How to cook a 7 LB chicken?!
SO picked up a huge bird- somewhere between the size of a Thanksgiving turkey and the usual 3 lb. bird I roast. How can I prepare it so it is cooked evenly throughout w/ crisp skin? Advice on temps, times, and methods would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Every bird I've ever cooked, I use a combination of Alton Brown and Sara Moulton's recs and the birds always come out perfect:
first 1/2 hour at 500 degrees - take out, apply a triangle of tinfoil over the breast, reduce oven to 350, cook for 12-15 minutes per lb (include that first half an hour) - breast should be at 161 - good idea to check 20 minutes or so before you think it should be coming out.
I did this recently with just salt and pepper on the bird and it was wonderful. Good luck!
Depends on where the chicken came from and how raised. I buy 7-9 Lb Hutterite roasting chickens that are free range and no antibiotics. They are the yummiest birds ever! So for anyone who stumbles upon the OP of '05, check the source before writing a big chicken off as a roaster.
You can definitely stew it as others have recommended, but if you are in the mood for roast chicken, that can be done, too.
Preheat oven to 300. Brush chix all over with rendered goose, duck or chix fat. Liberally season inside and out with S&P. Roast it breast side up on a rack for about 2 to 2.5 hours for a 7.5 pound bird. Remove from oven and rest it for 10 minutes before carving. Plain and simple roast chix, yum.
Thanks to everyone for suggestions!
I ended up starting w/ high temp (450)for 30 min, lowering to 350 for 1 hr 15 min w/ the foil tent over the breast, and finishing at 450 for the last 30 min to get the skin super-crunchy.
I bet it would have been great stewed, and I plan to use leftovers in soup and other stew-y dishes. The breast turned out nice and moist (usually my downfall w/ roasted chicken in dry white meat) and is currently in a sandwich w/ my name on it :).