The Perfect Roasted Chicken

In 2007 I made the resolution to make the perfect roasted chicken. This may have seemed easy to resolve, however, it took more practice than one would think. I tried many different recipes, even a recipe out of Glamour magazine called “Engagement Chicken,”  but with no luck.

Roasted ChickenIt wasn’t until sometime in early November did I find a winner, and of course, as with all my other culinary successes, it came from Ina Garten’s first book, “The Barefoot Contessa.” Ina makes this recipe every Friday for her husband Jeffrey, and I’ve taken to making it every Sunday for my husband Matt. You can make gravy using the pan drippings and flour, but I found it a bit too salty and fatty, and one of my 2008 resolutions is to eat more healthfully, so no more gravy for me.

What’s great about this chicken is that it’s so versatile when it comes to leftovers. I’ve made soups, tacos, pasta…you name it! I probably only have a few more weeks to enjoy this ritual because I don’t like to use the oven as much when the weather is so nice, so I’ll need to think about how to make this on the grill.

Perfect Roasted Chicken

1 4-5 pound whole chicken (remove neck and giblets)
Salt and pepper
1 lemon, halved
1 garlic bulb, halved crosswise
1 bunch thyme
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425°F degrees. Rinse out chicken and place in roasting pan. Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper in the cavity of the bird (add more than you think you would). Stuff lemon, garlic and thyme in cavity. Tie together legs to close cavity and tuck wings under. Brush butter on skin and sprinkle on additional salt and pepper. Cook for 1 1/2 hours. When cooked, remove from oven and cover with aluminum foil and let stand for 10 minutes.

kim.jpg By Kim Bedwell

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3 Comments so far ↓

  • Eileen | Mar 22, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    Isn’t it amazing how something so seemingly simple is so complicated. I’ll have to try this recipe..

  • Shelly | Mar 28, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Kim – you’re right. It is perfect! Tried it last night and loved it then, and it was great for lunch today, too.

  • Nader | Oct 25, 2009 at 3:54 am

    the contessa also adds 1 large onion (sliced), 3 potatoes (sliced or cubed) and 4 carrots (each carrot cut into 3 pieces)… she places the veggies on the roasting pan… then the chicken goes on top…(continue as above)… after the chicken is done and while it’s being covered by the foil (the veggies remain in the roasting pan)l… she adds a bit of chicken stock to the the veggies and puts them back in the oven for 10 more minutes! YUMMY!!