There are, by my count, at least seven levels of fried chicken. The worst of them is good; the best, which I waited forty-four years to find, led to what can only be called an out-of-body experience. Let’s start at …
Roasted chicken is an easy "set it and forget it dinner" that is healthy and delicious. Many roast-chicken recipes make the process more complicated than it has to be. You should aim for the following in a roast chicken: crisp, golden skin; tender, evenly cooked meat; and seasoning incorporated into the bird. These can be achieved by several simple methods.
- Whole chicken
- Roaster with rack
- ½ cup poultry rub
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
- Kitchen brush
- Instant-read thermometer
Preparing the Chicken
If the chicken is frozen, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. Before cooking, let the chicken rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before preparing the chicken.
Remove any livers, giblets or other parts that are inside the body cavity. Starting at the rear of the chicken, gently work your finger under the skin of the bird to separate it from the meat. Work from the bottom to the top and then down into the thighs to create a cavity to hold the poultry rub.
Insert a generous amount of poultry rub into the cavity you created and coat the meat of the chicken with it. Generously season the interior of the chicken with poultry rub as well.
Using the kitchen brush, coat all the skin with melted butter. This will brown and crisp the skin during the cooking process.
Cooking the Chicken
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Place the chicken, breast side up, on the rack of the roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with 1/4 inch of water to add moisture to the cooking environment and allow for easier cleaning.
Place the lid on your roaster and put it in the oven. Cook at 500 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 375 degrees.
Cook the chicken for 30 minutes per pound. An average 3 lb. bird would take about an hour and half.
Remove the roaster from oven when the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees when measured at the center of the thigh, and let the chicken rest for 20 minutes to allow the juices to settle.
Cut the chicken in quarters, halves or slices to serve.
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