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How do you cook a whole chicken?

2157 Views 41 Replies 29 Participants Last post by  organitarian
I'm at a do you cook a whole chicken and have it taste good? I use chicken from a small farmer so it's a good true free range chicken. What I do now is put lemon juice over the chicken, stuff it w/ thyme (or rosemary) and a bay leaf, and then put salt over the top. I stick it in the crock pot until it's done. There is no flavor when it's done. And it's tougher than the store bought (I assume from it being free range). And my family hates it cooked this way! I need a new way to cook a whole chicken or I'm just going to have to resort to cooking it and then taking the meat off to put in a soup. I think I need to marinate it in something first.

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well the first thing to do would be to make sure it is a bird meant for roasting, and not a stewing hen, laying hen, soup hen or anything like that (these are older, tougher but very flavorful birds).

I always roast a chicken in the oven, never done it in the crock pot. I put salt and pepper on the skin, some olive oil, put some quartered onions in the bottom of the pan, put the bird in, squeeze an orange over the bird, and roast at 400 until done, pull the bird out of the pan, put the pan over heat (and those drippings and onions), add chickens stock, season with salt and pepper, and thicken with flour or arrowroot.

However, in terms of flavor of the bird, I would say, try a different bird from the farmer, and if that doesn't work, try a different farmer? some birds and breeds just taste more chickeny than others.
I roast it in the oven w/butter, salt, pepper, and fresh Rosemary from my yard. No complaints about taste here. I would skip the crockpot next time, and see how it cmes out.
I put it in a roasting pan, rub it with olive oil, sprinkle it with garlic powder and a little salt, and lay two stalks of celery on top of it so the bottom of the U faces up, cover with foil, and cook in the oven at 300 F for 2-2.5 hours depending on size - I always check the thigh with a meat thermometer at 2 hours and put back in if it's not to 180 F yet.
It's the slow cooker that's the problem, I bet. Chicken roasted in the oven is waaaayyyy tastier
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We roast our chickens two ways...

rub the entire bird with oil (we prefer olive but I am sure you could use most kinds) salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Bake at 325 for hours. We bake them until you can move the drumstick freely. This results in a golden skin and tender chicken. Yum. You can stuff the cavity with onion.
We also cook a portuguese peasant type Chicken. It is rubbed with salt and pepper then add paprika, garlic powder, crushed red pepper (it is a hot pepper spread that comes in a jar by the pickles, looks like sub spread) and a tomato product. We use ketchup but you can use tomato sauce. Rub everything in making sure that everything is equally distributed. Add 6oz of red wine or a good light Ale and bake like above. We bake potaotes, carrots, and onions with the chicken as well as portuguese sausage but that is not necessary as it can be difficult to find.

Originally Posted by 3*is*magic View Post
It's the slow cooker that's the problem, I bet. Chicken roasted in the oven is waaaayyyy tastier

What she said. My kids fight over the skin.
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I also always roast the chicken breast side DOWN. That way the fat drips down over the bird and keeps the breast meat moist. Then the last 20-30 minutes I flip it breast side up and let the skin get crispy
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I wouldn't put it in the crock pot.

Get a roasting bird, give it a wash and pat it dry. Put salt and pepper in the cavity, stuff with a bulb of garlic cut in half, some fresh herbs (I usually use rosemary, thyme and sage) and seal at the bottom with half a lemon. Pour about 1/3-1/2 cup of melted butter over the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Put on a bed of some carrots, celery, parboiled potatoes in bite sized pieces and chopped onion if you'd like. Cook uncovered at 350 for about 60-90 minutes.

You can then use the juices for gravy. The roasted garlic and herbs inside add a nice flavour to the gravy as do the carrots/celery/onion. Combine the juices with the garlic/herbs and some stock (store bought or homemade) and wine if desired. Make sure to scrape the brown bits off the bottom as they're filled with flavour. Put into the pot, add a handful of flour and puree with an immersion blender. Heat until thickened, adding more flour if needed.
OMG, this thread is torture, ive been craving some roast chicken like CRAZY! lol

I love this clip from Ina Garten:

Also, i love roasting mine in the oven...i would never put it in the crock because i love the skin to be nice and crispy. I always, always, ALWAYS brine my chicken so that i can impart that GOOD flavor (salt, sugar, garlic, and some cracked black pepper), then i rinse the chicken all over, let it dry a bit or pat it dry, stuff it with some more onion, garlic and thyme, rub it down with some melted butter and then salt and pepper it, twine the legs together and then roast for a lil under two hours.

SUCCULENT and DELICIOUS! AAAH, im so jealous, i would pay good money to have some roast chicken right now!

