Tuesday, October 22, 2013

How to roast a chicken without a recipe

When the days get shorter and the outside temperatures get cooler it is nice to warm up the kitchen by roasting something in the oven.  A very easy main dish to prepare is Roasted Whole Chicken.  Recently,  the USDA removed the recommendation of washing poultry and meat before cooking, making the roasting of a whole chicken even easier.  No longer do you need to wrestle with the bird to rinse with water and pat dry.  Simply place the whole chicken in a pan and place in the oven....just remember to remove giblets from the cavity first!

For additional information on food safety, check out the USDA Food Safety Handbook 

Speaking of the cavity.  For best results, stuff the inside of the chicken with something flavorful.  Like lemon halves, garlic cloves, quartered onions, oranges, apples, etc.  Whatever you happen to have available.  The idea is to fill the cavity with something that will provide flavor and aroma while cooking.  I especially like the combination of lemon and garlic.  In my kitchen, there is always plenty of garlic hanging around.

To begin, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
You will need to know the weight of the chicken.  Check the package.  Cook 20 minutes per pound.

First, salt and pepper inside and outside of the chicken.  If using lemon, squeeze some on the chicken before placing the lemon halves inside the cavity.  Place chicken in a roasting pan (best if you have a roasting rack available to use).  Place pan with chicken onto middle rack of the preheated oven.  Roast until internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees.  Remove from oven.  Let rest for about 5 - 10 minutes before carving.  Discard items used to stuff the chicken. Serve sliced chicken with a side dish, such as whole grain rice.

Simple and delicious!

Note:  for tips on how to use a meat thermometer


  1. Hey Diane! I wonder, would you be able to roast some veggies alongside it, either in the same pan or on a baking sheet on another rack. If so, what would be some tips to roast them (if you're going sans recipe)?


    1. Hi Ashley...great idea to add vegetables. Coordinate timing, adding larger, more dense vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, brussel sprouts, etc. about an hour before chicken is done. You can add to existing pan if you're okay with vegetables cooking in the chicken drippings. Otherwise, use another pan.

  2. I like the idea of trying orange slices in the cavity, I've never tried that -- only lemon.Great idea!

  3. Thanks for the reminder Diane. You're right, roasting your own chicken is simple and delicious. I'm definitely going to try using orange slice, never thought of that before.