Roast chicken is so easy, much fresher than grocery store rotisserie, and you have the option to buy an organic chicken.
We make this once a week. It is our healthy version of pot roast. This is more of a technique than a recipe. You can use whatever ingredients you like! It takes about 10-15 minutes to prep, then 90 minutes to roast, then 20 minutes to sit… so you have to plan ahead a bit. Great for a Sunday night. Note that you may have to rearrange your oven rack – there should be about equal space in the oven above and below the bird. If you need to remove a rack from the oven to accomplish this, remember to do so before you preheat the oven!
- One 4 to 5 lb. whole raw fresh chicken
- good extra version olive oil
- savory fresh herbs of choice (parsley, sage, rosemary and/or thyme)
- lemon (optional)
- 4 yellow onions, peeled and quartered
- 6 large carrots, cut into large pieces
- 6 large stalks celery, cut into large pieces
- 10 or more whole cloves of garlic, peeled (these become sweet during cooking – add as many as desired)
- Kosher salt and pepper (you could use table salt)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Unwrap the chicken. Remove anything found in either cavity (giblets, bags or organs – anything removable, there shouldn’t be anything loose in there). Discard whatever you find.
- Rinse the raw chicken in the sink and pat the skin dry with paper towels. It is important to dry the skin completely so it browns evenly.
- Place the chicken directly on the bottom of a heavy roasting pan.
- Rub olive oil all over the chicken with your bare hands – enough oil to coat the skin completely.
- Place the wings under the chicken, and tie the legs down with cooking string. The purpose of this step is to make a compact bird (i.e. not flailing) so that it will cook evenly.
- Sprinkle kosher salt and pepper all over the chicken and inside the large cavity between the legs.
- Place 4+ cloves of garlic in the large cavity, and spread the remaining garlic cloves around the bottom of the pan.
- Place lemon wedges inside cavity and/or around pan (optional).
- Place a bunch of fresh herbs 10-20 sprigs inside the cavity of the bird and/or around the bottom of the pan.
- Place 2 onion quarters in the cavity, and the rest around the bottom of the pan.
- Note: you don’t want to completely fill the cavity – I shoot for filling it about half way.
- Place the carrots and celery around the bottom of the pan.
- Put chicken in the oven and roast until a thermometer in the thigh registers at about 165 degrees, about 90 minutes for a 5 lb bird. If you don’t have a thermometer, you will know it is done when the juices run clear from the leg (test by cutting open skin), and the leg moves around completely to the point where you could just pull it right out of its socket.
- Cover the whole pan with foil and allow bird to sit for 20 minutes. This step allows the bird to reabsorb all its juices, which makes it very moist.
- Serve chicken and vegetables along side rice or couscous!
Whole bird recipes usually yield a pound per person, so a 4 pound bird will yield 4 servings.