When it comes to the classics, roast chicken is one of the best and most versatile dinner ideas. This recipe will show you how to roast a chicken perfectly every time, leaving you prepared for any dinner occasion. The result is a tender, juicy, golden brown roast that goes well with roasted vegetables and a side of salad.
1 roasting chicken (6 - 7 pounds)
2 - 3 medium lemons
2 fresh rosemary springs
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
1 - 1/2 teaspoon salt
Prepare your chicken:
You will need a roaster with a rack, thermometer, chopping board, knife sharpener.
Before you do anything, pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. The drier the skin, the crispier and more delicious it will be.
You will want to stuff the chicken with aromatics. Start by zesting 2 - 3 lemons, and set the zest aside to use later. Chop the lemons into medium-sized chunks. Place the lemon wedges and rosemary sprigs inside the chicken cavity. Tie the chicken up to keep it in a compact and uniform shape, allowing it to cook evenly.
Most roast chicken recipes call for a roasting pan fitted with a rack to elevate the bird; this ensures that hot air will circulate the chicken, giving every inch a crispy, golden brown bake. For this recipe, you will need a roasting pan with a rack, the Tala Extra Large Roaster with Rack is ideal. Place the chicken, breast-side up, on the roaster rack in preparation for the next step.
Season your chicken:
The whole chicken requires a lot of flavours to permeate all the meat. So use about one teaspoon of salt per pound of meat. Salt pulls moisture away from the surface, drying out the skin and helping it crisp up to perfection. We recommend using our Cornish Sea Salt Co. Sea Salt Crystals. Let the chicken rest for at least 30 minutes, or as long as 12 hours if you have the time.
The chicken gets a good dose of seasoning from the lemons and rosemary inside the cavity in this recipe. That doesn’t mean we can skip seasoning the outside, though. Start by brushing the outside of the chicken with oil (you can also use vegetable or grapeseed oil). Next, toss the reserved lemon zest, minced rosemary, salt and pepper in a small dish. Finally, rub this mixture all over the chicken, making sure to get all the sides and nooks and crannies.
Roast the chicken:
Bake the chicken, uncovered, in a 175°C oven for at least two hours (it may take up to two hours and 45 minutes if you have a larger bird). As it cooks, using a spoon, scoop the drippings from the bottom of the pan and pour them over the chicken. When done, the internal temperature should read roughly between 75ºC and 80ºC. We recommend using our Rosle Gourmet-Thermometer. To get the most accurate reading, insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat (being careful not to touch the bone).
Once the chicken has finished cooking, let it stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before carving. This cooling period allows the proteins to relax and let moisture in, giving you a juicy, tender chicken. Cover with foil to keep the chicken warm. Lastly, snip off the string. Remove and discard the lemons and rosemary from the chicken cavity before carving.