The Perfect Roast Chicken

by Elizabeth on August 25, 2010 · 2 comments

in main dishes, recipes

If I could be anyone on the Food Network, I would be Ina Garten.

I know you’re probably surprised that I don’t want to be Paula Deen given my love of butter, but really, when it comes down to it, I would trade my love of butter for a house in the Hamptons and an all white kitchen with that amazing gas range in a heartbeat.  Not that Ina doesn’t love her butter, because she does.  And I do adore Paula; I just want to be Ina.

That makes sense right?


Ina Garten’s Perfect Roast Chicken recipe from her first Barefoot Contessa cookbook IS the perfect roast chicken (in my humble opinion at least).  It’s perfectly cooked, never too dry; the skin is amazingly crispy and it tastes so so so good.

Have you ever heard of Engagement Chicken?  Glamour Magazine started it all, and over the years this recipe I’m about to share with you has become THE engagement chicken recipe.  If cooked correctly and served with the appropriate side dishes (I think risotto or mashed potatoes make excellent sides), this chicken has the power to do amazing things (I think), even garner marriage proposals.  🙂

Roast Chicken 

1 4-5 pound whole roasting chicken
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 head of garlic, cut in half (remove some of the loose outer skin, but not all)
1 lemon, cut in half
1 small bunch of thyme
1 large onion, sliced thickly

Special tools:
Kitchen twine or dental floss (NOT the flavored kind)
Roasting pan

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place chicken in sink; remove giblets from the cavity.  Rinse the chicken inside and out thoroughly and pat dry.  Transfer to a roasting pan that has been greased.  Brush all sides of the chicken (be sure to get under the legs and wings and in all the crevices) with the melted butter and sprinkle with desired amount of salt and pepper.  Sprinkle the cavity with salt and pepper as well.

Stuff the cavity with both halves of the lemon, both halves of the garlic, and all of the thyme.  I like to spread the thyme out a little so it’s not all bunched up in one place.  Sprinkle the top of the cavity with salt and pepper again.  Truss the chicken (or do it the easy way and just tie the legs together) using the kitchen twine or dental floss.  Check to make sure you don’t need any more salt and pepper.  Arrange the onion slices closely around the chicken in the roasting pan.

Roast the chicken in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a thermometer placed between the leg and thigh registers 185 degrees and the juices run clear.  Remove the chicken from the pan and discard the twine, the onions, and everything from the cavity.  Slice the chicken on a large platter or a cutting board and serve!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 littlehousesouthernprairie August 27, 2010 at 3:36 am

I'd rather be Ina too. Being Paula just sounds so tiring. All that talking — gushing — makeup application — see I am already tired.


2 Elizabeth August 27, 2010 at 1:32 pm

And the fake blue contact lenses and the fake eyelashes…now I'm tired as well. 🙂


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