Simple Roast Chicken (Warning: Graphic Content)

Seriously, I know the thought of touching a raw chicken is gross, but it is so essential that learn how to roast a chicken! And I promise, it’s not that bad. Watch!


My mom makes this about once a week.  She makes it with sweet potatoes.  Yum.  I’ll make a video of those in the near future, because the two really do go hand in hand. We use it for leftovers to make salads with chicken, sandwiches, chicken salad, chicken soup, or if you just need a protein pick me up, it’s easily accessible!  A chicken is pretty cheap, so if you think about it, you’re getting a lot of meals out of a $10 chicken! Perfect for someone cooking for one, or someone cooking for 4 or more!

I’m not sure where Mom learned about the cheese cloth, but it does make a huge difference in the tenderness of the chicken! It’s a simple extra step, that I would hardly even consider a “step”, as you’re literally just putting a piece of cloth on the chicken before you throw it in the oven!

Here’s what you need to buy:

1 Chicken

Olive oil


Fresh Rosemary

Italian Seasoning (3-4 tbl, use freely to coat chicken)

Parsley Flakes (3-4 tbl, use freely to coat chicken)

A foot of string/twine

Cheese Cloth (You can find in grocery stores or kitchen stores)

There are so many options here.  You can season with ANYTHING!  Whatever you like best or… whatever you have in your kitchen! Lemon, lime, thyme, oregano, cilantro… be creative and just go for it.  It’s not like you’re going to ruin it…

First things first, take everything out of your sink, or any jewelry you’re wearing. Sponges, mats, drain stoppers, etc. Put your chicken in there and cut off the packaging.  Take out the baggie that you’ll find in the cavity.  I highly suggest throwing it away asap.  It will totally gross you out. It’s all of the chicken parts like the insides, heart, liver, kidneys, the neck… oh em gee. Don’t think about it, just throw it away!  Rinse off your chicken and run water through the cavity, making sure there is nothing in there leftover from when they cleaned it out.

WARNING: I’m not going to lie to you.  The first time you do it, you may have a bit of a heart attack because it feels like you’re holding a puppy or a baby.  Just avoid holding it under the wings, the way you would hold a baby, that way you’ll have more of a chance of not wanting to vom.  Word to the wise.

Sometimes there are some extra giant chunks of fat by the butt.  You can just pull those off.    Make sure you don’t take out the white pop up timer! (If you’ve never made one before, when that thing pops up, that’s how you know it’s done in the oven!)

You also need to check the skin for any leftovers from the feathers.  The ends of the quills are sometimes still there so you need to pull or squeeze them out. It’s usually not too many.  Again, just stop thinking that it’s a chicken, think of something else!  Put on music!  Anything to distract yourself.  And once you do it the first time, you’ll get over it, it will become easier and you’ll need less of a distraction!

Set your oven to 350°. If your oven has the button for “roast”, then put it on roast.  If not, “bake” is fine.

Coat the bottom of your pan with olive oil.  Use freely.  Pat your chicken dry with some paper towels.  Place in your pan breast side up.

Now use the twine to tie a double knot on one leg.  Pull over to the other leg and tie the two together.  The reason is so that the sides of the legs will be better exposed to the heat and cooked evenly.  Now you are going to use your thumb to press down on the joint of the wing and folds backwards and under the chicken.  If you do this correctly, when you flip the chicken over, they will stay in place.  (Watch at 2:56 to see)

Flip over.  Coat with olive oil.  Season with whatever you’re using.  In this case, the parsley, salt, pepper and Italian seasonings.  Try to sprinkle some everywhere.  Then rub gently.

Now flip it back over so the breast is right side up again.  Repeat the same steps of seasoning, starting with the olive oil.  Don’t forget to cover the wings and legs as well! Now, cut your rosemary into shorter sticks and place under the legs and a few on top of the breast.  You can even put some in the cavity.  (If you want to use lemon, I would squeeze some when you’re seasoning and also put the actual lemon in the cavity with the rosemary!)

Cut your cheese cloth to the approximate size of the chicken and place on top.  Every chicken will cook at different lengths because of the different weight.  In our oven, they usually take 1.5-2 hours. We usually just rely on the white pop up magical button, which hasn’t failed us yet, but if you want, you can use a thermometer, stick it deep in the breast and measure it to 180°.

Within 10 minutes of putting it in the oven, your whole house will smell edible!  The rosemary permeates every inch of your home.

While it’s cooking, don’t forget to clean up!  There isn’t much to clean, which is another awesome thing about this meal, but there is stuff to disinfect!  Wash your sink, faucet, countertops, cupboard knobs, olive oil container, oven door handle, etc. The chance of you getting ill is probably slim, but why risk it?! And your kitchen can probably use a cleaning anyway… 😉

You can let it sit on your stove for a few minutes before carving.  Sometimes we make it a few hours before dinner because we have more time during the day than afternoon.  It’s delicious even when it’s just warm!

(with cheese cloth)IMG_7130

(without cheese cloth)IMG_7136



Keep it classy this week guys. Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Chef Stef









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