⬇️ Table of Contents
- Tips To The Perfect Roast Chicken
- Trussing The Chicken
- What Is the Internal Temperature for Oven Roasted Chicken?
- How long do I roast a whole chicken?
- What's the best way to carve a roast chicken?
- Can I roast a frozen chicken?
- What should I do with the giblets?
- Can I roast a chicken in a slow cooker?
- What should I serve with roast chicken?
- How do I know when roast chicken is done?
- What is the best temperature to roast chicken?
- How do I keep roast chicken from drying out?
- What can I do with leftover roast chicken?
- How long does roast chicken last in the fridge?
- How long does roast chicken last in the freezer?
- 📖 Recipe Card
Roast chicken is a classic dish that can be enjoyed any time of year. There are many ways to roast chicken, but the basic technique is always the same and is explained in this article.
This post started with my mother offering to teach me how to roast the perfect chicken. Having gone to culinary school and working in fine dining, I've had the good fortune of learning many different ways of cooking chicken. When your mother offers knowledge, there's no way I could miss out on the inside scoop from a lifelong cook.
I will tell you, this recipe is simple, but it's exactly what you need to "do" to roast the perfect roast chicken.
Mom knows best!
Tips To The Perfect Roast Chicken
Cooking is a balance of timing, textures, and flavors. It's like a coach trying to get everyone to do their job at the precise moment.
Chicken is a lean protein, which means it is low in fat and lends itself to overcooking easily.
One of the tips for roasting chicken is getting it done quickly. Low and slow with chicken can work with something like a crockpot or backyard smoker.
When chicken is overcooked, the meat becomes grainy. The slow cooking reduces the fat, which can lead to drying.
The art of high-heat cooking can yield some pretty fantastic food. This is one technique to use to help your roast chicken stay juicy. Next would be that you could brine the chicken to add additional moisture.
Here's an article on moist and juicy pork chops. The topic of Brining is well covered.
Sourcing and buying the best chicken: Look for a plump bird with firm, shiny skin. Avoid any that have bruises or seem limp.
Cleaning the chicken: Thoroughly rinse the chicken inside and out, then pat dry with paper towels.
Trussing The Chicken
This step isn’t required, but it helps the chicken cook evenly and prevents the legs and wings from drying out. Use kitchen twine to tie the legs together, tuck the wings under, and close up the cavity.
If you choose not to truss the chicken, the roast chicken will still be juicy and moist and sure to be a family favorite. The main difference is the thighs' cooking and your bird's presentation for the table. Trussing is highly suggested if you would like your chicken to look nice on the table. Trussing a chicken takes about 2 minutes and is very easy. Go ahead and watch the video below.
Click Here To Learn How To Professionally Truss Whole Chicken For The Perfect Roast
The cookware used: A roasting pan with a rack is ideal for roasting chicken. If you don't have a roasting rack, you can improvise by using carrots or celery stalks to elevate the chicken off the bottom of the pan. The idea is that the chicken is not directly touching the roasting pan. This allows the hot air in the oven to move evenly around the chicken. This is important for properly cooked roast chicken and presentation.
Types of ways to cook the chicken: You can roast chicken in a hot oven (400 °F) or a slow oven (325 °F). You can also roast it on the grill. Cook it low and slow on a smoker. Even deep frying the chicken for a special occasion.
Resting the chicken once cooked: After the roast chicken is cooked, let it rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving. This allows the juices to be redistributed throughout the bird.
Slicing and cutting the chicken for presentation: Slice the roasted chicken against the grain into thin strips. Cut off the wings and legs, discard them, or save them for another use, like chicken stock.
Storing roast chicken: Store leftover roast chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freezing roast chicken: Freeze leftover roast chicken in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
What Is the Internal Temperature for Oven Roasted Chicken?
When you remove the chicken from the oven, the internal temperature could be 158-160 degrees. This is important; removing food from the oven does not mean the food stops cooking. Something called "carry-over cooking" happens every single time.
The inside of the chicken is so hot that it takes time to stop cooking. Think of the chicken inside as an extreme storm of steam trying to get out. If you cut into the chicken too soon, all the heat will cause the chicken to release its moisture, creating a very dry roasted chicken.
Remove the chicken at 158-160 and allow it to rest; the finished internal temperature will rise due to carryover cooking up to the suggested USDA guidance of 165 degrees.
