If you want to put together a dinner that will impress without investing the hours to prepare a gourmet meal, you cannot go wrong with roasted chicken. I especially like to prepare a roast when I have dinner guests because it allows me focus my attention on my company while still turning out a perfectly delicious and hearty meal.
This traditional farmstead superstar is the perfect palette to test your culinary creativity. Preparation is simple: Start by rinsing your chicken. Lay it on a bed of aromatic vegetables inside a roasting pan, and massage it with your favorite spices and oil or butter. Pour in two cups of water, and roast at 425 degrees F for 60 to 90 minutes. Besides these minimal guidelines, feel free to insert your own culinary flare—you won’t be disappointed with the results.
Photo by Rachael Brugger
Here are some of my favorite tips for preparing a savory roasted chicken:
- If you don’t raise and process the chicken yourself, purchase from a farmer who raises free-range heritage breeds.
- I roast my chicken atop a bed of carrots, celery and onions—a culinary trio known as mirepoix—to add depth of flavor. If you’re growing other root vegetables you’re itching to use, try including them, as well.
- Rub spices inside the chicken, as well as out. My go-to spice rub includes paprika, garlic powder, celery seed, pepper, salt and a lot of garlic cloves, but this is a step where you can let your imagination go wild.
- Nothing beats the flavor of fresh herbs. A sprig or two of rosemary or thyme and some chopped up parsley harvested fresh from the garden will do wonders for the flavor of your chicken.
- For moister meat, cover the pan with a lid while roasting. Remove it about 15 minutes before the chicken is done to allow the skin to brown.
- If you have a frozen chicken, let it sit in the refrigerator for three to four days before roasting to allow the meat to tenderize.
- If you forgot to get the chicken out of the freezer, don’t sweat it! Put the chicken in the slow cooker with your veggies, seasoning and water in the morning, and it will be ready by dinner.
- Save the chicken bones to create a healthy stock. Add in additional mirepoix vegetables and herbs for flavor or additional health benefits. For every gallon of water used, include 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar to extract nutrients from the bones.
If you have a favorite roasted chicken tip, please share it below!