On Roasting a Chicken

by Lara on September 7, 2011

Things are crazy around these parts.

I had been planning a big fancy post about how to properly roast a chicken.  It was going to be very Martha Stewart.  It was going to have step-by-step photos.  It was going to include top-secret tips and special tricks.

Then I realized that roasting a chicken is actually not fancy.  It is not difficult.  Really, it barely counts as cooking.

So here’s my non-Martha post on chicken roasting.

Step 1:  Buy a chicken.

This is probably the hardest step, because if you’re a perfectionist like me, you’ll want to buy a local, organic, vegetarian-fed chicken, which may require you to sell a kidney in order to fund the purchase of said chicken.

Step 2:  Get your oven hot.

450F degrees is what I always use.

Step 3:  Clean out your chicken.  

Yes, it’s gross, but you have to do it.  Just reach in there and grab the giblets/gizzard.  Some people use this to make fantastic gravy, but I am too immature to do anything but throw them in the garbage can.  I still make decent gravy.

Step 4:  Season.

First, take a couple of paper towels and dry the chicken as much as you can, including the inside.  This will help get the chicken brown and roasty.  Yes, roasty is a word.

Then season the bird however you like.  I use kosher salt, pepper, garlic, fresh lemon juice and butter or olive oil.  Then I stick the lemon pieces inside the chicken for good measure.  You could get fancy and add bay leaves or white wine, but I didn’t have bay leaves and well, I’d rather drink the wine.

Step 5:  Roast.

Place that sucker in the hot oven and roast it for at least an hour.  I threw in some onion, celery, par-boiled potatoes, and carrots to spice things up, but that is not necessary.  Just make sure the chicken’s juices run clear when you cut into it, and that there is no pink in sight.

There you go, peeps.  If you have ever felt intimidated by the thought of roasting a chicken, I hope this helps.  No doubt there are more gourmet ways to do it, but I like to keep things simple.  I always like to make this dinner when the weather gets cooler.  It’s my ceremonious welcoming of autumn, and it makes the house smell glorious.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrea@WellnessNotes September 7, 2011 at 12:40 pm

There is just something about a whole chicken and the whole cleaning out thing that I don’t enjoy. But it’s the perfect dish when the weather gets colder… Love your instructions. I know, I’ll have Andy read this post and will put him in charge of roasting a chicken!! He was planning to cook more after all. Brilliant idea. I know! 🙂


Lara September 7, 2011 at 2:25 pm

I understand, but it’s not so bad once you decide to just do it and get it done with. I agree…Andy should make this for you!


~Andy September 7, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Before getting called out on FB, too (since via blog and Twitter are more than enough), I pledge to make roasted chicken! Thank you very much, ladies! 🙂


Lara September 7, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Hehe…sorry Andy 😉


~Andy September 7, 2011 at 3:35 pm

No worries. 🙂 And thanks to your great post, I’m really looking forward to “cooking” this meal.


glidingcalm September 7, 2011 at 3:51 pm

heck yea! i love me some roasted chicken! make some for meeeeeeeeeee!?


anneliesz September 7, 2011 at 5:45 pm

So, when’s dinner? 😉


Erin September 7, 2011 at 5:50 pm

THANK YOU. Not everything has to be all hard as hell! It’s not a souffle.


Maren September 7, 2011 at 9:40 pm

I still think roasting chicken is very Martha Stewart. Even if it is super easy, it sounds really challenging and advanced.


Lara September 8, 2011 at 9:59 am

I agree–it DOES sound quite challenging. Maybe I should have kept up the ruse that it is difficult 😉


Ruby September 8, 2011 at 2:53 am

Yes, roasting a chicken IS simple. The purchasing IS the hardest part, and the one thing that will make the biggest difference in taste. Great post!


Pure2raw twins September 8, 2011 at 5:39 am

I personally have never roasted a chicken but my mom has and I remember it being pretty easy 😉 I am not much of chicken fan anymore but my family and a few friends are so this would be perfect for them!


Sandy September 13, 2011 at 2:57 pm

There are only 2 of us in my household now. Can you get the same results from just roasting chicken breasts?


Lara September 13, 2011 at 2:59 pm

I would think you could get pretty close as long as you used skin-on meat. However, there’s only two of us as well, so I use the leftovers for lunch meat or to make soup!


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