Roast chicken is one of the simplest and most comforting meals you can prepare for your family, and it should be in every cook’s repertoire. Here are some tips to show you how easy it can be to pull a juicy and delicious golden brown roast chicken out of your oven.
To prevent the wings from burning, put the bird on its breast and pull the wings away from the body, then twist the tips toward and under the bird.
Rub the skin generously with softened butter, salt, pepper, and the herbs of your choice. Loosen the skin from the breast and legs and rub a little butter and seasoning under the skin, too. Place a small quartered onion, half a lemon, fresh herbs and a couple of peeled garlic cloves inside the cavity.
To ensure even cooking, tie the legs together with cotton kitchen twine, or secure them with skewers.
Roast the chicken in a preheated 450 degree F oven for 15 minutes to encourage browning and crisping of the skin, then lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to roast until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees F (this should take 18-20 minutes per pound). Test for doneness by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone. If you don’t have an instant-read thermometer, try wiggling the chicken legs and poking one of the thighs with the tip of a knife—if the legs move quite freely and the juices run clear, the chicken should be ready to take out of the oven.
•Rest & Carve
Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes loosely tented with foil before you carve it. This gives the juices time to redistribute throughout the meat and prevents them from running out when you cut into the bird, which would dry out the meat. Use a sharp knife to carve the chicken; a serrated knife will shred the meat and make for a less-attractive presentation. To carve, bend the legs outward and cut through the joints to remove the leg quarters. Remove the wings. Then cut from the top down, removing thin slices from the breast.
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