Best Roast Chicken

October 21, 2014 - Weekend Cooking
Best Roast Chicken

I have tried many different tricks for roasting chicken, and in the end this works best and is super simple!


5 lb. chicken

1 tbs butter

1 tbs olive oil

1 medium onion

1 lemon

Sprigs of lemon thyme and rosemary (or sage or regular thyme work as well)

Salt and Pepper to taste

2-3 tbsp Wondra flour

1 cup dry white wine

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Take the chicken, remove the neck and innards from the cavity (I discard them, but the neck could be saved for stock later) and rinse the cavity and the outside of the chicken and pat it all dry.  Melt the 1 tablespoon of butter in a small dish in the microwave (30-45 seconds) then stir in the oil.  Peel the onion, rinse and cut in half.  Cut the lemon in half and clean your herbs but keep them whole.

Rub the cleaned chicken with lemon, squeezing the juice on it.  Brush the top and bottom of the chicken with the butter and oil.  Stick the l rest of the lemon into the cavity, and also the onion halves.  Place the herbs in the cavity as well (you can put some fresh herbs under the skin too).  Salt and pepper the entire outside of the chicken well.

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Place the chicken in a roasting pan on the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes.  Then lower the temperature to 350 degrees for another 45 minutes.

Secret:  Pour some water over the chicken  to encourage pan drippings, just a cup or so, or could use unsalted stock.

Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer in the thickest points of the bird, and do not remove from the oven until it reads 165 degrees according to  I check it every 10 minutes or so until ready, then remove from the oven.

Let the chicken rest on a cutting board while you make the gravy.   Add a cup of white wine and some Wondra flour (start with a couple of tablespoons while it is cooled down from the wine).

Tip:  My mom always added a few ice cubes to cool it down before adding the flour so it didn’t clump.  Wondra flour is less likely to clump then typical flour, but still shouldn’t be added to very hot liquid.  Oh, and please never add any fake gravy master or broths, you have real drippings to work with here!  If anything, chop up some mushrooms or shallots to add flavors to gravies, never fake products!!

Whisk over medium heat and see how well it thickens, letting the alcohol cook out for 4-5 minutes.  Taste for seasoning.  If you have a lot of large chunks, you can strain it before serving.

Stirring the gravy

Stirring the gravy

Tips:  Don’t slice the chicken until it has rested a few minutes, then start by removing the legs and wings.  Then cut each breast off whole allowing you to cut it in pieces so that each person gets some crispy skin!

f you are cooking the chicken on the weekend ahead for later in the week, you can warm the white meat up in the gravy, so as not to dry it out.  Also, leftover meat heated in the gravy is great over toast the next day for lunch.  

Best served with something to soak up the gravy like mashed potatoes or a colorful mashed carrot and turnip; and, some nice green veggies like broccoli, peas, asparagus or beans


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