Other than the sweet aroma of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies, nothing smells as wonderful and inviting as roasted chicken while it’s baking. Mmmm!! Just thinking about it can take me to my “happy place”.
I’m no stranger to roasting a whole chicken, but unless you’re cooking for a few, a whole chicken can often be too much. Sure, you can use the carcass to make home-made chicken stock and the leftover chicken can be used for soup, enchiladas, salads, sandwiches, etc., but do you really want to be eating chicken all week!? I’m over it after about day 2. If you’re looking for a savory, delicious, sooth the soul comfort meal without the hassle of all the left-overs, roast a few (or one) bone-in chicken breasts! You will not be disappointed! I guarantee it!
I always (ALWAYS!) rinse my poultry in cool water and pat dry before preparing. I am shocked when I find out that this isn’t a normal practice for some. When roasting chicken, whether it’s pieces or the whole bird, I like to throw carrots, onions, potatoes, celery, garlic and sometimes bell peppers into my baking dish. This serves a few purposes – the veggies help season the chicken and they soak up all the juicy goodness leaving you with scrumptious veggies to serve alongside your meal, without dirtying another dish. Score! “One-pot” meals are fantastic!
Once my chicken has been rinsed and patted dry, I place in a baking dish or on a parchment-paper-lined rimmed cookie sheet and scatter my selected veggies around the chicken. If preparing a whole bird, after pulling all the organs out (isn’t that a fun task!?), rinsing the inside and outside of the bird and patting dry, I salt the cavity generously and stuff with onion, cloves of garlic, lemon and fresh herbs (if using) before adding to my baking dish and veggies. Just thinking about the not-so-fun task of pulling semi-frozen organs out of a chicken makes me appreciate the simplicity of roasted chicken breasts! In photo #1, I used onion, celery, carrots and fingerling potatoes. I also cut up half a lemon, placing the slices under and around the chicken for added flavor. In photo #2, I used fresh rosemary, garlic, onion, bell pepper, carrots and lemon slices. In both cases, I drizzle all with olive oil and season to taste with: kosher salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, oregano, basil, thyme, Hungarian paprika and poultry seasoning.
When cooking bone-in chicken breasts, I usually bake at 350 degrees for about an hour. For a whole chicken…. I usually call and consult my mom as to how long I’m supposed to cook the beast as I can never remember. I want to say it’s 15-20 minutes per pound. But by no means am I giving you permission to trust me on that one! When cooked thoroughly the juices should run clear when poked with a fork and should have an internal temperature between 160 and 180, in a meaty part away from the bone.
In closing, I apologize to everyone who received a very unfinished blog post earlier in the week. How embarrassing is that!? Mortifying! That darn tab key got away from me!! And I present you with photos of beautifully roasted and perfectly seasoned roasted chicken and veggies. Please try not to drool! That may be just as embarrassing as prematurely firing off an email…