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Simple food cooked well is the heart of any home kitchen. You don’t need fancy ingredients or a culinary degree to make amazing meals.
I have been making this super easy juicy and delicious roasted chicken for years and it turns out perfectly every single time. Every. Single. Time.
It’s going to blow your mind how easy this roasted chicken is. And how tasty. I almost never make just one. Because, if you’re roasting one chicken, why not roast two? (I like to pick up mine in the two-packs at Costco).
Easy Roasted Chicken
The spice mixture that you use can be customized according to your taste and what you’ve got on hand. Don’t like heat? Leave out the cayenne. Use your favorite herb and spice mix to change up the flavor. I also add some lemons to the chicken’s cavity if I’ve got them, or even some sprigs of fresh herbs.
Maybe start with the original, then play around to see what your family’s favorite is.
Tip: If you don’t have paprika, substitute seasoned salt for the salt called for in the recipe.
At its most basic, all you do is rub your chicken thoroughly with the spice mixture, throw some onions inside and pop it in the oven.
The trick? You cook it at 250 for 5 hours.
Yup. I said 5 hours.
Now, I’ll be honest…you have to have a little bit of rebel in you to make this chicken. Kind of like my lazy way of canning tomatoes, this recipe does not follow ‘the rules’. And just like that recipe, I’ve made it for years with no ill effects. But, according to the powers that be (a.k.a. the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture), you shouldn’t cook chicken below 325 degrees.
Other sources say that as long as the meat reaches the appropriate internal temperature and maintains it for long enough, you are safe.
My advice? Always practice safe meat handling and always check your meat with a meat thermometer before serving. And if you’re still nervous about the temperature, bump your oven up and adjust the time accordingly. I can’t vouch for the result, however.
Crispy seasoned chicken skin is a delicacy, am I right? This is why I never do whole chickens in the crockpot. Slimy chicken skin makes my skin crawl. Blech
After the first hour, you can baste the chicken with pan juices every hour or so if you’re around. And if you don’t have enough pan juices, you can add up to a cup of water to the pan. When it’s done, the chicken will be golden to dark brown.
Depending on your chicken, you may have caramelized bits on your pan…or you might have enough pan juices to make gravy. My chickens tonight were juicy, and gave me a small pot full of juices to thicken for gravy.
This recipe‘s been around forever, and many say to season the chicken and then refrigerate overnight (or season and freeze, thawing in the refrigerator before roasting). More power to you if you are forward thinking enough to remember to do that…I’m usually not.
I’m lucky if I remember first thing in the morning to season the bird and refrigerate it till lunch, when I put it in the oven. More likely, I will season it, and let it sit on the counter for 20-30 minutes before sticking it in the oven.
If you do season ahead of time, don’t add the onions or lemons to the cavity until just before roasting.
Tip: Line your pan with foil for easy clean up!
When the chicken comes out of the oven, let it rest a few minutes before carving.
If you love a rotisserie chicken…this will be your new favorite dinner. Promise.