Easy roast chicken is a must for your healthy weekly rotation. It is so versatile and can provide numerous leftover options for the rest of the week. Use the chicken to top a green or quinoa salad or add to a black bean soup. Use for tostadas, tortillas or nachos. Make chicken soup or tackle a chicken pot pie. Chicken and dumplings anyone?
This recipe can be adapted in a myriad of ways – stuff the bird with limes, oranges or herbs. Rub butter on the outside instead of olive oil. Butter makes the skin crispy and equally delicious. Mine looks naked without fresh parsley.
My favorite part of this recipe is a trick I learned from Food and Wine magazine – how to self truss a chicken. I hate extra steps so I’ve always avoided tying the legs with twine. The trick here is to make a 3/4 inch slit in one side of the chicken skin around the cavity then slip the opposite end of drumstick into the slit. Repeat on the opposite side. This is a bit hard to explain but makes sense once you have the chicken in hand. The drumsticks are tied with the excess chicken skin. Love kitchen tricks!
After the chicken bakes you will have yummy schmaltz in the bottom of the pan. By the way, schmaltz is a real word if you were wondering. That savory juice (fat=flavor) can be spooned over the chicken or you can add veggies like potatoes, onions, carrots, turnips or sweet potatoes to roast with the chicken.
Detailed directions for how to carve a roast chicken can be found here.
Easy Roast Chicken
- 1 3-4 lb whole chicken giblets removed and chicken rinsed and patted dry
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 head of garlic cut in half horizontally
- 2 lemons sliced in half
- kosher salt and ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Remove giblets and rinse chicken. Pat dry with paper towels.
- Generously salt (1 tbsp) and pepper the inside and outside of the chicken. Rub outside with olive oil.
- Put the lemon halves and two halves of garlic head in chicken.
- Truss the chicken. Cut a 3/4 inch slit in the excess skin and tuck the end of the drumstick into the slit. Repeat on other side. This will keep it tied together in a neat and tidy bundle.
- Bake for about 45 minutes, until a thermometer inserted into the inner thigh registers 165 degrees.