Feb 03 2010
Yet again, I’m posting about how easy it is to perfectly roast a chicken. Why? Because so many people tell me they’re intimidated by the thought of roasting a whole chicken, and really, they don’t have to be.
I know I’ve said it before, but salting the bird beforehand results in a juicy, flavorful bird. And though the whole flipping of the bird can seem like a pain, it’s helping to cook the meat evenly, so don’t skip that step.
It also needs to be said that this roasted chicken is wonderful to transform into other dishes because it stays so moist: pot pies, enchiladas, sandwiches, salads . . . if you have a family, go ahead and roast a second bird for leftovers.
Simple Roasted Chicken
48 hours prior to roasting, sprinkle a 4 lb chicken inside and out with salt. (You can add pepper, herbs de provence, rotisserie seasoning, whatever else you want to flavor the bird.) Wrap the chicken tightly in plastic wrap and place in a pyrex dish. Refrigerate 48 hours.
Remove chicken from fridge and allow it to sit at room temperature for 60 minutes. Preheat oven to 425*F. Roast chicken breast side down on rack for 20 minutes, 20 minutes breast side up, and another 10 minutes breast side down. Check the temperature in the thigh at this point – you’re looking for 160-165*F (the temperature will continue to rise after the chicken has been removed from the oven). Remove chicken from rack to a platter, breast side down (so the juices settle into the breast meat) and cover tightly with foil. Allow it to rest for 20 minutes before carving.
Reserve the carcass for chicken stock. (If you can’t make the stock right away, just throw it in a plastic bag and give it a temporary home in the freezer until soup day arrives.)