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).