I grew up on a small family farm so I’m well acquainted with raising chickens. One of my parent’s favorite stories is about the first time they sent my little sister and me up to “get a chicken for dinner.” We were 5 and 6 years old. We took the hatchet and hand-in-hand walked up to the chicken coop (not knowing that our parents were creeping up behind us with video camera in hand). Catching a chicken went pretty well, but the chopping part was a bit more of a challenge. But we did it and proudly carried a chicken home between us when we returned home.
To this day this is still my comfort food. I roast a chicken every couple of weeks for my family!
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cooking Time: 40 mins
Serves: 4 – 6
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Rinse the chicken, and then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out.
Salt and pepper the entire bird and cavity. Drizzle olive oil all over the bird and then massage salt, pepper and poultry seasoning over the bird so that it has a nice uniform coating that will result in a crisp, salty, flavorful skin. When it is roasted, you should still be able to make out the salt baked onto the crisp skin. Season to taste with pepper.
Then tuck the wings behind the neck or truss the bird. Trussing is not difficult, and if you roast chicken often, it’s a good technique to learn. When you truss a bird, the wings and legs stay close to the body; the ends of the drumsticks cover the top of the breast and keep it from drying out.
Place the chicken on a roasting pan and when the oven is up to temperature, put the chicken in the oven. Roast it until you can smell it (20 minutes) and then turn the oven down to 350˚F for 40 minutes or until the juice runs clear (internal temperature 165° F). Remove the perfectly roasted bird from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board.
Remove the twine (if trussed). Separate the middle wing joint and eat that immediately (I like to pick and make sure it is good). Remove the legs and thighs and eat one of the oysters, the two succulent morsels of meat embedded between the thigh and backbone, and give the other to the person you love.
Cut the breast down the middle and serve it on the bone, with one wing joint still attached to each side. Serve with mustard on the side and, if you wish, sauté onions and mushrooms to accompany.
Rad Remix: To make this a one-pot meal roast chicken over root vegetables, tomatoes, mushrooms, and/or vegetables of choice.