Tips

How to Roast a Chicken

By Christopher Stewart | May 6, 2013

how to, roast, chicken, leftovers, easy

Photo: H.Saksono

A perfectly roast chicken is such a comforting meal. It stirs up a mixture of emotions from Sunday dinners with family, to the best left-over sandwich for lunch the next day. Roast chicken is a staple in restaurant kitchens for staff meal and  it also goes a long way. Crispy golden brown skin, and ridiculously juicy meat are all the reasons why roast chicken in general is the go-to meal. The convection ovens in a restaurant kitchen make for perfect chicken skin. All of the hot air from the ovens fans, circulating around the chicken make the skin extra crispy. So what happens to your chicken when you roast it at home in your non-convection oven and the skin isn’t crispy and the meat is not perfectly juicy? Here are our tips to making the perfect roast chicken.

Selecting a Chicken to Roast:

The right type of chicken is key to the perfect roast. Larger chickens and older poultry like hens or fowl are great for slow simmering soups and stews. A great roasting chicken is ideally 3-4 pounds. It may seem small, but you want the chicken to roast evenly and the meat to cook properly  all the way through.

Pat, Tie, Season:

Patting your chicken dry is a great way to achieve that golden brown and crispy roast chicken. Excess water will evaporate into steam and your chicken’s skin will NOT become as crispy as you would like it to be.

Season your chicken inside and out for the best flavor. Seasoning the chicken in the inside cavity will promote flavorful meat. I like seasoning and stuffing the inside with salt, pepper, thick cut slices of lemon, and fresh thyme sprigs. Rub your seasoned chicken with olive oil or butter before roasting. This also helps with that crispy skin you are looking for. Famed chef Julia Childs believes giving your bird a butter bath is the best roast chicken you will ever eat!

Tie your chicken legs together with butchers twine for even cooking and tuck the wings under your seasoned chicken. Leaving the wings untucked when roasting will result in burnt wing tips.

Roast, Roast, Roast:

The continuous high heat swirling around in a convection oven is what makes a restaurant roast chicken so desirable. For the home cooks, a oven on high heat will give you that same crispy skin. Preheat your oven to 400-450 degrees and have the perfect roast chicken for dinner tonight.

There is nothing better than left over roast chicken. Here are 5 great ways to utilize your leftover roast chicken:

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