Tips for the Perfect Roasted Chicken

January 16, 2014
January 21, 2014

How to Roast a Chicken

Whether you’re looking for delicious and nutritious comfort food to feed your family or something elegant and understated to serve at a dinner party or romantic candle-lit meal, when you know how to roast chicken, you’ve got a go-to entree for almost any occasion. Chicken is the most popular type of meat eaten in the United States, and it’s no wonder–it’s relatively inexpensive, is extremely versatile and is a good source of protein. Roasting is a slow-cooking method that uses dry, indirect heat. It’s perfect for chicken or other poultry because the meat cooks evenly and stays tender. And you can preserve the moisture of the meat by basting–either with butter, oil or juices from the pan–while it cooks. Serve your roasted chicken with whatever fresh vegetables are in season, and be prepared to serve up second helpings.


  1. Roasting: Very cold meat won’t roast evenly. Place it on the counter while preheating the oven.
  2. Durable cotton kitchen string is sold at kitchenware stores, most gourmet markets and large supermarkets. Do not use sewing thread or yarn, which may contain inedible dyes or unsavory chemicals.
  3. A heavy-duty, high-sided roasting pan is essential for conducting heat evenly. Never substitute a cookie sheet. A broiler pan will work in a pinch, but the roast will inevitably be somewhat chewier.
  4. Give it a rest. A roast’s internal temperature will rise about 10 degrees while resting. The natural juices will also reincorporate into the meat’s fibers and the skin or crust will dry out slightly for a more toothsome yet more succulent dinner. Items you will need:
  • 1   small onion, peeled and quartered
  • 3   cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
  • 3   sprigs fresh tarragon
  • 3   sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1  5  pound   chicken, giblets removed
  • 2   tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1   teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  1. Place onion, garlic, tarragon and thyme into the cavity of the chicken. Tie the legs together with kitchen string, mostly closing the cavity opening. Pull the wings so the tips overlap on top of the breast; tie in place with kitchen string. Rub the chicken with oil, salt and pepper. Set in a roasting pan, breast-side down.
  2. Roast the chicken for 25 minutes. Turn breast-side up and continue roasting, basting occasionally with pan juices, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, without touching bone, registers 175 degrees F, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest for 10 minutes. Remove the string before carving. Enjoy!

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