. Despite the thousands of YouTube videos and articles on the internet that say it’s so easy to do, I can never seem to get it right. So, I just tie the legs together, and tuck the wings under the bird.
Step 5: Roast It
Put it in the oven on the middle rack, and set your timer for 60 minutes (unless you’re cooking smaller birds, in which case adjust your time accordingly.
When your chicken(s) are done, they’ll look like this:
While someone carves the chicken, you can make some gravy with the drippings.
Put your roasting pan on your stove over two burners, and turn them on to medium heat. Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of flour, and whisk it in to the drippings until it’s completely cooked, and there are no chunks of uncooked flour.
Slowly whisk in chicken stock, ultimately adding 1.5 to 2 cups.
Let it come to a quick bowl, and then reduce heat to low. Cook for a couple minutes, and then it’s done. Note: I don’t add salt or pepper because there is plenty in the pan from seasoning the chicken.
While the chickens were roasting, I cut two garlic bulbs width-wise, more toward the top. I coated them in salt, pepper, and olive oil, wrapped them in aluminum foil, and tossed them in the oven while the chickens roasted for about 40 minutes.
I boiled six pounds of peeled, quartered golden potatoes until they were soft enough to pierce through with a knife. Drain and return to pot. Add salt and pepper to taste, 2 tablespoons of butter (omit for dairy free and they’ll still taste great), and 2 cups of almond milk, adding one cup at a time. I like to (have my husband) mash with a manual masher first, and then I use an electric mixer to finish it off, mixing until smooth. And then let the cutest person in the house lick the mixers.
She likes to share:
While the chicken was resting, I tossed frozen cauliflower and green beans in olive oil and balsamic vinegar (just enough to lightly coat), and roasted them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.
And here it all is. From my family to yours, I hope you enjoy it! Please let me know how it goes if you do.