My “perfect” roast chicken is really that…perfect! It is the perfect meal for a crowd or just the family with plenty of leftovers. It is perfectly easy, even though it may not seem that way. Guests will think you worked very hard, and you will…but really just in prep! Anyone can make this roast chicken, which makes it the perfect dish to try! I make this every couple of weeks fall through spring. I usually use about an 8 pound chicken, which my family can eat with plenty of leftovers. I’ve made this for a crowd as well, I just add more vegetables and potatoes. The other thing that makes it perfect…it is hard to mess up! Seriously! I’ve made this A LOT! The last time I was making it I had one eye on the chicken one eye on the 2 girls…you know Mom multitasking. I didn’t notice I put the chicken into the pan upside down, yes upside down as in the breast side down. It still cooked perfectly! My favorite part of this meal may be the leftovers! After we have our perfect roast chicken dinner I pull all the extra chicken off the bone, with the leftovers I make chicken soup, sometimes even chicken salad. After we have the chicken soup for dinner, I freeze some in freezer bags. I was able to get quite a few meals out of one roast chicken! Cooking once for multiple meals is a big timesaver and I am all for saving time! With the chicken salad I just add whatever I have on hand, so it is always different.
Here is what I did last week…upside down!
PERFECT ROAST CHICKEN
1 ~ 8 lb roaster chicken
fresh sage, thyme & rosemary
3 lemons, quartered
1 whole head of garlic, cut in half
6-8 carrots, peeled & thickly sliced
6-8 celery stalks, cleaned & thickly sliced
2 sweet onions, thickly sliced
8 yukon gold potatoes cleaned & chopped
I roast using the convection roast at 400 degrees for 1.5 hours. You can roast at 425 degrees for 1.5 hours in a non-convection oven. Pre-heat according to your oven.
I take my chicken out & let it sit for an hour to get it closer to room temperature, so it will cook more evenly. Take giblets & pieces out of the chicken cavity. Sprinkle with salt & pepper, then stuff with 2 of the quartered lemons & halved head of garlic.
Put all of the vegetables & potatoes in a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt & pepper. Scatter fresh thyme sprigs, fresh rosemary & fresh sage on top. Place the rest of the lemon pieces on top in the center.
Chicken goes on top of the vegetables & potatoes, herbs & lemons. Separate the skin from the chicken breast and stuff with a mix of the fresh thyme, rosemary & sage. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt & pepper.
Cook in the center rack of the oven for 1.5 hours. Time may be different depending on the size of your chicken. Most chickens come with a pop-up thermometer or test with meat thermometer.
If chicken seems to be browning too much, place foil over the top of the chicken while it is cooking.
Note: I change-up the vegetable & potato mixture depending on what I have. I used roasted beets last time, but I cooked them separately so they wouldn’t discolor the rest of the food You can also use butternut squash, sweet potatoes & turnips. I always use a base of carrots, celery & onions.
Hope you enjoy this perfect roast chicken as much as we do! Please let me know if you try it & how it comes out!