Good Roast Chicken

Good Roast Chicken
Recipe Type: Dinner
Cuisine: Western
Author: Plentiful Sufficiency
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
This is one of my favorite ways of roasting a whole chicken. Prepared this way it can easily be served in manageable size pieces. It can be cooked in a regular oven, or on the barbecue. Another simple variation includes using a rolling pin, or a wine bottle, or a meat pounder, if you have one, and flattening the chicken, then weigh it down with foil wrapped house bricks and cook it in the oven or on the barbecue..
  • One whole chicken (any size but 3 – 4 pounds works best)
  • Rosemary, Sage, Thyme
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Lemon Juice
  • Garlic
  • Good sized kitchen knife
  • A container in which to marinade the chicken
  • (Food Saver, Gallon plastic Bag, any non-reactive dish)
  • Roasting Pan
Preparing the chicken
  1. Cut the backbone out of the chicken
  2. Spread-eagle it flesh side down and crack the breast bone by pressing down with your hand
  3. Turn it flesh side up, use your finger tip to find the knuckle joint between the lower leg and the thigh.
  4. Insert the point of your kitchen knife and cut down through the joint.
  5. (This allows the heat to penetrate the legs for more even cooking).
  1. Whisk together a quarter cup of olive oil and the juice of one or two lemons.
  2. Add whatever herbs you have – roughly chopped
  3. Add salt and pepper
  4. Chop a couple of cloves of garlic
  5. Mix it all together until the oil and lemon have at least partly emulsified.
Put the chicken and the marinade together.
  1. Put the cut open chicken flesh side down over the marinade
  2. Marinade for a couple of hours or overnight if you can
Cooking the chicken
  1. Heat the oven to 425F or even 450F
  2. Thoroughly dry the skin of the chicken with paper towel
  3. Sprinkle the skin with a generous amount of good salt
  4. (The combination of dryness, oven heat, and salt makes for a crispy skin and a golden color).
  5. Put the chicken flesh side down in the roasting pan – a small grid to lift it from the bottom of the pan works well as it lets the heat circulate more evenly
  6. It’s best to have removed most of the marinade and especially the herbs as the heat will just burn them.
  7. Roast for 45 minutes
  8. Remove from oven to a cooling tray and tent with aluminum foil and let rest for ten minutes. Please don’t skip this step – it makes a big difference to the finished product.
  9. In the meantime if you’d like some gravy deglaze the roasting pan with some chicken stock and white wine if you have any.
  10. Thicken the gravy with a little corn starch mixed in a small bowl with cold water until smooth
  11. Whisk the smooth corn starch into the gravy


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