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New at roasting a whole chicken....advice?

I know there are many recipes for roasting a whole chicken, but, for reasons to lengthy to write here, I don't have time to do the usual looking around.

I have a 4.5 pound whole chicken with giblets. I am planning to wash it, reserve the giblets, rub oil on outside, salt and pepper in and out, and put some onion, lemon, and thyme sprigs in the cavity.

Not sure on roasting temp.

If this is a bad plan, would you please advise? I need to get it in the oven in about two hours.

Many thanks!

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  1. If you need it in a short while I'd do it at 350 F. I slip a few chunks of apple and onion into the cavity and baste with melted butter and wine. Freeze the carcass for stock.

    1. I would suggest mixing some of the thyme, salt & pepper w/ olive oil (or butter) and rubbing it between the skin and meat. It yields a very moist bird and the flavor of the seasonings get into the meat better that way, and you don't need to baste it either. I would do it around 425 and start checking it at around 45 minutes.

      1. Your plan is fine. In a 350 degree oven, your chicken should be done in about 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours. There has been a lot written on this board about the "best" way to roast a chicken but there is no need to obsess over all those posts. It's one of the easiest and tastiest dishes around. My mother never put anything in the cavity of the bird and simply seasoned with salt and pepper, and her chicken was great.

        1 Reply
        1. re: masha

          I agree. Nothing beats roast chicken and it is so easy to do.

        2. Sounds like a nice bird. I usually brine poultry for juicer meat and crisper skin. But given your timetable I would just suggest using a V-shaped roasting rack if available and cooking breast side down for the first 20 min to prevent drying out the more delicate white meat.

          1. and I roast at 375 for about an hour.