Earlier this month, it was my friend, Khethe’s, birthday. Well according to her she has two birthdays, one on the 1st of June and another on the 30th of July (that’s a long story). But she has decided to claim the whole two months so during this whole period of time her reason for asking for anything is that it is her birthday and everyone is confused about when her real birthday is. Anyway, I had some friends over for dinner to celebrate her real birthday and I made an oven roasted chicken. Along with some other things but this post is for the chicken recipe.
A whole roasted chicken, that must be complicated, you may be thinking, but it really is not. Well at least it is not a turkey so in comparison it is not. This was actually my first time making a whole chicken. I always make a turkey during the holidays when I’m with my family (ever since I got into cooking and imposed that on myself and have now created a tradition that I have to uphold, sigh) and though it is very doable it can be a process. The trick to making a whole bird is brining it. With a turkey it has to brine longer, then finding somewhere cool for it so sit overnight gets tricky. But with a chicken it weighs less so it doesn’t have to brine as long as a turkey and it’s easier to fit in the fridge.
But after brining a chicken or turkey, you wouldn’t want to make it any other way. It is so juicy and well seasoned to the bone. You won’t need to pour excessive amounts of gravy on it for some flavor. You can also brine steaks, fish or any other kind of meat. The recipes I have below for both the brine and chicken are pretty basic but you can experiment with different flavors your like. I used Adobo seasoning and garlic powder along with the salt and pepper for mine. You can also double the brine recipe for a turkey. If you haven’t brined anything before, I hope you will give it a try.
Oven Roasted Chicken
- 1 quart of water (4 cups)
- 1 medium onion
- 6 tablespoons table salt
- 2 1/2 quarts cold water (10 cups)
- 1 quart ice (4 cups)
- 1 whole chicken (about 7lbs max)
Boil 1 quart of water with onions and salt. Take out the giblets, rinse the chicken and loosen the skin with your fingers. In a large container (make sure it is large enough for the chicken to be submerged in the brine), pour in the 2 1/2 quarts of cold water, the ice and the boiled mixture. When the water is cool, gently put in the chicken. Let it sit in the refrigerator, an hour per pound of the chicken or up to 24 hours.
Roasting the Chicken
- Brined chicken
- Salt and pepper
- Oil or butter (about 1/4 cup)
- Rosemary bunch
- Thyme bunch
- Twine or floss
Preheat oven to 450ºF. Take the chicken out of the brine, rinse it then pat it dry. Tuck the tips of the wings behind the chicken’s shoulders as seen in the photo above (so they don’t burn). Rub generously with oil, salt and pepper, also rubbing under loose skin, until it is fully coated then stuff the rosemary and thyme bunch into the chicken. Using some twine or floss, tie the legs together. Place the chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan and place in the oven. Let it bake for 30 minutes at 450ºF then lower the temperature to 350ºF and bake for an additional hour. (You can also season the giblets and bake on the side for about 30 minutes.) If a knife inserted into the breast of the chicken comes out with no juices, then it is cooked. Let it set for 15 minutes before carving.
*A tip for baking a whole chicken is to do 20 minutes per pound. If you want to be on the safer side you can follow this method.
*Resist the urge to baste the chicken, you want the skin to be golden and crisp.