Things You'll Need
Chicken is a food prepared in just about every type of cuisine. From chicken cacciatore to chicken fried rice to chicken curry to a basic roasted chicken, it is a versatile meat. Roasting or baking a chicken helps to keep the meat moist, without adding extra fat in the process. Baking and roasting are both dry cooking methods in an enclosed oven. Some recipes may call for a "baking dish" or "roasting pan" but the preparation steps are essentially the same.
Set your oven to preheat at 375 degrees F, unless the specific recipe you are using recommends something different.
Wash your chicken with cold water both inside and out, and then pat it dry with a paper towel.
Season the chicken to prepare it for the oven. Sprinkle the outside with salt and pepper, or rub an herbed butter over the outside of the skin. Find an opening in the skin and rub butter under the skin with two fingers to help penetrate the meat.
Place a half lemon, more herbs and several cloves of garlic into the cavity to create more flavor when roasting. Stuff the cavity with a standard bread stuffing or any stuffing recipe you choose, if you want an extra side dish.
Position the prepared chicken on a rack set on a shallow roasting pan. Set the pan in the preheated oven and roast for 20 minutes per pound, plus an extra 10 or 20 minutes if you are roasting at 375 degrees F.
Remove the chicken from the oven when the juices inside run clear, or a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 170 degrees F.
Rest the chicken on the rack, a serving platter or on the cutting board for 10 minutes before you slice it.
You can start the oven at 450 F and leave the chicken in for 10 minutes to brown and crisp the outside if you desire. Switch temperature to 375 F after 10 minutes. Cover the breasts with aluminum foil for the first 10 minutes of cooking to ensure even cooking and moist breasts. Serve roast chicken over white or brown rice, with roasted or mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables like broccoli, asparagus or carrots.
Wash your hands and all surfaces including cutting boards and coutertops with hot soapy water after handling raw chicken to prevent bacteria from being spread. Handle hot pans with oven mitts or dry tea towels to prevent serious burns.