You know those rotisserie chickens that you see in the grocery store? I can't count how many times I have suggested that someone make an easy dinner with that. And indeed, it really does make for a super easy dinner. Buy, carve, serve.
But how many times have you picked up one of those birds and been surprised by how little meat was actually on it. Or, worse, how dry the meat was? I can't tell you how many times that's happened to me. It's really frustrating.
But making your own chicken at home? Who does that? Really? It has to be a ton of work, right? And who has time?
Well, truth be told, I do now. Last year, I started getting cautiously curious about roasting my own chickens at home. After roasting a few, I discovered that it's totally doable - and they taste even better than the grocery store ones.
Here are a few tips I have if you are ready to roast your own chicken too:
- Always rinse the chicken under cold water and then pat it dry with paper towels. Make sure that you dry the interior cavity as well.
- Be generous with your spices and seasonings on the skin. Make sure you spill a little into the cavity as well.
- Don't truss the chicken. Seriously. The skin will cook more evenly, and so will the hard-to-cook dark meat (that one I learned from Fine Cooking. Love that mag).
- Always, always, always use a thermometer to tell doneness. According to the USDA, the chicken should register a temperature of 165 degrees at the thickest part of the thigh.
- Always let the chicken rest for about 15 minutes when it comes out of the oven. That ensures that the chicken retains its juiciness, rather than spilling all its juices onto the carving plate.
Ready to get roasting? Here's my recipe for Easy Roasted Chicken
Looking for something a little different? Check out Roasted Chicken with Peach Glaze
and Teriyaki Roast Chicken and Squash
Sarah W. Caron (aka scaron is a food writer, editor and blogger. Find her online at Sarah's Cucina Bella.