Roasting a whole chicken is about the easiest way to get some delectable pieces of chicken into your mouth! So why does it seem as if it’s the scariest? Maybe because you haven’t tried it yet!
1. Take chicken out of fridge about an hour before roasting time. (This allows the old biddy to loosen up and absorb your seasonings better.)
2. Decide what combo of spices to use—I never use ‘mixed’ spices like, ‘Italian’ Seasoning, ‘Grill’ seasoning, or even ‘Chile.’ I’d rather buy individual spices, and mix them myself. You can taste the difference!
3. Preheat oven to 400 F and place top rack in center of oven.
4. Mix your spices in a bowl. About a quarter cup of salt for a whole bird, or three tablespoons (same if you ever use brown sugar), and one T. each of dried herbs, and/or spices. (I used brown sugar and onion powder besides salt on this bird.) Make sure you make plenty! If you have extra, store in freezer to use next time.
5. Using paper towels, make sure your bird is dry—inside the carcass too, which will make a crispier, better-browned skin.
6. Rub your spices all over the bird—inside and out.
7. Place bird, breast up—tips of wings should point upwards—on a very shallow pan. The whole bird gets brown that way!! I do my turkey that way too.
8. Place in the 400 degree oven on the middle rack: in one hour, give your chicken a 180 degree turn—meaning spin your vessel one half circle, so the chicken browns evenly.
9. I usually end up cooking the bird an hour and a half (1-1/2 hours) to two hours total. If chicken is looks too brown when you check it after an hour, Step 8, you can lower the temp 25 degrees—I’ve even taken out the chicken and lowered the rack (the skin will brown slower.) It depends on your oven too.
10. The opposite is also possible! If your oven doesn’t get hot enough, and you don’t turn UP the temperature, your bird may not be done OR browned after 2 hours! That’s where sticking to a recipe can kill your meal, so just use instructions as a guideline!
11. She’s done when the juice is completely clear, AND you can grab the end of a leg, and it moves really easily; feels like you can pull the bone out.
12. Don’t get nervous if common sense tells you to cook it longer, or on a higher temp! Let chicken set for 15 minutes; this allows the juice to absorb back into the meat, instead of losing it! Enjoy.