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Tips on how to roast a Large Chicken (8 lbs)

Does anyone have an recipes or thoughts on how to roast very large chickens? My farmer's market guy grows whoppers! Thanks!

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  1. If you don't plan on stuffing it, the general rule is 20 min/lb. at 350, or 10-15 min. at high temps (450 or 500).

      1. re: hotoynoodle

        This! I saw it on seriouseats and tried it out. I have also converted my SIL, who did it last night with a couple of chooks she picked up. It's easy & gives more even cooking.

        1. re: hotoynoodle

          I agree. Take out the backbone and wing tips and save them in a plastic bag, until you have enough for soup. I roast the bird skin side down for 50% of estimated time, then turn over. If you have a convection oven, turn it to convection roast (upper oven burner is on) (as opposed to convection bake - lower oven burner is hot)when you turn bird skin side up so skin will get crispy.

        2. I would rotate it once. Start breast down, finish breast up.

          1. Just bought an 8-pounder the other day. Because I then realized I was short on fridge space for the leftovers, I decided to take it apart. I removed and skinned the breast halves, freezing them. At some point I'll poach them or use for chicken a la king. I removed the wings, thighs, and drumsticks to roast on a rack above a roasting pan into which I put sliced potatoes and onions (basted in drippings from the rack atop them, they are yummy). While the parts roasted, I was simmering the neck, giblets (sans liver), breast skin, and carcass for stock. Once the parts were roasted I immediately removed their bones to add to the stockpot. I froze the liver, which I will dice and saute the next time I stuff a chicken. When the potatoes were removed from the pan, there was still nice fond around the edges so I ladled in some hot stock to loosen it, then poured that back into the stockpot. The nice part of this procedure is that the work is over sooner, since I don't have to wait to make the stock.

            I roasted the parts and spuds at 400 for an hour. The meat didn't need that long but the potatoes did, so next time I will nuke the potatoes for a few minutes first, to give them a head start.

            1. Spatchcocking is a good idea. Otherwise, I just roast it at 350 starting it on a rack breast side down. For an 8 pound chicken, I'd probably give it 2.5 hours over all. So, I would leave it breast down for 1 3/4 hours, and then turn it breast up for the final 45 minutes., giving it enough time to brown the skin.

              I also find that the "typical" meat thermometer temperature quoted in many cookbooks says 170 degrees for the breast. However, I find that the meat is dry and stringy at that point. I usually go for 150 myself, which is safe and the meat has just the faintest bit of pale pink in it. I realize that's a personal preference, but I hate the dry breast meat.