How To Roast a Whole Chicken

Many classic roast chicken recipes call for steady heat throughout, or start high and then reduce the heat, but we discovered something different, and it yielded our juiciest bird ever.

Foolproof Roast Chicken

Foolproof Roast Chicken

The secret to our super-juicy bird? We baked at 350° for about 45 minutes, then cranked the heat up to 450° for the last few minutes. The chicken browned beautifully, and the high-temp finish speeded the cooking. Have a meat thermometer handy so you can remove the chicken from the oven the moment it's done.

The Curriculum:

  • Our new method for roasting a whole bird.
  • How to know when chicken is perfectly cooked.
  • When to eat the skin and when you need to toss it.
View Recipe: Classic Roast Chicken

Kitchen Tip: Allow the chicken to stand at least 10 minutes before you slice it so the juices redistribute throughout the meat.

How to Truss a Chicken

Truss

Simply cross the legs and tie them together with kitchen twine. Next, lift the wing tips up and tuck them under the bird. Once cooked, discard the twine, and the chicken will hold this tidy shape.

How to Season and Roast a Chicken

Season and Roast

Season the flesh, leaving the skin intact. (Season the skin too for a nice presentation.) Then place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan. Elevating the bird allows air to circulate and promotes even browning.

Nutrition Note: Since chicken breast meat is low in calories and saturated fat, you can eat the skin and still keep saturated fat within allowable limits. If you like dark meat, which is higher in saturated fat, remove and discard the skin.

View Recipe: Italian-Seasoned Roast Chicken Breasts

Kitchen Tip: Pull chicken breasts from the oven when they reach 155º; the temp will continue to climb as they rest.

How to Temperature Check a Roast Chicken

Temperature Check

Cooking to the proper temperature is the most critical step. Insert a thermometer into a meaty part of the leg (avoiding the bone). When the temperature reaches 165°, pull the bird from the oven. Let rest 10 minutes.

View Recipe: Asian-Glazed Chicken Thighs

Kitchen Tip: Thigh meat is forgiving, even if overcooked. In fact, it becomes more tender when cooked to at least 160°.

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