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Anyone have a good whole chicken recipe?

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I've never roasted a whole chicken before, but I am really interested in trying. Does anyone have a good (and easy) recipe for a whole chicken? Or any general tips on roasting a chicken?

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The simplest is the best. Here's Martha Rose Shulman's method, one I even wrote an essay about, it is so charming:

Wash chicken in cold water inside and out, pat dry. Salt and pepper the inside. Rub a goodly amount of olive oil into the skin, then salt and pepper the breast, place the chicken that side down in an oiled shallow roasting pan. Rub oil on the back side, salt and pepper again.

Roast fifteen minutes at 450, then reduce the heat to 350. Turn the bird over about halfway through the total time (you want about 20 minutes total roasting time per pound; I get very fresh chickens so I usually go an extra 10 minutes or so). Be sure to shut the oven door when you take the chicken out to turn it so as to not lose heat.

I turn the bird with a couple of wooden spoons, one inside and one out. It's not elegant, but it keeps the skin from being torn on metal tongs.

For variety, add lemon juice, lemon zest, rosemary, oregano, tarragon, or any chicken-friendly herb, dried or fresh. This is truly my favorite way to eat chicken. The breast is moist and the dark meat is to die.

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I absolutely swear by this Jamie Oliver recipe. Takes about 10 minutes to prep and then it's in the oven. I've used it about 5 times during my whole 30 and it's never failed me. http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/chicken-recipes/perfect-roast-chicken

Then I turn it into chicken stock with this recipe: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/chickenstock_1294

I usually roast the chicken one night, and if it's getting a bit late I put all the bones in the fridge and the next evening put the stock on to simmer for about 4 hours. Then I leave it outside overnight to chill (becuase it's cold where I live). This time I reduced the stock a lot and froze it in 1 cup and 1/2 cup portions for easy use.

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This recipe turned out the tastiest: http://www.wholelifeeating.com/2011/09/herb-and-curry-roasted-chicken-with-carrots-and-onions/

Here is a variation of the same recipe: http://www.wholelifeeating.com/2011/09/herb-roasted-chicken-with-zucchini-carrots-celery-and-onion/

Here is another approach where I cut the chicken into pieces first: http://www.wholelifeeating.com/2012/04/roasted-chicken-butternut-squash-broccoli-artichoke-hearts-and-onions/

There are more chicken recipes on my site on the index page.

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Since starting my W30 I have been cooking a chicken each week to have on hand for any time I need a quick start to a meal or a grab and go lunch. I have never roasted one breast side down but I have heard of people doing it that way so yesterday I thought I would give it a shot. Ok, so I don't know if the breast meat is any more moist but I did find out one very important fact: when roasted breast side down the skin on the under side of the bird becomes the most crispy and delicious substance on the face of the planet!!! Seriously. Now that the sugar dragon is safely locked away I may need to find a program to help with my issues with crispy chicken skin!!! It's gonna be a problem!

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I like to use my crockpot for ease and for those days I am out and about.

I just season the inside and outside of the chicken really well with salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. Put the chicken breast side down in the crock and cook on low for 6 hours.

The juice accumulates in the bottom of the crock; I keep the chicken bones, any skin not eaten, scraps, etc. and throw them into the crock with the cooking juice, add water, carrots, onions and cook overnight on low and voila! The next day, you have wonderful chicken bone broth! And all in one pot!

Pea

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If you want to speed up the process of roasting a chicken, try nom nom paleo's spatchcocked chicken. (That just means you cut out the backbone so you can lay the chicken out flat.) I usually roast the backbone, too, so I can add it with the carcass to make stock. I made this last night, and I just put the backbone on a piece of foil and put it in the oven next to the cast iron skillet in which my chicken was roasting.

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I think the best way is when you blast it at high temp to get a crispy skin. If you spatchcock, as in above post, you can cook it the whole time like this. (She uses a brined chicken, which will be more moist--but I did a pastured chicken unbrined the other day and it was deliciously juicy even without the brine--with a nice crispy skin.) I have done small turkeys in this same way and they come out amazing--especially if you cook your bird on a wire rack over roast pots and veggies. (You can also nestle your veggies in beside the chicken in the same roasting pan.)

I usually rub fat not only on the skin but under it as well. If you season your fat (herbs, spices, etc.) the flavor seems to seep in better.

But the real secret to perfect chicken (or any meat except slow-cooked) is temperature. I have an instant read and one that you poke in and attach to a digital therm/timer that will go off when set temp is achieved. I use the second kind for a whole chicken:165 for breast and 175 for thigh. When you do the spatchcock, breast and thigh come to the right temp around the same time, whereas with a plain old roast the breast usually starts to dry out a bit before the dark meat is finished cooking. Though I have tried the Martha Schulman approach and it works out very nicely.

I also always use my carcasses for broth (slow or pressure cooker)--but I have shied away from the slow-cooker for a whole chicken because we love crispy skin. But it does sound easy!

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Seconding the butterflying/spatchcocking. I make sure I put salt and flavourings under the skin of the breast and it makes the breast meat super-tasty!

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I made this rub/paste concoction last night:

Mixed up orange rind, dried rosemary, kosher salt, pepper, Trader Joe's crushed garlic (which is like a garlic paste – I love this stuff!) and olive oil. I had about 3 T. total of the paste with these ingredients.

