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Jan 12, 2010 02:58 AM

Help with roasting a chicken for the first time

Ok so I am roasting my first chicken. It's a 'roaster' type and it's 7.3 pounds.
I've bought a disposable aluminium roasting pan. I'm not cooking roast veggies, or wanting to make a gravy. Just simply, how hot an oven and for how long?

I don't have access to any herbs, bacon, etc and the chicken will be used mainly for pulling apart and using in a chicken pie dish, do I don't care how crispy the skin is and I'm certainly not going to stuff it (not that I have anything to stuff it with anyway). My oven in a very old electric one with no fan force, or anything fancy, No glass to look through to see how thing's are getting along inside the oven. So I find things need to cook a little longer as there is a drop of heat each time I have to check if anything is burning.

ANyway hope I can just get some generic how to's.


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  1. 1. Wash, drain, and dry chicken (optional)
    2. Rub with salt in and out (optional)
    3. Leave in ref for a day or thee (optional)
    4. Pre-heatoven to 425F
    5. Place chicken on rack or on rough cut onions/carrots in pan
    6. Pan in oven
    7. 425F for 10 minutes
    8. Turn oven down to 375F and leave for 60 - 70 minutes
    9. Take out, let cool, stand on ass to drain cavity

    On the other hand, if I were you and were making chicken pot pie, I'd just cut the chicken up in 10 easy pieces and poach: place in pot of water, bring to a boil and simmer (or off) for 20 minutes.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

      Agree with the poaching recommendation. Although, if the OP is making a chicken pie, it might be nice to incorporate the drippings into the sauce for the pie, and in that case, I'd bake. But it sounds like gravy is out, so nevermind.

      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

        60 - 70 minutes does not seem long enough for a bird that size.

        1. re: souschef

          You're right. Could go for more time; but snax is also using the chicken in a pot pie that will also cook the chicken a bit more.

      2. I usually use Marcella Hazen's recipe for roasting chicken, though generally use a smaller chicken than you have To summarize: Rinse the chicken, pat dry, season with salt and pepper. Puncture a lemon with a fork and put into bird's cavity. CLose opening with toothpicks. Put chicken in roasting pan, breast side down and cook at 350 for 30 minutes. Flip the chicken over and continue cooking. Usually I turn the heat up at the end to crisp the skin, but doesn't sound like you are interested. Calculate about 20 min total cooking time per pound for a smaller bird, 15 min/pound for a larger bird (more than 6 pounds) but would recommend using a meat thermometer to make sure.

        1. I understand that you don't have spices etc. and don't want to get fancy, so to speak. But, at *least* salt and pepper the outside and cavity.
          If you have olive oil and butter on hand, give the chicken a coat of olive oil and a smear of softened butter, then salt and pepper.
          You do want to season, even if the chicken will be used in a pot pie.
          Also, you don't have to wash. The cross-contamination from splatter and transfer of germs has put me off of rinsing.
          If the chicken's skin is wet at all as you are about to prepare it, blot it with paper towels.
          My question to you is, do you have a thermometer to check the temp?
          Good luck!

          1. To check for doneness -- First, wiggle the legs. If they do not move freely, it's not done. Then, to be sure, take a fork and prick the skin where the thigh joins the carcass. The juice should run clear (yellowish). If it is pinkish, it's not done.

            1. I love the Zuni Cafe method - it's cooked in a cast-iron skillet. Browned on top of the stove then placed in the oven and turned every 20 minutes. Great skin, moist meat. Delicious.

              3 Replies
              1. re: bayoucook

                The Zuni chicken size is 2 3/4 to 3 1/2 pounds, this OP has a big chicken -- 7+ pounds!
                I don't know if the Zuni instructions would produce the same wonderful results.

                1. re: blue room

                  That's true - that got past me. The last one I did was 5 lbs. and it worked fine - took longer to cook and had to use my largest skillet, but oh, it was soooo good.

                2. re: bayoucook

                  You browned the chicken on top of the stove? That's not how I cooked my chickens Zuni-style. I pre-heated the roasting pan in the oven though. Can you explain your method?