Easy Roast Chicken

As I recently wrote on my Instagram, when I was first starting out in therapeutic cooking and nutrition, I was quite intimidated by the idea of making roast chicken. There is so much fear-mongering about roasting a whole bird (What if it’s too dry? What’s if it’s undercooked? What if it’s overcooked?). It’s enough to scare people away from even trying, which is mighty unfortunate because it is one of the most delicious, wholesome, crowd-pleasing, and economical ways to make chicken. So before you even get to the recipe, know that YOU GOT THIS!

This method and recipe is one of the simplest I’ve found. It is lightly based on the roast chicken technique in Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything book, and it is very easy to customize. A couple of the tricks here include:

  • Roasting the bird breast side down first, which helps prevent the breast from drying out. I’m including a picture of what “breast side down” looks like in the instructions 🙂
  • Using a dry rub, which locks in the fat from the chicken and makes prep much easier.
  • Layering vegetables on the bottom of the chicken that catch the spices and drippings and provide a wonderful side dish for the meal!

This is a super cost-effective dinner, as you typically get protein for several meals, plus the veggies on the bottom, plus the leftover bones to make chicken stock. We usually keep a bag in the freezer with chicken bones and then make stock whenever we have the time. If you can, choose an organic, pasture-raised chicken. I find that this is the least expensive way to buy good quality chicken. I usually can find my whole organic and pasture-raised chicken for $10-$11, which is a DEAL when a package of only 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts of the same quality can cost the same, if not more.

One last thing – if you haven’t invested in a meat thermometer yet, it is a must for safely cooking poultry! Always cook to 165 degrees F to ensure it’s not undercooked.

So, are you convinced to try this yet? 🙂 Let me know if you do!

Easy Roast Chicken

An easy and stress-free method for a wholesome (and impressive looking!) meal.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Keyword: dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, low-FODMAP, paleo, SCD, soy-free

Ingredients

  • 2 large carrots cut into large chunks
  • 1 stalk celery cut into large chunks
  • 2 potatoes or rutabagas or other root vegetables cut into large chunks
  • 1 onion omit for low-FODMAP
  • 2 cloves garlic omit for low-FODMAP
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 4-5 lb whole chicken* rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
  • 2-3 tablespoons spice mixture of choice**
  • 1 lemon or lime halved, optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  • In a medium, oven-safe Dutch oven, layer the cut veggies and toss with the olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Feel free to add any additional herbs or spices at this point, but I usually just let the spice rub on the chicken itself flavor everything.
  • Rub the chicken with the spice mixture and a generous pinch of salt and pepper, and put the halved lemon or lime in the internal cavity.
  • Place the chicken breast side down (check picture) on top of the veggies and transfer pot to the oven.
  • After 25 minutes, use oven mittens to take the pot out of the oven. With sturdy tongs, turn the bird over so that it is breast side up. Put back in the oven.
  • After 15 minutes, turn the oven down to 350 degrees F. Roast for another 30-35 minutes. This final roasting time can vary greatly depending on your oven and the chicken, so start checking the internal temperature of the bird at around the 25 minute mark. Use a meat thermometer and make sure that, when inserted to the joint area between the thigh and lower leg, it reads 165 degrees F. Also make sure that the juices run clear instead of pink/red.
  • Let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before carving, and encourage everyone to take some of the delicious juices and veggies on the bottom to spoon over their plates.

Notes

*If the chicken comes with a bag of giblets in the internal cavity, make sure to remove before cooking.
**You can use a pre-made spice blend (check ingredients if you are gluten-free and/or low-FODMAP) or you can make your own. I like to make a quick mix of equal parts smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, and turmeric.

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