Roasted Chicken RecipeRoasted chicken is one of the tastiest, most satisfying dishes you can make. This tutorial will show you how to roast a chicken.
NOTE: This roasted chicken tutorial also includes the procedure for making gravy, starting with Step 9. If you're interested, here's more on how to make gravy.
Also see: How to Brine a Chicken
Time Required: 1½ hours
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Remove the neck and giblets (heart, gizzard, liver) from the chicken's body cavity and pat the bird dry, inside and out, with paper towels.
- Smear the outside and inside of the chicken with butter, then season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper — both inside and out.
- Truss the chicken securely with cooking twine. This step is optional, but it will help your roasted chicken cook more evenly.
- Roughly chop about half an onion and a single celery stalk and a single medium carrot. Scatter these chopped veggies (known as mirepoix) at the bottom of a roasting pan.
- Set a roasting rack over the chopped veggies and place the chicken (breast-side-up) onto the rack.
- Transfer the roasting pan to the oven and roast the chicken for an hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes (depending on size) or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 165°F. Don't poke too many holes with the thermometer, though — you don't want the juices to leak out.
- Remove the roasting pan from the oven, carefully lift out the rack with the roasted chicken on it and transfer the bird to a clean cutting board. Let it rest there, covered with foil, for about 10 minutes before carving.
NOTE: The optional steps that follow are for making gravy.
- Place the roasting pan over a medium heat on the stovetop to brown the mirepoix.
- Drain off any excess chicken fat (which you can use for making the roux in the next step), pour about 2 cups of chicken stock or broth into the pan and simmer until reduced by about a third.
- To thicken the gravy, add a small amount of roux, or combine 2 Tbsp cornstarch with 2 Tbsp cold water to make a paste (called a slurry) and stir this into the stock.
- Return to a boil, lower heat and simmer for a minute or so or until the mixture thickens, then strain through a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth.
- Season the gravy to taste with Kosher salt and black pepper.
- You can stuff the bird with fresh herbs or other aromatic items. Thyme, rosemary and marjoram are good choices, but any fresh herbs will do. A couple of lemons or oranges cut into wedges or some fennel fronds are also good for stuffing the chicken. But remember, these items aren't to be eaten. They're for adding flavor and aroma only. And of course, whatever you choose to stuff the chicken with, just be sure to do it before you truss the chicken!
- For an even juicier roasted chicken, push lumps of butter under the skin before roasting it.
- Add a few peeled cloves of garlic to the carrot-celery-onion mixture before roasting.
- Don't worry about basting the chicken. You let the heat out of the oven every time you open the door, and that's not good. Also, drizzling hot liquid from the roasting pan over the chicken breast merely accelerates the cooking, thus drying out the meat more than if you just left it alone.
- Instead of mirepoix, just lay a few slices of bread at the bottom of the roasting pan. As the chicken roasts, the drippings will soak into the bread and the bread itself will turn all toasty and delicious.
What You Need
- One whole chicken, about 4 to 5 lbs
- Roasting pan with rack
- Butter, Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Carrots, celery and onion
- Chicken stock or broth
- Butter and flour for making a roux, or cornstarch for making a slurry
- Instant-read thermometer
- Mesh strainer with cheesecloth
- Optional: Garlic, fresh herbs and citrus fruits such as lemons or oranges
- Optional: About three feet of kitchen twine for trussing