Sunday, February 26, 2012

How to Clean, Season, and Roast a Whole Chicken

I wanted to do a diy post on how to bake a whole chicken because so often the prospect of cooking an entire chicken is intimidating. The price, however, of a whole chicken in comparison to what you might spend on fresh chicken breast is incredibly affordable. We bought this chicken for $4 and some change. You know by now that I'm a girl who likes a bargain, even if it means cutting fat and removing giblets. 

Steps To Prepare Your Chicken For Cooking:

Step One: Thawing. If you are bringing your chicken home to cook that night, this step is not necessary, however if you've frozen the chicken you will need to let it thaw for 24-48 hours at room temperature, depending on the size. Your chicken must be fully thawed before cleaning.

Step Two: Cleaning. Now you'll clean the chicken and prepare it for seasoning. In most cases a whole chicken will contain a giblet package that needs to be removed before cooking. Giblets are edible organs from the chicken, they are often times packaged and stored in the cavity of the chicken by the butcher (the neck may also be included in this package). Remove the giblets from the cavity, also check the tail end for the kidneys which will be dark red colored objects located near the tail. If the kidneys are still attached, use your fingers to force them out. Now rinse the bird thoroughly with cold water inside and out.

Step Three: Trim Fat. Check the neck and tail areas for excess fat, remove it with a knife and discard.  Once all fat is removed and chicken has been cleaned, pat dry with a paper towel. 

Now you're ready to season and roast the chicken. 


1 6lb Chicken
4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
2 Carrots
1 Medium Onion
1 Lemon
Kosher Salt
Freshly Grated BlackPepper
1Tbsp Butter
1Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Large Garlic Cloves
1 Tbsp Fresh Rosemary

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Chop onion and carrots to make a bed for the chicken in your roasting pan. Add sprigs of thyme to the bed. 

Halve a lemon and squeeze juices over the top of the chicken and place the squeezed lemon inside the chicken for baking. Coat the chicken with Salt and Pepper, inside and out. Melt butter. Combine butter and olive oil. Mince garlic and chop fresh rosemary, add to butter mixture. Rub butter mixture all over the outside and inside of the chicken, until chicken is liberally seasoned. Use twine to tie the legs of the chicken together. 

Lay the chicken in the roasting pan on top of the onion, carrots and thyme. Cook the chicken for 1.5 - 2 hours at 425 degrees. After an hour of baking, check the chicken, when the chicken is golden brown, use aluminum foil to tent the chicken so the skin doesn't burn. Your chicken is done when the breast heat reads 180 degrees, and the thigh heat, 190 degrees. 

Once cooked, remove the chicken from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes while the juices settle. Remove the twine from the legs of the chicken, carve and serve! 

Congratulations, you've made a beautiful meal. You will impress all your guests with the lovely presentation of your cooked chicken as well as it's delectable juiciness, full of flavor and delicious wonder! Really though, you're awesome. 

bon appetite!

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