Whole Roast Chicken
- 1/2 lemon, cut into quarters
- 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 2 rosemary stems
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 piece of butcher's twine, 3-4 feet long
- 1 whole chicken (about 6 pounds)
Gather all of the ingredients before dealing with the chicken so that you don't contaminate your containers and refrigerator. Combine salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Remove anything from the cavity of the chicken (sometimes the giblets will be in a bag) and rinse the chicken inside and out. Pat dry with a paper towel.
Stuff the cavity with lemon wedges, garlic, thyme and rosemary. Sprinkle a pinch of the salt and pepper mixture inside as well.
Loosen the skin away from the breast near the cavity and rub salt and pepper on the flesh, underneath the skin.
Use the remaining salt and pepper to rub the entire bird.
Truss the chicken using the butcher's twine. For a how-to video, click here. This keeps the bird neatly together so that everything cooks evenly. (You can still cook a tasty chicken without trussing if you want to skip this step.)
Place the chicken in a large pan and into the oven. Cook for about 15-20 minutes to let the skin brown.
Turn the oven temperature down to 375˚F and cook until the thermometer reads about 165˚ and the juices run clear. This will be about 1 hour 15 minutes to 1.5 hours for a 6 pound bird.
Remove the chicken and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes before cutting.
Cut the string and remove the herbs from the cavity. These are a great addition to gravy if you plan to make gravy too.
To cut the chicken, start with the legs and cut the skin connecting the leg and thigh to the breast. Gently pull the leg and thigh away from breast until the thigh bone snaps out of joint. Then cut away the meat to separate the thigh from the rest of the bird.
For the breasts, find the keel bone running along the center of the bird. Cut the breast away just next to the keel bone and down along the ribs.
For a more in-depth view of carving a bird, check out Alton Brown's video here.
Enjoy your juicy chicken and be sure to save the rest of the meat and all of the bones.
For a printable recipe click here