This is going to be a long, picture-less recipe blog post. Sorry! I have a pet peeve with picture-less recipe blog posts and here I am publishing one! I just don’t have a picture of my very own roast chicken because a)why would I? b)I’m usually quite hungry and ready to eat when this delicious roast chicken comes out and c)do you not know what a roast chicken looks like? 😉 I will add one next time we make a roast chicken! Promise! Anyway, read it and you won’t be sorry.
I used to dislike oven roasted chicken. It was always so dry. It could only be used to make chicken sandwiches with LOTS of mayonnaise.
However, one night we were watching Cook’s Country America’s Test Kitchen and our lives were changed. For reals.
Okay, so it wasn’t exactly life changing… but it was profound! Maybe it was life changing?!
Oh, anyway. We took notes as we watched the episode and I kid you not we haven’t had a dry chicken since. They come out perfect every time if you follow the directions to a T!
I’m small enough I think I can post our adaptation to the ATK chicken recipe. For now 😉
Firstly, you need a chicken. A whole bird. Sometimes called a fryer. Or a roaster. But a whole raw chicken! And it needs to be 4-5 pounds. No smaller.
And here’s what you need to go along with that chicken:
1 head garlic
You can also use any of your favorite chicken herbs. I like rosemary, sage and thyme. Fresh or dry is fine.
To start, get your oven preheating to 450*.
Wash you chicken (remove the bag inside!) and pat it nice and dry. Place it in a 9×13 glass baking dish. Truss your chicken! It’s important for a juicy and evenly cooked bird!
Cut the onion like you would cut an apple and then place pieces all around the chicken in the dish. Put some inside the bird if you’re feeling cheeky.
Peel the whole head of garlic. Click that link. Go on, do it. MIND BLOWN, right?! Cut the cloves in half and place them around the chicken (and inside!) with the onions.
Melt some butter. I’m not afraid of healthy fats, so I use about 1/3 cup of butter. Slowly pour it over the chicken and rub it in. Get it all over the top, wings and legs of the bird.
Sprinkle salt all over the bird, too. Yum.
Once your oven is fully preheated, place your prepared bird in.
Here’s where it get important!
You’re going to cook the chicken with the oven ON and then you’re going to cook it with the oven OFF. You’ll cook it at 450 for a set time, then – WITHOUT OPENING THE OVEN OR TAKING THE CHICKEN OUT – you’re going to continue to cook it with the oven OFF.
Here’s how the times breaks down:
4lb chicken – 30 minutes with oven ON at 450, then 30 minutes with oven OFF
5lb chicken – 35 minutes with oven ON at 450, then 30 minutes with oven OFF
Once it’s done with both cook times, remove the bird and let it rest 20 minutes. This is also super important because you want to give the bird a chance to not only cool before eating, but this rest time will lock in the juices so they don’t all come pouring out when you cut into the bird. Some juices will flow, don’t worry, but it will be nice and moist all the same!
Now for the best part! Eat it! Eat the skin, too. It’s super tasty. So are those onions, ohmygoodness. And the garlic? Don’t get me started. YUM.
And then pick the bones clean and toss the carcass (sorry, I dislike that word, too) and any leftover herbs, onions and garlic into your crock pot. Fill with water and cook on high for an hour or so until it’s bubbling and then switch to low. Cook 12-24 hours and you’ll be rewarded with a fabulous chicken stock!
Let me know if you try it out!