I have a serious affinity for roast chicken. Perhaps it's because I remember my mom making her version of roast chicken with an assortment of side dishes when I was younger, or the fact that the classic dish is so incredibly perfect for a beautiful dinner without breaking the weekly grocery budget. You just can't go wrong with a roast chicken... you can't!
There are a few secrets I've kept up my sleeve when it comes to preparing your roast chicken. First, have your butcher - or do it yourself - cut the chicken directly in half down the middle. This will help with even cooking and in my opinion, ensure a juicer piece of meat. Secondly, buy yourself a quality house seasoning blend without MSG. House seasoning will elevate the flavor as opposed to just salt and pepper. Third, onions and lemon serve as the ideal aromatics that lend to another dimension of tastiness.
I purchased a 7lbs whole roasting chicken from the store which cost me roughly $7.00 and provided 5 servings. However, the possibilities of a roast chicken are vast. You can use your leftovers in so many different ways - shred the chicken for enchiladas or salads, chop the meat for chicken noodle soup, use the bones for a homemade stock - I could go on, and on, and on, and on.
But I won't. Let's just get roasting.
Here's what you'll need:
5-7lbs whole roasting chicken cut in half lengthwise
1 lemon thinly sliced
1/2 onion thinly sliced
Side dish of our choice
Carrots and turnips
1) Preheat your oven to 375F degrees. Thinly slice your lemon and onion. Arrange onto a foil lined sheet pan.
2) Carefully cut your whole chicken in half if your butcher has not already done so. Place the halves onto of the onions and lemon skin side up, and pat dry with a paper towel. Wash your hands, wash your cutting board and wash your knife.
3) Drizzle or spray the chicken with olive oil.
4) Season your chicken with your house seasoning blend.
5) Place chicken into the oven and roast for 45-60 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 165F degrees. Look at that roasted perfection! I discard the lemon and onion.
For the side dish...
This aspect of our roast chicken dinner is completely interchangeable to you. I opted for roasted root vegetables but may I also suggested classic mashed potatoes, twice-baked sweet potatoes, sautéed Brussel sprouts, wild or white rice, a spring or caesar salad... the list is endless.
1) I chopped 1 turnip and 4 carrots into bite sized chunks and placed onto another foil lined sheet pan. Then, I seasoned with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, and a dash of Italian seasoning.
2) Half way through the chicken's roasting time, I slid the sheet pan into the second shelf of the oven and roasted the vegetables until golden. I did take the pan out of the oven to toss the vegetables a few times through their cooking.
Happy winner winner chicken dinner!