It seems that almost everyone loves chicken. It’s such a versatile food and adapts to almost any spice, vegetable or fruit that you want to pair with it. In these busy times, a lot of people look to chicken as a quick dinner during weeknights and I have included some ideas to help you along with that.
How about roasting (or rotisserie) a chicken on Sunday night and using the leftovers for the kids’ school lunches and your dinner the next night. If you have a larger family, there’s no reason why you can’t roast two to save time. I’ve included some recipes for leftover chicken that I hope you’ll try.
Lots of people just use salt and pepper and that is just fine – I have often cooked it that way. If you want more, put some onions (quartered) and garlic into the cavity or stuff some chopped fresh herbs under the skin and some lemons or oranges into the cavity.
Crispy, fragrant roasted chicken skin is delicious. It is a bit fatty though, so you may want to remove it afterwards but always cook with the skin on as it keeps it moist and won’t let the meat dry out.
There are two methods for roasting a whole chicken:
•Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
•Roast whole (thawed) chickens for 20 minutes per pound, plus an additional 15 minutes.
High heat method (this creates a crispy, darker skin):
•Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) and cook whole (thawed) chicken for 10-15 minutes.
•Then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and roast for 20 minutes per pound. (Do not add the extra 15 minutes to the cooking time as with the regular method.)
The most important tool in your kitchen while roasting a chicken is your meat thermometer. I don’t know what I would do without this! There is nothing worse than cutting into a chicken to find it undercooked and so if you are investing in a chicken, please spend the extra money and buy a good thermometer.
Whether using high heat or regular heat, the chicken is done when the thermometer reads 165 F (74 C). Insert the thermometer inside of the inner thigh – close to but not touching the thigh bone. When you remove the chicken from the oven, cover it loosely with foil and let it rest a minimum of 20 minutes. This is critical if you want your meat to be juicy.
–2.5-3lbs=1 hour/15 minutes=1 hour
–3-3.5lbs=1 hour/25 minutes=1 hour/10 minutes
–3.5-4lbs=1 hour/35 minutes=1 hour/20 minutes
–4-4.5lbs=1 hour/45 minutes=1 hour/30 minutes
–4.5-5lbs=1 hour/55 minutes=1 hour/40 minutes
–5-5.5lbs=2 hours/5 minutes-1 hour/50 minutes
–5.5-6lbs=2 hours/15 minutes=2 hours
–6-6.5lbs=2 hours/25 minutes=2 hours/10 minutes
–6.5-7lbs=2 hours/35 minutes=2 hours/20 minutes
–7-7.5lbs=2 hours/45 minutes=2 hours/30 minutes
NOTE: These times are for unstuffed birds. Add 15 minutes to the total cooking time if you’re roasting a stuffed chicken. And as with the chicken itself, make sure the stuffing reaches a temperature of at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).