It does not get any easier than a roasted chicken. A whole chicken is a blank canvas, ready to receive almost any creation you can imagine. That sounds really deep doesn’t it? Anyway…the point is you can put together any combination of ingredients to enhance the already delicious flavor of roasted chicken. This is my go-to recipe for a traditional style chicken. The flavors are rich enough to be worthy of a formal affair, yet subtle enough to serve as the foundation for other recipes. For instance, I use this recipe to make my Herb Roasted Chicken Salad.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
Start by drying off the chicken with a paper towel. This helps the chicken to develop a nice crispy skin. Season the inside of the cavity with salt and pepper. Don’t season the outside yet, we’ll get there. Most people think it’s enough to only season the outside of the bird; quite the contrary. Seasoning the inside of the chicken is how you achieve the most flavor. When you think about it, the skin is acting as a barrier between the seasoning and the meat. Flavors inside the cavity have direct access to the meat.
Next, cut a lemon and a head of garlic in half, and stuff them into the cavity. There’s no need to peel the garlic. Take about 10 springs of fresh thyme and tie them together with twine. Put the thyme into the cavity. It’s okay to use dried thyme if you don’t have fresh available.
Use some twine to tie together the chicken legs. Keeping the legs tied together helps the chicken cook more evenly in the oven. Place the chicken in a roasting pan, preferably with a rack inside to drain the pan drippings.
Slice a yellow onion and spread it around the bottom of the roasting pan. Put the pan in the oven for 1 1/2 hours. The skin should be golden brown. Let the chicken to sit for 10-15 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. Once it sits, the chicken is ready to be served with your favorite side dishes or cut up for a fantastic Roasted Chicken Salad (recipe coming soon).
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 lemon
- 1 head garlic
- 1 yellow onion
- 15 sprigs thyme (10 for inside cavity, 5 to season skin)
- 3 tablespoons softened butter
- 2 tablespoons salt (1 for inside cavity, 1 to season skin)
- 1 tablespoon black pepper (half for inside cavity, half to season skin)
- 2 teaspoons parsley
- 2 teaspoons rosemary
- twine (to tie legs and thyme)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Dry off chicken with a paper towel.
- Season inside of the cavity with salt and pepper.
- Tie 10 springs of fresh thyme together with twine. Put the thyme into the cavity.
- Tie chicken legs together with twine.
- Place the chicken in a roasting pan, preferably with a rack inside to drain pan drippings.
- Rub the skin with softened butter.
- Sprinkle salt, pepper, parsley, rosemary and a little more thyme on the skin.
- Slice a yellow onion and spread it around the bottom of the roasting pan.
- Roast chicken in oven for 1 1/2 hours. The skin should be a deep golden brown.
- Let chicken to sit for 10-15 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.
- To substitute fresh thyme for dried thyme use 1 tablespoon dried thyme inside the cavity and two teaspoons dried thyme on the skin.