tips for cooking a chicken

We are moving in a month so I'm starting to try to use up a lot of the food in our freezer. I forgot I had 2 whole chickens in there. I have one thawed out for supper tomorrow night. I've never cooked a chicken before so I'm looking for some tips.

  • Posted by: ktr
  • October 5, 2015


ChefJune October 6, 2015
I realize it's not cool to brag on one's own recipe, but this roast chicken is so delicious (and easy to do) that one reviewer when my book came out switched to my recipe after having made Julia Child's roast chicken for decades. I think you'll like it.
Nancy October 6, 2015
With accolades like switching to your recipe from J Child, why not brag a little?! Looked at the recipe and I want to make it :)
ktr October 6, 2015
I have to say thanks to you for writing such a detail oriented recipe - it's perfect for a newbie! I'm going to try it tonight.
ktr October 6, 2015
The chicken turned out great! In fact, my husband ate about 3/4 of it by himself! I have 2 questions. One, was I supposed to put the chicken on a rack in the roasting pan? And two, is there a trick to flipping the chicken? I just used my oven mitts but I feel like there must be a cleaner method.
702551 October 6, 2015
There are many recipes that say to use an oven rack, but many more that don't mention it. After all, the oven rack is a fairly recent contraption in the history of kitchen equipment.

I tend to put a bunch of veggies (carrots, onion, celery) in the bottom of my roasting pan, on which my chicken can rest.

For flipping a whole roasting chicken, I use a meat fork with the assistance of a pair of large tongs.
ktr October 6, 2015
Thanks for the advice and encouragement. If I don't get this one right, I've got a second one to practice with!
QueenSashy October 6, 2015
Good luck!
Nancy October 6, 2015
Also, good luck!
And keep in mind that not getting it right (e.g. it's not pretty or the skin isn't crispy enough) can often yield food that is still edible by the household, if not by guests.
Last, wherever you start, there are - as QueenSashy says - all kinds of disputes & variations to play with (splayed and weighted down, on a beer can, brined or not, with dry rub or bbq sauce, etc).
QueenSashy October 6, 2015
Simple roasted chicken is incredibly easy and fun to make. There are a lot of debates over which method is the best one (at one point Serious Eats held a Roast Chicken Tournament, it is a great read here, My favorite has always been the Thomas Keller method, it is the simplest of all, close to no work and produces a gorgeous bird ( Also, most of the recipes call for roasting the bird with breast side up, although I found that placing the chicken breast side down, makes for incredibly moist white meat
Nancy October 5, 2015
Take the opportunity to learn how to roast a chicken. A basic technique. A food that pleases many if not most people. Also great for kitchen economy and good use of your time - makes great leftovers - chicken meat (for salad, tacos, etc) and carcass (for soup).
Also, depending on how you bought them, check the insides of your chickens in case the store left in some innards (gizzard, etc) also useful for soup.
Dont make the mistake I made in my first student apt (my mother had done all the shopping and cooking when I was growing up) and roast the chicken with the bag of parts still inside it.
Start with this simple, delicious recipe from Michael Ruhlman, in Ruhlmans Twenty, 2011.
sexyLAMBCHOPx October 5, 2015
This article may help:
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