Pulling a tender, juicy roast chicken with crisp, golden brown skin out of the oven is so rewarding. For a simple side, roast a pan of in-season produce like spring onions, ramps, new potatoes or carrots during the last 20 minutes of cooking.
1 Whole Chicken (4 Pound)
1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Remove neck and giblets from chicken. Trim off any excess fat from neck and tail end of chicken. Rinse bird with cool running water. Pat dry with paper towels, and season all over with salt and pepper.
Place chicken, breast side up, on a rack in a small-size roasting pan or a 9×13 inch-baking dish. Tuck wings back and behind bird to hold them in place. Roast, basting once or twice with pan juices, until skin is deep golden brown and juices run clear, about 1 1/2 hours.
An instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh should read 165 degrees. Let chicken rest for 15 minutes and then carve.
To add fragrant flavor, stuff the cavity with a halved lemon or orange and a handful of fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, and oregano.
Serve with an easy salad of greens topped with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and a drizzle of olive oil.
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 90 Minutes
Total Time: 110 Minutes
“Work With What You Got!”
©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2018 All Rights Reserved
Have you ever reached into the cavity of a fresh chicken and found it frozen inside? Poultry can be chilled to 26 degrees and still be considered fresh. Water may freeze at 32 degrees, but poultry flesh doesn’t freeze solid until it reaches 25 degrees. The extra few degrees will lengthen the shelf life of the chicken.
While many cooks are in the habit of rinsing poultry before cooking, it really isn’t necessary. You always cook poultry to a temperature that kills any harmful bacteria. In fact, it could be more dangerous to rinse the poultry, as you can end up splashing contaminated water all over the sink and kitchen counter.
After preparing poultry, reduce the chance of bacteria contamination by washing the cutting board, prep utensils, and your hands with hot, soapy water. It’s a good idea to reserve one cutting board for raw meat and poultry and a second board for other ingredients.
Broiler-fryer chickens are the all-purpose chicken, but you usually see them labeled simply as whole chicken. They used to average 3 1/2 pounds, but these days, you’ll find them up to 5 pounds, which means you get more servings per chicken. Roaster chickens tip the scales at 5 to 7 pounds, and are usually cooked whole in the oven. Even if you are serving a small group, it is worth roasting one of the larger chickens so you have leftovers for other meals.
The standard supermarket chicken is grown according to USDA standards, which allow antibiotics in the feed. Hormones and growth stimulants have been outlawed in poultry production since the 1950s.
Free-range chickens have access to the outdoors, which does not mean they live outdoors. The standards for organic chickens vary from state to state. In general, these birds, which are often also free range, must be fed organically grown feed and raised without antibiotics. Many cooks believe the flavor of free-range or organic birds is superior to that of supermarket chickens.
If you need to roast a chicken in record time, then butterfly it and roast it at a high temperature. With its entire surface exposed to the oven heat, the skin will be crisp and golden brown.
Be sure that whatever vessel you use for roasting a chicken can also be used on the stove top, so you can deglaze the drippings and turn them into a pan sauce. Enameled cast-iron baking dishes are a good choice.
You’ve paid for the entire chicken, so don’t throw anything away. The neck, heart, kidneys, and fat can be turned into quick chicken stock that will make just enough for many recipes, including a sauce for serving with the chicken. Don’t use the liver, as it will make the stock bitter. If you have butterflied the chicken, chop up the backbone and add the pieces to the stock, too. The stock won’t be as rich as a long simmered one, but it’s just fine when combined with pan juices.
Herbs are a wonderful flavoring for roast chicken, but they can burn if simply rubbed onto the skin. Combine the herbs with softened butter, and carefully slip the herb butter under the chicken skin, spreading it evenly. Roast away without worrying about singed herbs.
“Work With What You Got!”
© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2017 All Rights Reserved
I have loved chickens for many years. Twenty years ago I had a chicken coop built on my property where I lived in the Pacific NW. I raised laying hens so that I could cook with fresh eggs. During the day I let my hens roam my property and at dusk my son’s corgi would herd them into their coop. Each morning I would go out to the coop, thank the “girls” and gather beautiful fresh eggs. Those days are gone and I now live a much different life dividing my week between my apartment in New York City and my house in Fairfield County.
Here are some fun and interesting chicken facts:
Chickens are omnivores. In the wild they will scratch the soil searching for seeds, insects, young mice and lizards.
Alektorophobia means “fear of chickens.”
The older the hen the larger the eggs she lays.
Chickens with white earlobes lay white eggs. Chickens with red earlobes lay brown eggs.
Chickens can live for 5 to 10 years depending on the breed. According to, The Guinness Book of World Records, the world’s oldest chicken died of heart failure at age 16.
A fresh egg sinks in a bowl of water, and old egg floats.
Hens start clucking to the eggs a few days before hatching, making it more likely that they will all hatch at approximately the same time.
DNA evidence suggests that chickens are the closest living relatives to the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
The first pictures of chickens in Europe were found on 7th Century BC Corinthian pottery.
Eggs dry out more quickly in your refrigerator’s egg rack so it is best to leave them in the carton.
If you can’t remember which eggs you cooked then spin them. If an egg spins quickly then it is hard boiled. If an egg spins slowly and wobbles then it is raw.
It is estimated that there are four chickens to every human on the planet.
The egg carton was invented in 1911 by a Canadian newspaper editor named, Joseph Coyle, in Smithers, British Columbia
An egg standing on its end can bear up to 200 pounds. The record was set by the Ontario Science Centre.
For best results, eggs should be brought to room temperature when used for baking.
A plastic egg, golf ball or avocado pit placed in a nest will encourage a hen to lay in it. This is the origin of the term “nest egg.”
“Go away, boy! Or I’ll spank you where the feathers are the thinnest.” – Foghorn J. Leghorn