Reflections on life, marriage, and a young woman who is constantly learning how much there will always be to learn!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Frugal and Versatile: Roast Chicken

I've now successfully roasted three chickens, so I feel I can safely recommend this recipe to you!

Here's the great thing about roasting whole chickens:

1. Whole fryer chickens are comparatively cheap! I buy them for between 0.70- 0.90/lb. Now granted...about half of the weight is bone. But it still comes out to be a lot cheaper than your ordinary package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, if you don't mind having some dark meat (I like the dark!).

2. My chickens have been coming out SO tender! Leaving the skin on the chicken while it cooks slowly at a medium temperature keeps it very moist.

3. The following recipe has proven to be very versatile. Last night we had roast chicken with mashed potatoes and was SO good! In the past, I've made sandwiches out of the leftovers and also frozen part of the chicken to use later in recipes like quesadillas and eggrolls. It would also be great in soup, casserole, or just about any recipe calling for cooked chicken! If your roasting pan fits two chickens at once as mine does, it works great to make extra for later use.

4. Preparation time is very minimal. The oven does most of the work:o)

Roast Chicken

(Recipe originally found on; has been slightly adapted)

1 whole chicken
1 stalk celery (optional...I don't always use this)
1 sweet apple, cored
2-4 cloves garlic (I use 3-4)
Olive oil
(Amts. of spice used will vary to your own taste.)

1. Prepare, wash and dry chicken. (I try to buy chickens with the neck and giblets already removed.)

2. Pour olive oil onto one hand and coat the chicken.

3. Rub freshly-cracked pepper, rosemary and sage onto the chicken. Season with salt.

4. Place in roaster.

5. Cut celery into half-inch chunks and apples into eighths.

6. Slice garlic into slivers (or mince)

7. Combine the celery, apple and garlic with more rosemary and sage. Place half of the mixture into chicken cavity. Place other half around chicken in roaster.

8. Roast in oven at 325-350 degrees (Note: I've been roasting at 350, but I just read that 325 is the ideal temperature!), basting every half hour or so. Depending on the size of the chicken, roasting time will be 1 1/2 - 3 hours. The internal temperature of the chicken should reach at least 180 degrees. My chickens usually roast for almost three hours, because my husband likes them falling-apart done!

9. Remove meat from bones and enjoy!!!


Blogger Carrie said...

I am discovering the versatility of whole chickens, too! We don't eat a lot of chicken because we find it difficult to get flavor in anything but the outermost layer of meat, but it is handy to have shredded chicken ready for sandwiches or pasta!

My problem with chicken is that I cannot get it cooked all the way! No matter how many times and how many places I take the temp, that pink juice still comes out from some secret hiding place! :)

6:43 PM, July 15, 2006  
Blogger Mary Ann said...

I use a very similar recipe for roasting whole chickens. We love it and usually get 2-3 meals out of it plus some homemade broth(by cooking the carcass with the veggies that were stuffed inside ,covered with water). I try to put a small baggie of 1-2 cups cooked chopped chicken in the freezer each time to use for later.

Carrie, I had the same problem with never being sure iF it was really done. Some of the bones will still have a pinkish hue, but I bake mine for 2 hours at 400 degrees usually and it is most definitely done. Hope this helps!

1:50 PM, July 16, 2006  
Blogger Samantha said...

I just had to stop by and say thanks for the great recipe! I had never made a whole roasted chicken before, and after reading your post I decided to give it a try. It was delicious! I roasted it at 325 degrees for 3 hours and it turned out perfect. We have lots of leftovers too.

5:57 PM, July 17, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another tip that I only learnt recently is to place the chicken with the breasts down in the roasting pan. This way all the juices flow downwards (naturally :) ) and give you the most succulent meat.


8:37 PM, July 17, 2006  
Blogger Erin said...

Carrie - I agree with Mary Ann...if you cook it long enough, it should reach the point where there is no doubt it's done! I cook mine so the meat is practically falling off the bones (both my husband and I like it that way!), but it's still so tender because it's been roasted nice and slow (almost 3 hrs at 350, although I'll probably try 325 the next time!)I wish you success the next time you try it!

Mary Ann - how long do you simmer the broth for? Do you add the pan drippings too? I tried to make broth before, but I don't think I was doing it right!

Samantha - I'm glad it worked well for you! Yay...I get excited when I find out people actually try the recipes I post:o)

Suzanne - great tip, thanks! I'm going to try that next time.

9:41 PM, July 17, 2006  
Blogger Becky Miller said...

I've recently tried whole chickens in the crockpot. I've done it twice, and it turned out pretty well both times. (I hate using the oven in the summer - it's hard enough to keep the house cool!). I did it with potatoes and carrots, and seasoned the chicken with garlic poweder, onion powder, oregano, and lemon juice. I removed the skin to cut down on the fat. I did it once for 9 hours on low and once for 5-6 hours on high. The lesser time on high turned out better. It was almost "too done" at 9 hours. Both times the meat was falling off the bones! I only added about a 1/4 c. water, and then the chicken juices made plenty of liquid for gravy.

10:13 AM, July 18, 2006  
Blogger Mary Ann said...

Erin, it took me quite a while to figure out how to make a good homemade chicken broth/chicken soup. It always turned out watery and tasteless. Basically, use the carcass, bones, any congealed broth you haven't used for gravy, any veggies you cooked inside the chicken for flavor, even chicken skins are good. If you have extra onions, celery leaves or carrots that need to be used, add those tot he pot too for flavor. Put all in a big pot and cover with water. Bring to boil and then turn down to simmer and cook for 4, 6, 8 hours, whatever. I usually do it about 4 hours. When you're done cooking, strain the broth and throw away all bones, skins, veggie pieces. You may find some edible pieces of meat though, so pick that out and use for soup. Let the broth cool some and then cover and refrigerate overnight. The fat will come to the surface and will be easy to skim off.(My husband always thinks I'm making pudding every time the bowl of broth is in the fridge.LOL!!) Skim fat off and get as much grease out as possible, then either reheat broth to liquid consistency to make soup or measure into freezer containers to use for recipes calling for chicken broth. I like to measure it out so I can grab a 2-cup container or whatever I need. In the winter time, I usually make soup with the broth. I found that the trick for a rich chicken soup was not adding water to the broth when adding chicken, veggies, spices, noodles or rice. Hope this helps! I'll try to post these directions and the soup recipe on my cooking blog for further reference.

10:56 AM, July 20, 2006  

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