Monday, January 11, 2010

How To Roast A Chicken

When I find roasting chickens at this price, I stock up and pop them in the freezer. If you have trouble reading this picture, this Perdue bird is on sale at 79 cents a pound. The total price for the 7.4 lb bird is $5.85. I was able to use the chicken for 3 family dinners and about 3 days of lunches for our family. (I never tire of homemade chicken salad for lunch)

Are you ready to roast? Let's get started!

I didn't take a picture of the bag of giblets that is inside of the chicken. It is not pleasant to look at, simply remove and discard in your trash. Honestly, I'm not sure what they are used for. Does anyone know??

I use the following simple ingredients to roast a chicken:
  • roasting chicken
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • salt
  • pepper
Cut the lemon in half. Cut one of the halves of the lemon into slices.

Cut the head of garlic in half. I remove most of the outer papery skin, but it is okay if it still had some of the paper on.

Mix together about 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Stuff the cavity of the bird with both halves of the garlic, one half of the lemon, about 15 sprigs of parsley, and the salt/pepper mixture.
One of the main reasons why I like Perdue Oven Stuffers is because of the pop-up thermometers(see picture below) that they have on their roasting chickens.

Note the wings sticking out, simply tuck them under the chicken to avoid burning.

Place the chicken in a roasting pan, breast side up. On this particular night, I roasted some vegetables that I had on hand: potatoes and carrots. If you would like, spread the vegetables around the chicken.

Rub the butter all over the chicken.

Take knife and slide it under the skin to separate from the meat. Insert lemon slices under the skin on each side of the breast.

Break the leftover butter into tiny pieces and sprinkle over the chicken. Sprinkle additional salt and pepper over the chicken.

If you have kitchen string, tie the legs together to hold the garlic and lemon in the cavity. If you don't have kitchen string, no worries, I have roasted many birds without tying the legs together.

Bake the chicken at 375 degrees. The time will depend on the size of the chicken and the temperature of your oven. It took this 7.4 lb chicken exactly 2 hours to roast. The nice thing about Perdue is that their roasters come with pop-up thermometers that let you know when the chicken is done. Otherwise I would use a meat thermometer and roast the whole chicken until it reached an internal temperature of 180 degrees. The thermometer should be placed in the thickest part of the cut of meat without touching the bone, per Perdue's guidelines.

When the chicken is done, let it rest for 20 minutes under some foil before cutting into it. If you cut into too early, the juices will run out and dry out your chicken.

When it is time to cut into the chicken, take a knife down the center breast bone and cut the breast out of the chicken. This is my favorite part. My kids and husband like the legs.

Cut as much meat of as possible. The evening I roasted this chicken, we had it for dinner with the roasted vegetables. I cut up 2 cups of chicken for a pot pie, I froze 2 cups to be used for soup at a later date and I used what was left to make chicken salad for lunches.

I did make gravy for dinner, but things got crazy as dinner was approaching and I didn't get photos of the gravy making process. I'll plan that for a later post.

After you have picked the bird clean of all of the meat, DO NOT throw the carcass away. Use it to make homemade crock-pot chicken broth. It really stretches that $5.85 chicken even further.
Side Note: To rinse or not to rinse...That is the question. I have read that rinsing a chicken is counter-productive and can cause cross-contamination. The USDA does not suggest that you rinse chickens. There is a chance that you are just spreading the harmful bacteria all over your sink and kitchen and you are not really getting rid of it on your chicken. The bacteria is killed during the roasting stage. It is very important to roast the chicken to the recommended internal temperature. I choose NOT to rinse the chicken. Although, I still scrub the sink thoroughly after the bird is in the oven.

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  1. Looks delightfully yummy! As for the giblets - I can't stand them, but my husband uses them to make gravy. Blessings!

  2. This is fantastic, thanks! I have wanted to roast a chicken, but just hadn't attempted it yet, due to lack of knowledge. I will be using this to do one in the next couple weeks!

  3. that looks so good I have a chicken in freezer may just have to follow this recipe

  4. My family would love that for a dinner on a cold night.

  5. What a great looking chicken. I will try this. Doylene

  6. Love how you stuffed it! Looks great!!!

  7. Wow! Thanks for the step by step how to roast a chicken. That chicken looks wonderful and I am sure taste great. Thanks for linking to TMTT.

  8. That looks so wonderful! Your pictures are great and make it all so easy to understand.

  9. thanks for posting the pictures, you make this look so easy.

  10. You can throw the gibblet/heart/livers in with the chicken carcass for the stock. After it's cooked, I feed them to my cats, who love them.

    I think some people use that packet to make the gravey.

  11. Don't throw those giblets away! The neck (you know what that looks like), the heart (looks like a red marble with a tubey thing on it) and gizzard (a grey marble thingy that is hard and solid) can all go in the stock you make in your crock pot. The heart and liver (the soft, dark red part) can be chopped fine and added to your gravy or stuffing, if you make one. Or you can just sautee or fry the liver with some onions, mash with butter, and eat on crackers. At the very least save the neck for your stock.

    Thanks for the photos! I'm always afraid of roasting a whole bird, but theres no real reason why. Great post.

  12. Thanks for all of the comments.

    Alyss - For knowing so much about the giblets, I can't believe that you are afraid to roast a chicken.

  13. Great post. Ihave 3 chickens in the freezer and I like to roast them too. But I don't have tis recipe. It sounds delicious!!!!
    I love your comment about saving the chicken carcus. I posted Chicken Noodle Soup, and I use carcuses all the time!
    I will make this next week. Look for it on posted on Monday for my weekly menu.

  14. I really appreciated your post today. The roast chicken sounds delicious. Thanks for the tips. I hope you are having a wonderful Foodie Friday.

  15. This looks so good. I have a whole chicken in the freezer and think this will be our Sunday night dinner. Thank you so much for the step by step directions with pictures, very helpful for a visual person like me!

  16. This was such a great post. I have slipped herbs under the skin and I am delighted to learn about using sliced lemons. My mother always puts chopped apples and oranges(or anything that's in her fridge) in the cavity, along with a lemon).
    There's so much versatility with roasted chicken, after you know the basics. This is just beautiful.


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