Tint the chicken with aluminum foil while resting. Only lightly cover the chicken, not wrapping it, or it will start to steam.
Watch Vid: How To Roast Chicken
Here are some commonly asked questions about roast chicken:
How long do I roast a whole chicken?
A whole chicken should be roasted at 400°F to 450°F for about 35 minutes to 1 hour, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F. Note: I said the thighs, not the breasts. The breast should read 158-160 degrees.
What's the best way to carve a roast chicken?
To carve a roast chicken, first slice it in half down the breastbone using a sharp knife between the breasts. Then remove each half breast and cut it into thin slices against the grain. Finally, remove each leg and thigh and slice them crosswise into small pieces. "
Can I roast a frozen chicken?
Yes, you can roast a frozen chicken, but it will take about 50% longer to cook. Make sure the chicken is thoroughly thawed before roasting. I would never suggest this cooking method.
Warning: Never add a frozen chicken or turkey to hot oil or risk a major fire.
What should I do with the giblets?
The giblets (heart, liver, and gizzard) can be cooked with the chicken or separately. Many people like to make gravy using the giblets.
Can I roast a chicken in a slow cooker?
Yes, you can roast a chicken in a slow cooker, but it will not be crispy like the one roasted in the oven. We recommend cooking the chicken on the high setting for 3-5 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
What should I serve with roast chicken?
There are many sides that go well with roasted chicken, such as mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, rice, quinoa, or salad.
Here are other recipes to try with Chicken:
How do I know when roast chicken is done?
Roast chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 170°F. You can also check to see if the juices run clear when piercing the meat with a fork.
What is the best temperature to roast chicken?
The best temperature to roast chicken at is 400°F. This will give you crispy skin and juicy meat.
How do I keep roast chicken from drying out?
You can do a few things to prevent the roast chicken from drying out. First, make sure not to overcook the chicken. Second, roast the chicken at a high temperature (400°F). Third, use a roasting pan with a rack so the chicken is not sitting in its own juices. Finally, let the chicken rest for 10-15 minutes after cooking so the juices can redistribute throughout the bird.
What can I do with leftover roast chicken?
There are many things you can do with leftover roast chicken. You can make soup, sandwiches, salads, or casseroles. You can also shred the chicken and use it in enchiladas or tacos.
How long does roast chicken last in the fridge?
The leftover roast chicken will last in the fridge for 3-4 days.
How long does roast chicken last in the freezer?
The leftover roast chicken will last in the freezer for 2-3 months.
Recipe To Try
📖 Recipe Card
Perfect Roast Chicken Recipe
- 1 large Whole Chicken Average size 6 pounds
- 12 sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 1 tablespoon Garlic
- ½ stick Butter (4oz)
- 3 tablespoon Salt Be sure to season the inside of the chicken as well
- ½ sliced Lemon
- 2 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 large Onion
- 1 teaspoon Paprika Chef suggests using Smoked Paprika
- Preparing the ChickenRinse and pat dry the chicken.Place the ingredients: salt, onion, lemon, fresh thyme, and garlic, into the chicken's cavity.
- Trussing the Chicken - Use kitchen string to tighten the legs and thighs. This promotes even cooking. For a professional guide to trussing, look to the post above for a tutorial.
- Mix olive oil, butter, dry thyme, paprika, and garlic salt and rub all over the chicken; cover completely. Apply under the skins as well. The chicken skin is strong and will allow you to move butter underneath the skin and the meat.Place onion slices under the chicken; the onion will act as a roasting rack for the chicken to sit on. This will ensure even cooking as the heat convection in the oven will be able to brown the lower portion of the chicken and provide even cooking of the thighs.
- Place chicken on a roasting rack (If you have one). Still place the onions underneath, but add some water or stock to the bottom of the roasting rack. This helps keep the chicken moist and stops the onions from possibly burning.Add, finally covering with salt and pepper all over.
- Roasting the ChickenPlace chicken in the preheated oven of 425. After 20 minutes, look at the chicken and see how the cook is going. Ovens cook differently, so make sure to watch and learn how your oven cooks before allowing the entire cook time to elapse.
- Chef Tip: Place the chicken legs and thighs pointed to the back of the oven. The legs & thighs finish at a higher internal temperature than the white meat. The dark meat points to the back of the oven for this reason.