*prays the farmer's market opens this weekend AND has some broilers*
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I came back to add that I always save all the bones for stock. I make stock every time I cook a chicken. I reduce the stock and freeze it in tupperware ice trays (with a lid) into cubes which store well in a large freezer bag. Sometimes I roast a chicken and immediately pull all the meat for soup, and use the pan juices and frozen stock for the soup. I get a lot of pan juices because of the foil over the roasting pan - it keeps them in. Then I make a new batch of stock from the bones of the chicken I just roasted, to use next time I make soup.
I never could get the hang of roasting chicken until I hit upon the tip that moisture is bad for it. Any moisture on the outside of the bird will draw more moisture from the meat and dry it out. So, I rinse the chicken and then pat it as dry as I can get it with paper towels (including the inside of the cavity). I stuff it with rosemary, garlic, and lemon; then I put it in the baking dish and sprinkle a handful of salt over it, then grate over some pepper. It roasts at 450 F until it's done.

When it's finished, I move it to a plate and pour the pan juices into a little pot, then add a dollop of honey and a heaping spoonful of Dijon mustard and some more rosemary (finely chopped). I bring that to a boil and let it simmer a few minutes, then add a bit of starch or arrowroot to thicken it up and serve it as a gravy.

It's good stuff. Best chicken ever, so moist and delicious!
Our favorite is beer can chicken done on the BBQ. Our second favorite is stuffed and roasted just like a turkey, with basting and everything.
I love Marcella Hazan's roast chicken with two lemons. It comes out so juicy and delicious every time, with crispy skin. The recipe is posted all over the web- here is a pretty faithful reiteration (just skip the commentary on feeding the dark meat and skin to your dog to avoid fat- the horror!):

I usually add a bunch of herbs, either fresh or dried, both inside the cavity and on the outside. I've also put onions and veggies in the bottom of the pan too, but usually I don't and it always turns out fabulously.

Happy roasting!
This is hands down my favorite way to roast a chicken:

Butterfly it first. Save the back and inside things for the pan sauce

Marinate overnight in lemon juice, olive oil, smashed garlic, salt and pepper.

NExt day drain. PUt a pat of butter under each breast side skin. Heat oil in an oven proof skillet, and also at or just before put the chicken neck/back in a small pot with a few peppercorns, garlic, onion, celery, carrot, salt. Whatever things you have to flavor it. Pour 2 cups water or so and boil/simmer while chicken is going to cook. Place butterflied chicken skin down in hot oil and cook over medium for about 10 minutes until it is golden, then roast in 400 oven for 25 minutes. Then take out and carefully with tongs turn over, and roast longer skin side up until internal temp is done, another 15 minutes at least.

put chicken on platter and cover with foil

Drain your broth. Pour off pan juices in to a fat separator, then add to your broth, and keep the fat in the separator. Add a tblsp of fat back to the pan, saute a little onion or shallot, and add tblsp flour. Cook a minute, then slowly add broth, and boil/reduce at a rapid simmer until thick, about 5 minutes, add in any juices from the chicken platter by tipping it in to the pan, then off the heat stir in a pat of butter and some fresh chopped parsley. This is a fabulous and simple pan sauce. Carving a butterflied chicken is easier, and it's quicker too.

I acctually have a huge roasting pan and do two at a time....oh man that was a lot to type out LOL
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I have never done that before. I always slice my parts up leg, thigh, wings. Its too much trouble cooking a whole chicken and I like my chicken well cooked.
I agree that the slow cooker is a problem - they just don't taste as good that way and I loooove the crispy skin they get in the oven!

I brine my chickens, too.
I just use a plain salt water brine (Kosher salt).

After brining I pat it dry and rub the skin - and under the skin - with butter and salt and herbs if desired (chopped rosemary or herbs de provence are my current favorites, but I vary it since I roast chickens all the time!). Then I roast at 350 for ~ 1 hr 45 min (this is for about a 5 lb chicken).

Sometimes I add chopped potatoes and carrots to the pan as well so they roast along with the bird and get flavored by the drippings. The yukon golds I did last night were especially good with some extra pan juice spooned over them

Just made one last night - yum!
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I literally probably have tons of whole chicken ideas.

I almost always roast in the oven unless DH grills it on the bbq. I use a nice roasting pan that has a little grid that sits in it so that its not sittting in the juice plus it gets extra crispy skin (which is sooooo good) Cook with the skin on to hlep keep the juice in.

1. olive oil or (real butter) salt,pepper,crushed garlic maybe some other herbs like rosemary from our garden

2. marinate in beer overnight and roast with s/p. YUMMMMM. Beer can chicken is the term used if you grill it but if you dont grill marinating works well

3. I buy 100% apricot or pineapple preserves. Slater it on and cook. Makes a nice sticky chicken we call it "hawaiian chicknen"

4. if you like Hidden Valley ranch dip I rub down with butter and then use the dip packet and sprinkle on the chicken. the boys literally pick the chicken off the bones

5. I mix equal parts honey/mustard and use cloves to taste. Rub into skin. I very nice honey mustard chicken. Also awesome on grilled pork chops.
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