Update 3/8/2016: I made another roasted chicken last weekend and I covered the chicken in spices (sage, garlic, onion, celery salt, salt, pepper) and I poured in about 1/3 bottle of white wine and the chicken was even more delicious and moist this time around.
I did it. I did something I’ve never done before and something I have wanted to do for awhile now: I roasted a whole chicken! I don’t know why I was so afraid of a whole chicken, thinking I had to have many years experience under my belt before I could accomplish such a task, but I did it, sans mega experience. It wasn’t as horrifying as I thought, and it sure wasn’t as difficult or as time consuming as I thought.
But I will have an honest moment with you: I was a little grossed out to clean out the chicken. The giblets were just hanging out inside the cavity of the chicken and I had to empty it out and then clean it out. So rather than reaching my hand inside, I just shook the chicken upside down in the sink and let all the giblets fall out… and then I used tongs and dropped them into the garbage can. Okay, now I feel a little silly but I am having a good laugh at myself for having done that.
A really good cook would have saved the giblets and used them to make gravy or something else, but not me – those things went straight into the garbage. And for those of you who aren’t sure what the giblets are, they’re the not so delicious inner parts of the chicken like heart, kidney, gizzard and neck.
First things first, clean the chicken inside and out. I would have taken a picture except both my hands were covered in raw chicken and my husband was busy studying, so therefore, no pictures. Make sure the chicken gets thoroughly cleaned by rinsing the inside of the chicken and the outside, then pat it dry with paper towels.
Liberally season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper.
Take a lemon and quarter it and put it into the chicken along with a lot of garlic, it’s recommended to use a whole bulb I just didn’t have that much left. My chicken ended up being a little smaller than I thought so I only used 3/4 of a lemon and used about half a bulb of garlic. Then finish stuffing the chicken with a large bunch of fresh thyme reserving just a few sprigs for later.
Melt some butter and brush it all over the chicken and then season with salt and pepper.
If you have kitchen twine, tie the chicken legs together to keep them from sticking out and burning, and then also tuck the wings under the chicken. But since I used a dutch oven with a lid to roast my chicken, I didn’t bother with the tying and tucking. If you’re using an open roasting rack you’ll want to be sure and tie the chicken.
Depending on how large your dutch oven is, you can chop some vegetables to go under and around the chicken while it cooks. I chopped up some carrots, an onion and fennel but ended up removing half of the vegetables since I used a smaller dutch oven. It is nice though, to have a little base for the chicken to sit on so the drippings can sort of sit under the chicken rather than soak in it. Pile the vegetables into the dutch oven, drizzle some olive oil and toss with salt and pepper and then lay a few sprigs of thyme over them.
Set the chicken on top of the vegetables and then cover with the lid and put into a 425*F preheated oven. I roasted a 4.5 pound chicken and it only took about 40 minutes for it to roast.
The skin was golden and crispy and the chicken was moist and flavorful! I had to split the skin in order to see whether or not the chicken was actually done and it was perfect. Once I pulled it out of the oven I let it set in the dutch oven for about 10 more minutes covered, to help the juices spread and settle.
Dig in! It was delicious and some of the best chicken I’ve ever had! When I make this again the only thing I think I would change in this recipe is adding a little more seasoning to the outside of the chicken like Italian seasoning, garlic & onion seasoning, or lemon pepper would be delicious as well!
This dish was so much easier than I thought it would be and there are already so many different flavor combinations I can think of to try.
P.S. Don’t forget to keep the bones to make some delicious homemade broth with!!
- 1- 4.5 pound whole Chicken, giblets removed
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 1 bulb garlic, top sliced off
- 1 large bunch fresh Thyme, reserve a few sprigs
- salt/pepper to taste
- 4oz. melted butter
- 4 large Carrots, chopped into 1" pieces
- 1 Fennel stalk, diced in thick pieces
- 1 Onion, diced in thick pieces
- Olive Oil
- Clean the chicken inside and outside, pat dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle salt/pepper inside the cavity and then stuff with lemon, garlic and thyme.
- Brush melted butter over outside of chicken and liberally sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place chopped vegetables into dutch oven and sprinkle on olive oil and salt and pepper, toss to coat. Set the chicken on top of the vegetables and cover with lid.
- Roast in 425*F oven for about 40-50 minutes or until cooked through.
- Remove from oven and let set 10 minutes before serving.