I always thought a whole roasted chicken would be a giant pain to make, but since I’ve had to turn to making my own chicken stock to ensure it’s onion and garlic free, it’s become a regular staple in our house and I find I don’t mind making it at all. Perhaps because the payoff is always more than worth the work, but probably just as much because it yeilds such excellent results. We usually eat the perfectly roasted chicken the day I cook it, and boy is it juicy and tender. So good, we’ve pretty much forgotten to get squeamish about the bones and we usually each devour a leg and a little breast meat, eyeing the plate sadly when it’s gone. The rest of the bird gets divvied up for other meals, such as salads topped with chicken, wraps, chicken salad sandwiches, chicken noodle soup, enchiladas, burritos, tacos, or nachos… I could go on, but you get the picture. I even save some the bits we won’t eat and give it to the cat in lieu of less healthy canned cat foods as a treat (yes, my veterinarian recommended it). There literally isn’t a single part of the bird that doesn’t get used, since the carcass and less savory bits are used that night to make stock.
The thing I love about this recipe is that it’s not too complicated, yet it produces a tremendously tender bird. That’s because the vegetables and butter are both providing a good deal of moisture the entire time it’s cooking. It also eliminates the need to cover it, so you also get a nicely browned bird. You also get some really great flavor thanks to the spices used. If you prefer a more traditional taste, use some poultry seasoning instead.
Whole Roasted Chicken
- 1 3-4 lb Heritage Raised Whole Chicken
- 1 stalk of celery, cut into several chunks
- 6-8 Baby Carrots
- ½ stick of butter (divided in half)
- Sea Salt and Pepper
- Kitchen String (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove any remaining innards and set aside. Pat the bird dry and place in roasting dish. Open the cavity and sprinkle the inside of the turkey generously with each spice. Fill the cavity with the carrots and celery and half of the butter. Close over the cavity and tie the legs together using kitchen string if you’d like. With the remaining butter, rub the outside of the turkey and place bits of butter under the skin, where it isn’t attached. Sprinkle the spices over the outside of the turkey.
Place chicken on the lowest oven rack and bake uncovered until a meat thermometer inserted into breast reads 160 degrees (1hr 15mins to 1hr 45 mins). Baste ir brush occasionally with butter from bottom of pan.
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 1hr 15min- 1hr 45mins