At our house, we roast a chicken every couple of weeks. That one chicken will feed our family for 2-3 meals, and it will also yield a large pot of broth (about 3 quarts). This is how I make it every time. It’s foolproof and only a few minutes to prep!
Prep time: 5-10 minutes. Cook time: 1 hour 45 minutes
- 1 roasting chicken, 3-4 lbs
- 1 fresh lemon, sliced
- 3 fresh garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- salt & pepper to taste
- a splash of olive oil
- 2-3 pats of butter (optional)
Take the chicken out of the refrigerator an hour before cooking to allow it to come up to room temperature. After patting it dry, place the lemon and garlic slices in and around the bird: in the cavity, under the breast skin, between the body and the legs, between the wings and the chest. Then sprinkle a light layer of salt, pepper and dried oregano over the entire bird. Drizzle a bit of olive oil in the bottom of a roasting pan (to prevent sticking), and place the chicken in the pan, breast-side up. It’s best to tuck the wings into the breasts to prevent burning. If the chicken is already wrapped in cooking twine, keep it wrapped. It cooks more evenly that way. If not, that’s fine too. Top the chicken with a few pats of butter. Cover. Light the oven to 375.
When the oven is pre-heated, place the covered bird in the center and roast it (covered) for an hour and a half. Then uncover and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to ensure doneness or, if the meat is pulling away from the leg bone you can be quite sure it’s fully cooked.
Remove from oven and allow the chicken to rest uncovered for 10 minutes before carving. Succulent and delicious: tender, juicy meat and golden, crispy skin. Generously drizzle the juices that formed in the bottom of the pan atop each serving. I usually serve this dish with a seasonal vegetable and either roasted sweet potatoes (make good use of that hot oven!) or rice cooked in broth.
Convenience tip: roast a chicken on the weekend, and then you’ll have quick and easy leftovers for Monday night.