When I found out my husband was such a picky eater, I decided to perfect some new simple recipes that he would eat. One of our household favorites is this juicy whole roasted chicken. Whole roasted chicken is really tricky to cook. To make sure it is really done, often the breast is really dried out. But, doing an overnight dry brine keeps the chicken moist and succulent.
1 whole roasting chicken (between 4 to 5 lbs)
4-5 Tbsp of salt
4-5 Tbsp of butter (room temperature)
3 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
Remove any packaging and innards from the chicken.
Rub the entire chicken liberally with salt, both outside the bird and inside the cavity. Really get in there and get your hands all over that chicken. Put the chicken in a dish you can cover. Then, refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days.
1 hour before you are ready to cook it, take it out of the refrigerator so that it starts to come to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 450
After chicken is less cold, rinse in water and pat dry thoroughly.
Place chicken in a shallow baking dish with the breast down. Separate the skin and put ½ of butter under the skin. Rub the remaining butter on the outside of chicken.
Sprinkle buttered bird with Italian Seasoning. No additional salt is necessary.
After putting chicken in oven, reduce oven temperature to 400. Bake at 400 for 80 – 120 min (20 min per pound). I usually cook it that long and then check to see if the skin and meat are pulling away from the end of the leg bone.
Choose a small chicken. I used to think I would get a very big so I’d have extra, but it just takes too long to cook a large bird and often, the middle still isn’t done the way I like it.
For weeknight cooking, you might not have enough time to let the chicken come to room temperature. In that case, rinse and season the cold chicken. You’ll need the butter melted instead of just softened to get it on the cold bird. Then, follow the other directions for cooking the chicken.
This is a great meal for the weekend, especially if you plan on being out of town all weekend. Who doesn’t have those “What’s for dinner?” discussions after returning home from a weekend trip. Salt the bird on Friday evening and refrigerate it. Then, continue the other directions when you get home Sunday after for a delicious, moist chicken dinner Sunday evening.
While this chicken does have a long cook time, you can modify your plans to make it work no matter what your situation is. Ingredients are simple and it will turn out delicious every time.