This roast chicken recipe is proof that there is nothing simpler, more delicious, or more comforting than a lovely brown roast bird surrounded by a pool of butter and garlic dairy smoothies. While cooking anything whole can be intimidating, this recipe is called foolproof for a reason – it has transformed many meat-cookers terrifying by eliminating the uncertainty about knowing whether or not the chicken is cooked. We’ve made this point easier to recognize with loads of visual cues anyone can follow, and if you have a thermometer for instant reading, feel free to use that too: Just take the chicken out of the oven when it’s thick a thigh portion hits 160 degrees.
And not only is it easy, but it is also delicious. We take it to the next level with loads of lemon and garlic and a “healthy” pour of melted butter to exfoliate the skin while keeping the meat moist and tender. Consider this roast chicken, a large piece of good baguette, and a simple green salad for a Sunday dinner from now on.
° 1 Lemon
° 1 Head of garlic
° ¼ A cup (half a stick) unsalted butter or extra virgin olive oil
° 1 3½ – 4 pounds of whole chicken
° Kosher salt
° Freshly ground black pepper
Arrange a shelf in the center of the oven, pre-heat to 425 degrees. Cut a lemon in half crosswise and remove any visible seeds.
Cutting garlic in half Crosswiise. (If it breaks down a little, don’t sweat.)
Melt ½ stick of butter in a small saucepan or in the microwave in a small bowl.
Put in 1 3–4 lbs. Whole chicken on a cutting board (it’s best to use a plastic one that you can sterilize). A word about the size of the bird. 3 – 4 lbs. The chicken is the perfect size for roasting this method. Something a little bigger will work, but once you go over 4 lbs. It becomes difficult to ensure that the brisket will not dry out in the time it takes to cook the dark meat. Dried everything avec paper spread. It is very important to dry the chicken as much as possible, which helps brown the chicken.
With the chicken breasts facing up and legs facing you, use a sharp knife to cut the loose area of skin that connects the leg to the breast, and make a 3-inch incision. Continue cutting down to the joint that connects the thigh to the breast. Body, then stop (once you pierce the skin, there is not much there; if you are cutting the flesh, you are very close to the breast). This reveals the leg joint, making it easy to tell if the chicken is cooked. Repeat on the second side.
Season every surface of the chicken, including the skin along the spine, inner cavity, under the wings, and the inner part of the leg that was just exposed, with plenty of salt and pepper. If you are using kosher salt, it should take 4-5 teaspoons – as is the case with four fingers – which will be about 4 full teaspoons.
Transfer chicken breasts to a large, oven-safe skillet. Arrange the lemon and garlic chunks in a skillet around the chicken.
Sprinkle the whole chicken with melted butter (mm mm) and transfer to the oven.
Grill the chicken until it is well browned and cooked through, checking for completion after 45 minutes. To check, carefully remove the pan from the oven (the handle is hot!), Insert a knife into the leg joints and pierce the meat. If the juices drain clear, the chicken is done. If you see a pinkish-pink color, this needs more time. Continue toasting, checking every 5 minutes, until the juices are clear. (If you are not sure, you can also use the knife to gently chop some meat along the thigh bone – the meat should look opaque and the fibers should separate easily.)
Allow the chicken to rest in the skillet for at least 15 minutes before cutting it – this will help the juices in the meat settle in, and it will also lower its temperature enough to handle with your bare hand while carving. Still be a lot warm by the time you serve it. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Pour all those delicious buttered juices over the meat and serve with the toasted garlic and lemon side by side.
Do before that: the chicken can be prepared two days in advance. To calm down. Cover and hail.