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Baked whole chicken without roasting rack

Hi Everyone. I'm hoping someone can offer me a bit of advice. I am going to bake a whole chicken, but this is the first time I will be doing so without a roasting rack.

Is there anything I should know or be aware of? Can I just place it in a baking dish? I have a very limited supply of kitchen tools to work with.

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  1. I support the whole chicken on a bed of roasting veggies, like large blocks of potatoes, onions, carrots and celery, sorta makes an edible rack.

    14 Replies
    1. re: Quine

      Thanks. I have potatoes, onions and carrots. No celery. Does it matter how I space the veggies out?

      Ok. Perfect. I was worried. I didn't want to waste, because I just became unemployed, so I want to stretch this out.

      I'm cooking only for myself and I'm taking the advice from this board. The chicken was on sale for 1.99 a pound. I plan to bake it tomorrow and use the leftovers for chicken salad. I'm also going to attempt to make my own stock for the first time.

      1. re: alliebear

        I wait for the chicken salad...

        Day One, a lovely chicken sandwich with fresh bread and newly roasted chicken. For me, this is a white meat affair.

        Day Two, second chicken sandwich, maybe with some avocado and swiss cheese with greenery or chicken salad.

        Day Three, dark meat enchilada. I love to use a green tomatillo or chile sauce, but red will do. Some beans and rice.

        Day Four, now I take the leftover chicken, beans and rice, warm and stack into a bowl. Pour on some sauce. Eat.

        Day Five, sautee some onions, carrots and celery with salt, pepper corns, thyme. Add chicken carcass and cook until browning. Then cover with water. Simmer for 2 or 3 hours.

        Day Six. Make a pasta and fagioli soup. Serve with crusty bread.

        Day Seven. More soup!

        1. re: smtucker

          I wait for the turkey sandwiches the day after thanksgiving!

          1. re: rememberme

            I can't wait. I smoke a turkey half once a month when it goes on sale.

          2. re: smtucker

            Great ideas for roast chicken, but that's either a REALLY BIG chicken or maybe just one person consuming it.

            1. re: chicgail

              For me, it's just one person. Not a particularly big chicken, but I want to stretch it out for a few days, several meals.

              Thanks for the different ideas smtucker.

              1. re: alliebear

                Sandwiches, salad and maybe a pasta dish should be workable with a small chicken. Great way to make a lot with not too much. I just smoked 3 chickens roasters 3 lbs or less, small. I'll get tons of meals with those.

                Had dinner, quesadillas tonight, a couple of salads, some chicken salad, a pasta. Lots of things to make.

                1. re: kchurchill5

                  If I cook steaks on the grill, with a little mesquite smoke, I usually am cooking a chicken, ribs or other things later. I mean it's hot...why not? I do exactly like you. Since we have about 19 out of 21 meals here I have to plan and minimize starting from scratch each and every time.
                  Last night I took a extra baked potato (I never bake potatoes just for one meal) cut it in half, put stilton in the middle and heated. I then topped it with chopped bacon and scallions. Had chili over rotinni pasta with it. I know, too many carbs, but it sure was all good together, with a Zin.

                  1. re: Scargod

                    Love the baked potato too. Oh well sometimes carbs are just a necessity.

                    Thinking along the potato thread. I dice and saute 2 slices of bacon until crisp, remove and dice. Keep some of the bacon drippings, just a teaspoon no more, and slice the leftover potatoes (2 works best) thick slices, and cook just just a couple of minutes, add 1/4 cup chicken broth or stock, a couple of scallions diced and the bacon, salt and pepper. The potatoes fall apart but no like "smashed." Sort of a different approach but I love them that way. I love this with my maple bourbon glazed chicken skewers. Easy quick dinner. I marinade the chicken skewers over night so great flavor. Probably not the healthiest but still good.

                    Hey and chili and pasta, match made in heaven. A place in MN has a dish with a very hearty ground turkey chili over pasta, different but it was quite good and healthy, lol. I figured the turkey at least sounded healthy, :)

              2. re: chicgail

                two people consuming.... small chickens. First night I have three slices of breast while husband enjoys a leg and wing. Sandwiches finishes the first breast and starts the second. Enchilada uses the other leg/wing plus a little white meat. Last meal is the leftover beans, rice and shredded breast [2-3 oz maybe?]. Then onto the stock and resulting soups.

