Classic Roast Chicken

Classic Roast Chicken

If you’ve never oven roasted a whole chicken, I can assure you it is simple, fast and delivers some of the best chicken you will ever eat.   A whole bird offers maximum chicken enjoyment.   You have multiple cuts to choose from so everyone can have his or her favorite.  And, once the meat has been enjoyed, you simmer what remains in a pot to create flavorful broth.   For those of you who are strictly boneless, skinless breast devotees, consider trying a whole bird once in awhile.  You are truly missing out on some of the most delectable parts of the chicken.

The following is our simplest recipe for roast chicken.  Owning and operating an organic farm is more than a full time job and we cook all our meals.  Out of pure necessity and lack of time, we’ve learned how to prepare homecooked meals with straightforward methods.   With this recipe, you’ll have a whole bird plus roasted veggies on the table with minimum prep and about 1.25 hours roasting time.

Here we go.

1 – BBF whole chicken, completely thawed, approximately 3.5 – 4.5 lbs.

Salt, pepper, granulated garlic

Olive oil and/or butter

Fresh or dried herbs – our favorites are parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary

Sturdy vegetables – onions, potatoes, beets, parsnips, carrots, winter squash

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Chicken should be completely thawed and, if possible, left out of the fridge for 2-3 hours to come up to room temperature.  Remove liver, heart and set aside.   Neck can be seasoned and roasted with the chicken.   Pat chicken dry with paper towel.  Season with salt, pepper and granulated garlic on ALL sides and inside the cavity.   Drizzle bird with olive oil and rub seasonings all over bird.

Now prepare the vegetables.   Since you have the oven going and need veggies to go with dinner, roast them underneath and alongside the chicken.   Slice a large onion into 1/2″ thick slices and lay on roasting pan.  Add more sliced vegetables of your choice like potatoes, carrots or beets and place them on the roasting pan in a single layer.  Slice the veggies somewhat thickly because they do need to withstand a 1.25 hour roasting time so very thinly sliced veggies are not recommended.

Once veggies are arranged on your roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil.  Place seasoned chicken right over the top of the veggies.   We’ve done breast side up and breast side down – they both work!   Place in preheated oven and set your timer to 20 minutes.

Basting the chicken is not absolutely necessary but a single basting will give you crispier skin and who doesn’t love crispy chicken skin?!   We melt about 2 T butter or olive oil and throw in our favorite dried or fresh diced herbs like parsley, sage, rosemary or thyme.  After 20 minutes, remove chicken and brush all over with this herbed baste.  You can brush your veggies, too.

Place back into oven and roast another 40 minutes and then check for doneness.   Visually, the chicken is done when the drumsticks easily move back and forth and the skin has retreated from the ends of the drumsticks to reveal bone.  You can also use a thermometer in the thickest part of the breast without touching bone.   We call it done when the temp registers 165.

Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes and then enjoy what you’ve created along with a fresh green salad.

Post-Roast Chicken Enjoyment – Leftovers & Chicken Broth

After you’ve enjoyed all the delicious meat from your chicken, place all that remains of the chicken (except the liver and heart) into a stock pot and add water just to cover the carcass.   You can add a carrot, celery, small onion, a sprinkle of peppercorns and thyme OR you can simmer as is for a couple hours.  And, voila!   You have a basic chicken broth you can use to cook grains, make soup or just sip it on a cold day to lift your spirits.   Be sure to add salt to your broth to bring out the best flavor.