Prep 10 mins
Cook 1 hr 50 mins
This is a basic recipe that every cook should know how to make. My family loves this with mashed potatoes and gravy. When all 4 of my kids lived at home I would often roast 3 chicken at a time, so there would be leftovers for chicken pie, sandwiches, or Ceasar Salad. Try different combinations or amounts of the herbs and spices, we tend to like our food highly seasoned.
- 1 (4 lb) roasting chickens (at least 4 pounds preferred)
- 2 -3 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 -2 teaspoon rosemary
- 2 -3 teaspoons garlic granules (or powder) or 2 fresh garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 3⁄4-1 teaspoon salt
- olive oil (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Rinse and pat chicken dry.
- If your chicken has a neck and giblets, put them in a small pot, cover with water and a little onion (dry onion or powder work too) and carrots if you have them and a little the same herbs used in the chicken, bring to a boil and then simmer for about an hour, strain this and use for your gravy for extra flavor - you can also cook in canned low sodium chicken broth, for more flavor.
- Mix together all your herbs and spices, rub together with your fingers or if you have a mortar and pestle, grind them a few times to blend.
- Gently lift the skin from either side of the breast and using your finger push some of the herb mix under each side.
- Turn over the chicken and make a small slit behind each thigh and push some herb mix under the thigh skin (this step is optional, but it makes the thighs extra tasty).
- Place you chicken in a roasting pan that has been sprayed or lightly oiled, if roasting a single chicken, a cast iron frying pan is perfect for this.
- If using the olive, rub or drizzle over the chicken then, rub or sprinkle extra herb mix all over the outside of the chicken (do this even without the oil, a little extra salt and pepper in the cavity is also a good thing.
- You have 2 options, #1 - turn the chicken breast side down on a rack that has also been sprayed or oiled, half way through cooking turn breast up; #2 - cook the entire time breast up, the breast skin usually tears for me so I do #2, but #1 can make the breast meat a little moister.
- Roast for 1- 11/2 hours or until chicken register 180 degrees on your meat thermometer (if you use a larger chicken adjust time accordingly), be sure and poke a thick part of the chicken meat and don't get too near the bone. Length of time will vary with chicken size.
- Check chicken at an hour, herbs and spice on top are getting too dark loosely tent top with a piece of foil (spray first).
- When done, place chicken on platter and let rest for 5- 10 minutes while you make the gravy. Drain off excess fat and make your gravy.
- NOTE: Some people like to tie the legs together with kitchen twine, it does look nicer but I never bother.
- I've been know to roast chicken anywhere from 375-450 degrees, 400- 425 is my norm, I decide what to use based on my schedule of when I need to put it in the oven. Lower temp mean slightly longer cooking time.
momaphet recommended serving this chicken with mashed potatoes to mop up the gravy so, although I've never been a huge fan of gravy and had to hunt out a recipe, that's what I did and I really think I might now I'll be making gravy more often. ;) We greatly enjoyed this flavoursome and moist chicken with Kittencal's Creamy Chicken Gravy and my Leek, Mushroom & Thyme Mashed Potatoes. As for the chicken itself, I loved the use of herbs and did add two more: oregano and sage. A great combination which really gave the chicken a wonderful flavour. I used fresh garlic which (as I usually do!) I doubled and minced and mixed in with the herbs. I used the olive oil and in step nine went with option #1. We SO enjoyed this for dinner several nights ago and what we didn't eat then, we thoroughly enjoyed with baby spinach leaves in the most delicious chicken sandwiches. YUM! A basic recipe yes, but for Zaar chefs so spoiled for choice, it's all too easy easy to neglect the basic recipes. Thank you so much, momaphet, for sharing this delightfully yummy basic recipe! Made for PRMR.
As you said this is a great basic recipe. I had company coming and actually roasted 2 birds since I also rely on the leftovers. The drippings made a great gravy and I plan on boiling down the carcasses and expect a flavorful stock as well. I think it took longer than expected but I had the birds side-by-side so that may have been the reason. (Chickens alway seem to take forever to roast for me!) This was the first time I really used the technique of rubbing the seasonings under the skin. I think it is worth it... especially since I would like to avoid the extra calories of the skin. I used the larger amount of spices but made it stretch for the two birds. I used option 1 of flipping the birds over. My MIL always swore by cooking the bird breast-down but then you don't get the crispy skin so I think this is a great compromise.
I changed this up a bit...used the ingredients listed, but also added some herbes de provence mixed with butter. Spread this under the skin and tossed some sliced potatoes and garlic under the roasting rack to absorb the drippings from the chicken. This was amazing. I'll butterfly the chicken next time to cut the cooking time, and also spread the wonderful drippings all over the roasting pan and potatoes. Delicious Sunday dinner for us. Thanks for sharing! Made for ZWT.