Rubbed half of the paste under the skin to flavor the meat.

Squeezed juice from those oranges on the skin.

Rub the rest of the paste on the skin.

Place orange scraps (add a second orange if you like) and cut lemon in dish with the chicken.

Set in a stovetop-safe dish (I used my Le Creuset roaster) and roast until meat is right temp.

Let rest for 15 minutes with foil tent on top.

Remove chicken to cutting board.

Place roasting pan on simmer and let cooking juices reduce.

Serve chicken with pan juices on top.

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I am really loving all of the ideas on here. So far, I've cooked two chickens. I kind of just took ideas from the different posts on here and combined the ones that sounded the tastiest! Both chickens turned out great. I even made chicken stock from the last one. It seems like most of you recommend a higher heat, but I was too scared of drying out my chickens, so I cooked both of them at 350. I think on the next one I will try a higher temp for at least part of the time. My only complaint is that both of my chickens came out VERY SALTY! They tasted great, but left me really thirsty and bloated....ick. What are your favorite seasonings with no or less salt?

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I have a hard time, roasting a chicken in th oven that doesn't end up really dry, plus you have to "watch" it while it cooks

 

I like to cook a whole chicken in the crock pot. I just line the bottom of the pot, with some crumpled up tin foil, then place the whole chicken on top of the foil (the foil keeps the chicken from sitting in its own juices while it cooks, which stops if from totally falling apart.) Ends up to be omething similar to Rotissere chicken, even kind of crispy skin.

 

I add onion, garlic cloves, S&P and whatever other herbs I have on hand.  Let it cook on High about 8 hours....it's delish!

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Our favorite way to roast a chicken with crispy skin is so easy! Dry your bird well, inside and out. Season with s&p, inside and out. Roast in a heavy, high sided Dutch oven, uncovered, at 450 for about an hour or until done. Super easy and super moist! Just make sure your oven is pretty clean or you might have some smoke... :)

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I roast two chickens at a time per the recipe at Nom Nom Paleo. I use a lasagne pan, so it does sit in the juice, but they both fit that way. I do as above (wash, dry, season inside with S&P), but I add some whole thyme leaves or poultry seasoning to the inside, stuff them with cut up onions and lemons, a few crushed garlic cloves, and truss the legs together. Then I spread olive oil, butter, or clarified butter onto the skin, S&P that, and it goes at 425 for 30 minutes and 375 til done.

 

I keep chef's salt on hand, and I use Morton's iodized sea salt mixed with an equal amount of ground black pepper. It has a texture that's coarse but not too coarse. Leaves a much less salty result than table salt.

 

Last night I attempted to use my new roaster oven for my birds and instead of following the Nom Nom directions for temperature I did it as the user manual suggested. It turned out dry with a rubbery skin. Very disappointing, since I'm also a chicken skin addict. I'm willing to try again though, since the roaster keeps my kitchen about 10 degrees cooler than running the oven at the same temperature.

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I use Mark Bittman's technique from How to Cook Everything: cook the bird breast side down in a super hot oven (upwards of 500 degrees) until the skin facing up is crispy, then flip the bird over so breast side is up and cook until that side is brown. I then test with a thermometer; if it hits 160, I take the bird out, if not, lower the temp to 350 and cook until it does.

 

I often stuff the bird with garlic, lemon, and fresh herbs, and massage ghee or evoo into the skin as well as season it inside and out. That's a given.

 

My friends and family clamor for this.

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I pat dry my chicken, brush a tbsp of ghee over the breast and thighs, sprinkle some thyme on top. Put it into the oven at 400 for 30 minutes and then turn it down to 340. Time the chicken for roughly 20 mins per lb + the 30 minutes for browning at the beginning.

Always perfect, juicy chicken and really simple!

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I work on cooking shows - one of our chefs made this on a show -  and this is the best chicken I ever tasted. 

 

Roasted Rosemary Chicken

Serves: 4

 

Ingredients:

1 3- 3 1/2 lb. fryer  (organic free range bird)

1 small lemon, quartered

1 small onion, quartered

1 small head garlic, quartered, loose, papery skin discarded, no need to peel all

2 sprigs rosemary, chopped into 2” pieces

Coarse Kosher salt

Black pepper

1 tablespoon ghee (or coconut oil if you are AIP)

Tablespoon chopped parsley

 

The night before roasting: Combine the lemon, onion, garlic and all but 2 pieces of rosemary in a bowl Season with a generous pinch of salt and some grindings of pepper. Place all of the mixture inside the bird cavity, and a few cloves garlic in the neck cavity. Slip one piece each of rosemary under between each side of breast and skin. Sprinkle entire outside of bird with salt. Wrap bird in plastic and refrigerate overnight.

 

Preheat oven to 425. Unwrap bird, pat off any moisture and bring to cool room temperature. Place bird in cast iron skillet or roasting pan (just big enough to hold bird comfortably), smear breast with butter and give a light shower of salt.

 

Roast bird until a thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 165, approx. 45 minutes - 1 hour. Skin will be appealingly browned. Let bird sit 10 minutes before carving. Tip juices from cavity into the pan, remove bird to cutting board or platter to carve. Add parsley to pan juices and pour over carved bird. 

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