Long-roasting but super-easy chicken recipe

June 27 | Guest post by Nikki
Roasted chicken © by / // /, used under Creative Commons license.
Roast chicken can be intimidating to less-experienced cooks, but it's SO FRIGGIN' EASY and tastes SO FRIGGIN' GOOD.

This recipe is so easy, even Megan can do it.

First, decide when you want to eat. Start cooking two hours before (don't worry — the last hour you don't do anything but smell the chicken cook, and look at it every once in a while).

1. Buy or unthaw a whole chicken (you can also do chicken pieces, just shorten the cooking time to about 40 minutes).

2. Turn on your oven (make sure anything you're storing in there is out) to 400ish degrees F.

3. Pull out a roasting pan, or if the chicken is small enough, a large oven-safe frying pan will do. Wipe out any dust, and drizzle some oil on the bottom.

4. Cut up some onions, carrots, celery, and (maybe) potatoes in chunks (we're talking 1-2 inches across, heck three inches would be ok). Dump them in the bottom of the pan in one layer. Stir it up so the oil covers the veggies. Add more oil if you want.

5. Open the chicken package.

6. Take all that crap out of the inside of the chicken. Real cooks use that crap for broth. Whatevs.

7. Rub oil all over the chicken.

8. Grab some salt, some pepper, and/or (my personal favorite) chili powder. Sprinkle it all over the chicken. Sprinkle some on the inside too. If you're feeling really good, sprinkle some under the skin — YEAH! You're gonna probably use about a tablespoon or more of seasoning.

9. Grab a handful of those vegetables from the pan. Stuff them in the chicken. Stick a lemon up there if you want. Or garlic. Or a whole onion. Totally up to you.

10. Put the chicken on top of the vegetables in the pan breast side down (the butt should be sticking up, legs down).

11. Stick the pan in your hot oven.

12. Walk away for 45 minutes. Go check Twitter or Facebook. Figure out a side dish. Or dessert. If you forget about the chicken, the smell will remind you.

13. Walk back and check the chicken. If you have a cooking thermometer, you want the chicken thigh to be 160 degrees F. If you don't, grab a clean towel to protect your hand, and CAREFULLY move a chicken leg. If it's stiff, close the oven and leave the chicken in there for another 15 minutes. Check every 15 minutes until the leg is loose and almost falls into your hand when you test it.

14. Carefully take the chicken out of the oven. If you're done with it, turn the oven off. Let it sit on the stove top (or the counter, up to you) while you make a side dish or salad or both (the broccoli, the spinach, or really anything will work with this).

15. Serve everything up (if you wanna eat the veggies in the bottom of the pan, you can, but they might be greasy).

16. EAT!

  1. Thanks for the recipe, especially this part: "(make sure anything you're storing in there is out)" I always preheat my oven with my pizza stone in it, I've joked that I should make only pizza so it seems on purpose!

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  2. Sounds yummy! I admit that I just roasted my first chicken a couple weeks ago. I stuffed a cut up lemon inside and put lemon, rosemary, thyme and oil on the outside. So good! And way easier than I'd thought. So after doing it, I agree. Totally doable and I feel silly for no doing it before now.

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  3. my favourite line :wipe the dust out" makes me feel glad to see other people need to do that too! :)

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  4. i personally enjoyed "real cooks use that crap for broth. whatevs." totally the right response for my i'm-not-a-culinary-prodigy guilt.

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    • yeah, totally. although for those folks who like to spoil their pets – boil that crap in a little water and your dogs will love you forever for it. probably works on cats too (except i don't think that cats offer up eternal love…but i'm sure it would make them very happy nonetheless).

      1 agrees
  5. Ah the beauty of roasting! I had crappy morning (ie: all day) sickness a few months ago and I got into the habit of holding my breath and throwing meat and veggies in a pan with some oil and quickly putting into the oven at 375°. 30-45 min later dinner was done.
    Now that I'm not completely grossed out by everything/anything anymore I'll take an extra five minutes to experiment with seasoning before cooking, but still about four evenings roasted veggies and meat is my typical dinner (w/side salad).

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  6. "Make sure anything you're storing in there is out". It's like you know my life. In fact, I love this whole article because it's like you know my life.

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  7. I have a hack for this. Got to Sam's club at 4 pm, with $5.00. Buy rotisserie chicken. Go home and nom nom nom! Seriously, roasting a chicken isn't hard, and I'm a good cook, but the Sam's club chicken is so ridiculously good, and so ridiculously cheap that I cannot bring myself to roast chicken anymore. If you don't have a Sam's club, or cannot go around 4 pm (the chickens are usually fresh around then, if you go at another time, they've been sitting there and can be dried out, yuck!) then go ahead with your roasting. Either way you win, cause you get to nom delicious chicken!

    1 agrees
  8. Best part about roast chicken, aside from chicken-y deliciousness? ALL THE LEFTOVERS. Make soup stock, made sammies, make stir-fry, make mulligatawny, make chicken poutine…endless possibilities. And it seems fancy but is really easy-peasy.

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    • You should elaborate on this chicken poutine idea for those of us who live in poutine-less countries… (i.e. SHARE PLZ)

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  9. Also, Use an oven bag. It saves clean up time and it's easy to pour the juices into a container for making gravy.

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  10. I really really love the parts about emptying the oven first and about wiping dust out of the pan! And especially the reminder to turn off the oven. I don't always do that….

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  11. Mah chicken ers cookin!!! Thanks for this recipe. I'm using it tonight and it smells beeeeeautiful!

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  12. I'm makign this while on night shift and my brain doesnt function. Thinking of making it on a bed of pumpkin/potatoe and using that as a base for pumpkin soup. it's sooooo cold here in Australia atm it'll be perfect!

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    • Oh my goodness does that sound good! Even though it is NOT cold here in Munich at all.

      I might have to use up the pumpkin I have in the freezer with your idea!

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    • OMG. So going to try this when we get pumpkin back in season in the fall. Pumpkin soup is kind of amazing.

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  13. OMG, I love this. I've bookmarked it for future use.

    And I love that it's not intimidating. So I thank you for that. :)

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  14. the greasy vegetables in the bottom of the pan are the best part (carrots and potatoes especially).

    3 agree
  15. I made this tonight! I had NO idea it was so easy to cook a chicken, I had always been super intimidated by it before. And it came out perfect! By accident I had it on the rack second from the top instead of the middle for the first half-hour. I thought I had ruined it, but it just made the skin all crispy. It crackled when I cut into it you guys. Crack. Led. And none of it was pink and no one died of food poisoning like I thought would happen! Hooray!

    1 agrees

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