Roast chicken is one of my favorite meals, and this is the roast chicken recipe that I use. Of all the different ways of preparing a roast chicken, this is my favorite by far.
It takes a bit more work to prepare, but you end up with such a tender, delicious chicken that it's worth every second. And it's self-basting, so once it's in the oven, you don't have to worry about it – except to flip it over once.
This roast chicken recipe uses some techniques I describe in my article on roasting chicken. The article gives the full details about what advantages this method has over others, if you want to know why I do it a certain way. It also describes some of the techniques in a little more depth, like rubbing spices under the skin. But in this roasted chicken recipe I'll just go over the method.
Try it out! I hope you like it just as much as I do.
(Optional) Brine the chicken for about 4 to 5 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Rinse the chicken and pat it dry, inside and out.
In a small bowl, mix the salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Rub some of the spices under the chicken's skin. Rub a bit on the chicken's skin. Use whatever's left to season the inside of the bird's cavity, again, rubbing it in.
Spread most of the butter under the chicken's skin, and spread the rest over the skin.
Truss the chicken. You have to do this if you want to be able to flip the bird later.
Place the chicken in a roasting pan, breast side down.
The chicken shouldn't touch the bottom of the pan, because there needs to be air flow all around the chicken, so use a wire rack if you have one.
Cook the chicken uncovered in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes per pound, plus an extra 30 minutes. Flip the chicken back breast side up after two thirds of the cooking time.
The chicken is done when its internal temperature reaches 170F. Just stick a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, being careful to avoid touching the bone.
Remove the chicken from the oven and let it stand 10-20 minutes before carving.
Carve, serve, and enjoy!
If you don't have a wire rack, you can also keep the chicken above the bottom of the pan by spreading some thick pieces of carrot or potatoes over the bottom, then resting the chicken on top. Just make sure that the vegetables have enough space between them to let some air flow around the chicken.
In this roasted chicken recipe, the drippings from the chicken will caramelize at the bottom of the roasting pan, and you can use them to make a delicious gravy.