I’ve cooked a lot of whole chickens in the slow cooker but I had never tried roasting one in the oven. Always wanted to, but making it in the slow cooker was more conducive to my lifestyle while working full time. I came across a recipe in Real Simple: Meals Made Easy and was inspired to try it. I don’t have a roasting pan, so I used this pan and it worked great! I’ve actually made this twice. It is sure to enter the permanent rotation of recipes I make. You can’t get much more budget friendly than a whole chicken, and it is really a fairly easy meal that presents well. Great for entertaining groups of 4-6.
Adapted from Real Simple: Meals Made Easy
1 3.5-4 pound chicken
1-2 tsp herbs de Provence (optional)
one lemon, halved
1 cup fresh herbs (I use a combo of parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme–use whatever you have available)
1-2 Tbsp softened unsalted butter
3 medium yellow onions, quartered
3-5 carrots peeled and cut into chunks similar in size to the onions
(I consider carrots and onions a must. I added parsnips one time that I made it. You could also use potatoes but I’d rather prepare them separately. I think they soak up all the fat from the chicken, gross. The original recipe also calls for one head of garlic unpeeled. If you’re going to add garlic, I would throw in a few peeled cloves. But that’s just me.)
1) Heat oven to 425*F. Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry with paper towels (this step is important for a beautiful crispy skin—don’t skip it!). Season the inside with 1/2 tsp of the salt and 1/4 tsp of the pepper. Place the lemon and the herbs inside of the cavity. Rub the outside of the bird with the butter and season with 1/2 tsp salt, remaining pepper and herbs de Provence (if desired).
2) Place the vegetables and garlic in a roasting pan, season with salt if desired (I don’t). Place the chicken on top of the vegetables and roast until the thigh registers 180*F on a meat thermometer, about 1.5 hours.
3) Let the chicken rest on a cutting board for 15 minutes before carving. Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon and serve with chicken.
Verdict: Really good! I’ve seen some complicated roasted chicken recipes (butter/herbs under the skin, tying the legs together, etc), and I’m sure they are great, but this is a great go-to roasted chicken recipe. It is easy and you can adapt it to fit what you have available in your home (herbs and vegetables)
Husband’s take: He liked it. I served it to his parents, and they liked it too. In fact, I think they were even a little impressed.
Changes I would make: None.
Difficulty: Very easy!