How To Roast a Chicken

If you’ve never roasted a chicken, TRY IT!  It’s not as hard or time-consuming as you might think and you get a lot out of just one roasting chicken.  You can usually get:

Enough shredded chicken for at least 2 meals

14-15 cups of chicken stock

Yummy scraps for the dog

A delicious smelling house

For me, it’s all about the wonderful chicken meat and the stock.  If you cook with a lot of chicken stock or broth, you know this stuff is expensive!

Please note, I get that this post seems kind of funny right after a post about me doting on our 4 silly laying hens.  Be assured, the single ladies are most definitely our pets and will never see the inside of a roasting pot.  Just don’t tell them what we’re up to here in the kitchen!

Roasting a Chicken

You’ll need:Ingredients for Roast Chicken

1 roasting chicken (~5-6lbs)


1 medium onion

1 large carrot or 6-7 baby carrots

2 celery stalks

1 lemon

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 tsp dried thyme

Roasting Pan with Rack

  • Preheat the oven to 425˚.
  • Chop the carrot and celery and slice the onion.  Place in the bottom of the roasting pan.  Set the rack on top.

    Mirepoix for Roast Chicken
    These three vegetables are usually referred to as “mirepoix”.
  • Pull out any gizzards, neck, un-identifiable parts from the cavity of the bird.  Throw everything but the neck into a skillet.  Cook them up and your dog or cat will LOVE, LOVE, LOOOOOOOOVE you.

    This is what a pathetic dog looks like when she’s told she must wait for a picture before eating!
  • Wash the inside and outside of the bird with cold water.
  • Thoroughly pat dry with paper towels and sprinkle inside the cavity with salt and pepper.
  • Mix the minced garlic with the thyme and sprinkle inside of the cavity.
  • Roll the lemon a few times on the counter to get the juices going and pierce the skin with a fork all over.  Place this, too, inside the cavity.
  • At this point, you’re supposed to tie the legs together for even cooking and good looks.  I couldn’t find any kitchen twine and left mine spread eagle.  I really didn’t notice much of a difference.  You can also tuck the wings behind the bird.
  • Spread butter over the skin of the entire chicken and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

    Ready for Roasting!
    Ready for Roasting!
  • Place the bird onto the roasting rack and stick, uncovered, into the oven.
  • Roast for 1 – 1/2 hours until the breast meat reads 180˚ and the thigh meat is 190˚.
Roasting a Chicken-7

You can either serve this beautiful bird up as the main course for dinner or you can shred the meat for future meals.  We were planning on chicken enchiladas so I went ahead and divvied it up once it cooled a bit.  Here’s what I ended up with:Roasting a Chicken-8

You can see the carcass (bones, etc.) in one bowl, the wonderfully moist meat in the next bowl, and a small plate of scraps for the most spoiled dog in the world.  (Who, in the last 1 1/2 hours, had completely forgotten the fried up gizzards and was again looking pathetically up at me.  She got the parts that were a little less desire-able.)

Go ahead and throw out the mirepoix.  It’s job of flavoring the chicken is done and there’s not a whole lot of use for it unless you just love the taste of veggies sauteed in chicken fat.

Check back on Wednesday to see what to do with those bones!

  1. yummy Emily! i’m going to keep this and give it a try!! You amaze me at how creative and visually appealing your posts are!

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