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Mar 4, 2009 03:21 PM

Simple roasted chicken?

I've roasted chickens before to mixed results. So, since Fresh & Easy had whole chickens for 67 cents a pound, I got one thinking to roast it tonight and make stock from the carcass on Friday.

I'm not doing anything fancy. Don't want to add lemon since I'm going to make stock, not roasting any vegetables with it either. I did scan the web to get ideas of seasoning and technique.

What I'm really surprised to find is the wide range of temperatures that are recommended by recipes! Anywhere from 325 to 475!!

What do you think is the best temperature. I do want a crisy skin because I will stand by the stove and pick it off and eat it before I cut into the chicken :-)

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  1. Cut the back out and flatten it, so you're roasting it butterflied; cut a slit to the joint where each thigh and wing connect to the body, which will speed cooking. You can do it quickly at 475 - check temp at 30 minutes.

    1 Reply
    1. re: greygarious

      I know how to spatchcock a chicken. Not going there tonight, but thanks

    2. I roast chickens at 425 and get crisp skin every time. Even in a perfectly clean oven I tend to set off the smoke alarms when I roast birds at 450 or more.

      Ensure the skin is perfectly dry before roasting and once you put it in the oven leave it alone until it is done. Also, putting the chicken in the oven with the drumsticks facing the back wall gets more reflected heat heading into the dark meat.

      1. If they are whole, simple to me. I rub with olive oil inside and out, salt and pepper inside and out too. No lemon no worries, just add some herbs fresh on the inside and the outside. I cook not covered on a bed of a couple of cut carrots and onions. Makes a great bed. Roast at 400 for 45, reduce to 350 and un cover and cook till golden brown. You can add some simple stock, broth or water to the bottom of my pan. Made it for 30 years. Perfect and simple every time Tender falls apart, moist. One NOTE ... I do like to put 2 teaspoons of butter in the cavity and 1/2 whole onion cut in half. It makes a good flavor. Not lemon like you mentioned and still gives moisture and flavor to me..

        4 Replies
        1. re: kchurchill5

          I really like marjoram on a roast chicken, along with garlic, salt and pepper, and a lemon or not.

          1. re: rememberme

            I like marjoram too. I grow almost all that I use on a regular basis, I usually use what I have fresh. It changes quite a bit. I do like lemon in mine too. I also use cut oranges and onion in the cavity. I usually have them on hand.

            1. re: kchurchill5

              I've never grown it, but I think I'll try this summer.

              1. re: rememberme

                Try it is really good, I use it primarily with chicken but I really enjoy it.
                I grow, thyme, basil, parsley, cilantro, dill oregano, reg and tropical, 3 basils, lemon italian and red, 2 parsleys too. Love my herbs, just in a couple of large containers outside. Nothing better.

        2. It's tough to beat this recipe from Thomas Keller for tasty and simple:

          I also find that 450F to be the perfect temperature. A 3lb. bird will come out juicy with crisp skin when roasted for about 50 minutes at this temperature.


          12 Replies
          1. re: Eddie H.

            I've tried 450 and never again, too hot. Sorry, turned out dry. Someone else gave me this recipe. Didn't like it at all.

            1. re: kchurchill5

              a 3# bird at 450 should only take about 35 minutes. then it should not be dry.

              1. re: jfood

                I've tried many times and many top recipes and still, I just don't like it for some reason. Tastes dry to me. I guess we all have out favorite ways.

                1. re: kchurchill5

                  KC, you might find it's time to recilabrate your oven's thermostat. Domestic ovens tend to run hot after a while.

                  Roasting broiler chix at 450F for 45 minutes has been chefs' standard for decades.

                  1. re: iamafoodie

                    I can't not my oven, apartment, had them look at it and it is fine. Also with my good oven at my house I never used 450 either. I just don't like it. Sorry. I understand though. Mom and grandma always did lower too and 3 chefs I work with locally also do the same. Maybe just a coincidence. I understand the idea though. I just have never had success or liked the results.

                  2. re: kchurchill5

                    KChurch: Try buying kosher chickens or brine them 4-6 hours before roasting. Also, try the Zuni method and pre-salt them 2-3 days in advance.

                    1. re: hankstramm

                      Nice thought honestly, I work 12 hrs plus per day, I sometimes don't get home to midnight and then sometimes don't get home for 2 days. I can't do anything like that. I would love to buy my life isn't that way. I expected to be home today by 8, it will be 1 am if lucky (on laptop) tomorrow out all day from 5-8, no chicken tomorrow. I can't do this kind of thing. And a kosher chicken is out of my budget down here as well. but I appreciate the suggestion

                        1. re: rememberme

                          That is daily!!
                          Maybe that is why I started my I use shortcuts Blog . Kosher chicken are at Whole food which is not far, just downtown, but takes around 35 minutes during the week to get there, but then the problem is I work south so it is not 1 hr away and then I wouldn't get home till 9 or 10 and leave at 5 and home again late. I wish I didn't, I just started working this extra job and love it. So I'm doing 3, and hours are always changing. I won't be home till 12 tonight..

                          I need a clone just to brine my chicken for me :)

                    2. re: kchurchill5

                      well as long as you tried, c'est la vie.

                      1. re: kchurchill5

                        Tous les goƻts sont dans la nature . . .

                  3. re: Eddie H.

                    I make this exact recipe at least once a week, and it comes out spectacularly every time. Extremely moist, and with excellently crispy skin. Doesn't get much better.

                  4. I've tried several different methods but tend to come back to starting them at 500 and then dropping the temp to 325.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ziggylu

                      I usually start at 500 too because once I open the oven and slide the bird in, it drops to like 425-450. Anyway, 20-30 mins at 450-500 and 20 mins or so at 350 will work.