                1. re: smtucker

                  I agree ... a great use. I love chickens and I do turkey too all the time, I love it (great meals, variety and soup from the stock and endless possibilities)

              3. re: smtucker

                Wow you really did that chicken honor! Good for you.

                I didn't too bad either, I fed 4 & 1/2 people the roasted chicken.
                This week the roasted chicken (.69lb) fed four of us & the 3yr old.
                We had a delicious supper on Sunday, all that was left was the back meat/skin and one wing.Later, I made the stock and today I made Matzo Ball soup.
                The Matzo Ball soup, which was very good, 3 out of 4 of us have colds, and we all had nice big bowls of soup loaded with matzo balls, veggies and rich broth.
                No noodles, I wasn't about to mess up that broth! There's enough left with 3 matzo balls. I just can't believe how good chicken stock is when done the slow method way. Very good old comfort food.

            2. re: Quine

              Same here. I halve or quarter the potatoes, coat them with a bit of olive oil or goose fat and nest the bird on top. I usually start the chicken breast down, then turn it breast up about halfway through cooking. When the bird is done, I take it out to rest, drain most of the fat from the pan, stir up the potatoes and return to the oven to really crisp up while the bird rests. BTW, the oven is at 450*.

              1. re: adrman

                If I'm putting the bird on top of the vegetables they don't need any extra oil. They will be drenched in chicken fat. Quite tasty I might add

            3. Yes, you can bake it without a rack, it just won't be crispy on the bottom. Just put it in a baking dish or even an oven-proof skillet (not non-stick).

              1. Are you asking about a rack substitute?
                You can sit it on a beer can (make sure its open) and stand it up in the baking dish.

                1 Reply
                1. re: porker

                  I wasn't asking that, but those sort of ideas would be welcome, too. Thanks.

                2. I roast chickens most of the time without a rack. I usually put it in an oval cazuela (earthenware dish) - so I think a baking dish would work just fine. I do sometimes also do the rack of vegetables, as suggested by Quine.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: MMRuth

                    If you choose your vegetables carefully and don't have too many, you can put them in a blender with the juices and purée to make a nice healthy gravy. If there are potatoes in the mix I'd set those aside first and use the other veges for the gravy. Or you can just eat everything as is, and the heck with it...

                  2. I must be a complete cooking dork. I never use a rack. I oil the bird fron and back and I dont have any problems with uneven cooking or sticking.
                    I have placed carrots and celery under the chicken before, but most of the time not.

                    I get a crispy nice back too. I think it's where in the oven, if your oven is working correctly, and the temperature. 425 15-20mins then 350 the rest depending on the size. 185 degrees on the probe, and you don't want any bloody liquid running from anywhere.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: chef chicklet

                      I just don't cook chicken often. And the only times I've ever baked a whole chicken, I've always used a rack. It comes out really nicely with crisp skin. I was worried about the juices from the chicken, which fall to the bottom of the pan when using a rack.

                      1. re: alliebear

                        oh, gosh I cook chicken so often, and I love it roasted. I'll either roast it in the oven like I said or on my rotisserie in the convection oven. I'm so with you when you speak of the crispy skin, I can't help it I know its bad for us!!! I did take a photo when I made the roast chicken and au gratin potatoes, I was having a problem getting them to download to my computer and I ended up having to delete them.
                        No problem, I wouldn't want the chicken to mess up for you either, I can only speak of my own experiences and honestly the rack I have is for the humungous roaster, or the rack for which I put baked goods to cool. When I used that, the skin stuck to it and It darn near killed me. So I just place it's well oiled little body on the baking dish. so far so good. Plenty of juices, but then that depends on the fat in the bird.

                      2. re: chef chicklet

                        I like yours, simple and true for me that is. Try oranges, lemon and onion in the cavity with some herbs. Really moist.

                        1. re: kchurchill5

                          That's so funny kc, are you a mind reader? I love chicken so darn much and I was thinking about the next time...Hey maybe try an orange with the lemon/I have one orange in the crisper. Sounds great!