The feast of kings and peasants all revolve around the same classic meal: chicken. A roasted bird is a majestic centerpiece on the table that brings people together with the idea of home cooked goodness.
There is nothing quite like roasting a whole chicken. For some reason, people seem to think that it’s a lot of work and are usually impressed by it when serving it for dinner. Besides, what is better than devouring a whole chicken leg?
Serves 4-6, provided you include the fixings
One whole chicken
4 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of butter
A teaspoon of Salt
A teaspoon of Pepper
A teaspoon of Rosemary
A teaspoon of garlic powder
A teaspoon of Basil
A roasting pan or baking pan will do in a pinch
When getting ready to roast a chicken, first preheat the oven to 375 degrees. To prepare the chicken, remove the giblets from inside and rinse the bird under cold water. Pat it dry, then place it in the pan.
Stuff the body of the bird with two onions cut into quarters and the peeled cloves of garlic. Combine the spices together into a rub and set aside. Place a tablespoon of butter under the skin of the breast on both sides of the chicken, and then rub the bird with the blend of spices.
To roast the chicken, place it in the oven. As a general rule of thumb, a chicken needs about 20 minutes per pound when roasting plus an additional 20.
Chicken Weight & Total Time to Roast
3 pounds 1 hour and 20 minutes
4 pounds 1 hour and 40 minutes
5 pounds 2 hours
6 pounds 2 hours and 20 minutes
While the chicken is roasting, take it out of the oven ever 20 to 30 minutes to baste it with the juices accumulating in the tray. This will help keep the meat moist and the skin crispy.
The easiest way to tell when a chicken is done is when the chicken is taken out of the oven to rest, the juices should run clear. If they juices are still red, put the bird back in the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes at least! Allow the roasted chicken to rest at least 10 minutes before serving. When dealing with a bird with a thermal popper in it, those often result in an overcooked animal because when you remove it from the oven, it will continue to cook!
Now with all that delicious chicken drippings, you’re ready to make some fresh gravy!
Basic Chicken Gravy
Drippings of one roasted chicken
2 tablespoons of butter
Stock, milk or water
Salt and pepper to taste
A frying pan
Pour out the chicken drippings into a frying pan and place it on the stove over medium heat and add the butter. Add in sifted flour, about half of how much liquid is in the pan and whisk constantly. Allow the mixture to slowly brown. If it begins to burn, turn down the heat and keep whisking. Once the flour has been fully mixed in, begin slowly adding stock/milk/water in quarter cup quantities, thoroughly whisking with each addition until the desired consistency is reached. Salt and pepper to taste.
When making gravy, you want to keep the heat around medium. If it is too hot, it will burn and tasted awful. If the heat is too low, the flour won’t cook and taste like, well, flour.
To round out the meal, I would suggest some classics like mashed potatoes, carrots and broccoli.