Recipes

Roast Chicken Three Ways

Roast chicken is a classic dinner, and it’s so easy! Here are three ways to get roast chicken on your dinner table.

Roast chicken is a classic dinner, and it's so easy! Here are three ways to get roast chicken on your dinner table.

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I got obsessed with roast chicken last winter. It’s such a classic meal option. Bad roast chicken is dry and gross, but good roast chicken is a game changer.

Each version of roast chicken is simple. They may take time to sit and soak in the goodness, but none of them are particularly work intensive to make. They’re simple food done right.

Roast chicken is a classic dinner, and it's so easy! Here are three ways to get roast chicken on your dinner table.
Roast chicken is a classic dinner, and it's so easy! Here are three ways to get roast chicken on your dinner table.

Before You Start: Roast Chicken

A couple notes that apply to all three recipes:

For each recipe, they will be better if the chicken starts at room temperature. If you can, leave it on the counter for an hour or two before cooking. It helps the chicken cook more evenly without drying out the white meat. If you can’t, it’ll still be good. But it’s better if it can sit, especially if you salt it as soon as you set it out.

Have you heard of trussing? It’s when you tie the two legs together with butcher’s twine. It helps the meat cook evenly. I’ll spare you the details, but the short version is that you should tie them together to position the dark meat to cook the best. The exception is if your chicken comes from the market or store with the legs tucked into the skin – this naturally positions them without the twine, and it’s common here in Italy.

Pair with: ANYTHING! From roast vegetables to summer penne to strawberry spinach salad. Essentially, whatever’s in the fridge. More than anything else, the beauty of a great roast chicken is that taste gorgeous with whatever you’ve got!

Roast chicken is a classic dinner, and it's so easy! Here are three ways to get roast chicken on your dinner table.
Roast chicken is a classic dinner, and it's so easy! Here are three ways to get roast chicken on your dinner table.

The Best: Buttermilk Roasted Chicken

The best roast chicken recipe wins by miles, but it takes planning ahead. Not a lot of work, so don’t worry overmuch. But you can’t decide an hour before dinner to toss this one together.

Samin Nosrat of Salt Fat Acid Heat gets all the credit for this recipe; it’s verbatim from her cookbook. I love it so much! This is the roast chicken I make the most often. Trust me, make this one first.

Tools you’ll need: skillet.

Buttermilk Roasted Chicken

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Marinating time1 d
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken, protein, Salt Fat Acid Heat
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken 3-4 pounds
  • 4 tbsp salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk

Instructions

  • Prep the chicken 24 hours in advance: cut the first joint of the wings off the chicken and salt generously and leave sitting on the counter for 30 minutes.
  • Pour buttermilk into a plastic bag and add 2 tbsp salt. Shake thoroughly. Add the chicken to the buttermilk and return to the fridge. Let it marinate for 24 hours or so.
  • One hour before cooking, pull the chicken out of the fridge to allow it to get to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 425°F, with a skillet inside.
  • Loosely scrape the excess buttermilk off the chicken skin. When the oven is preheated, pull the skillet out and add the chicken. Position the skillet so the drumsticks face a back corner of the oven.
  • After 20 minutes, turn the heat down to 400°F. Cook for 10 minutes more, then rotate the legs to face the other back corner.
  • Cook for 20-30 minutes more, until a meat thermometer reads 165°F. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Roast chicken is a classic dinner, and it's so easy! Here are three ways to get roast chicken on your dinner table.
Pre-cooking, the buttermilk makes it look… weird. Don’t fear! It’ll taste amazing!
Roast chicken is a classic dinner, and it's so easy! Here are three ways to get roast chicken on your dinner table.
Post-roast. One of my favorite dinners currently.
Roast chicken is a classic dinner, and it's so easy! Here are three ways to get roast chicken on your dinner table.

The Fastest: Classic Roast Chicken

The fastest method is also the most classic. This is probably the most old-school recipe, and it’s been around for so long for a reason: it’s delicious. It’s a solid choice and perfect for that “wait what’s for dinner” moment.

This one takes a little under 90 minutes. While I know that’s still too long to be considered a weeknight meal, it’s a good choice when all you have in the fridge is a whole chicken. I like to throw it in with garlic and thyme or rosemary, but you don’t have to do those if they’re not on hand.

Roast chicken is a classic dinner, and it's so easy! Here are three ways to get roast chicken on your dinner table.

Tools you’ll need: skillet.

Classic Roast Chicken

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time45 mins
5 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Keyword: chicken, protein
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken 3-4 pounds
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 5-6 cloves garlic
  • 2 sprigs thyme

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. While it's preheating, set the chicken on the counter and salt generously.
  • When the oven is preheated, put a skillet in for 10 minutes. Rub olive oil into the chicken skin on all sides and sprinkle with pepper. Peel the garlic cloves.
  • Put the chicken breast-side up into the skillet, then add the garlic and thyme sprigs around it. Put it into the oven with the legs facing one back corner.
  • Roast on high for 20 minutes, then rotate the skillet so the legs face the other back corner. Roast for around 20 minutes more.
  • The chicken is done when a thermometer stuck in the leg reads 165°F. Let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Roast chicken is a classic dinner, and it's so easy! Here are three ways to get roast chicken on your dinner table.

The Simplest: Slow Cooker Roast Chicken

This one is by far the easiest. Slow cookers are gems for that: just toss it all in and walk away.

It’s also the least pretty way to eat a chicken: the skin doesn’t get that glorious golden crusty effect. This one is better for those evenings when you know it’s going to be crazy in advance and need dinner to be uncomplicated and DONE, ya know?

It’s also great if you want to make something that needs cooked chicken to begin with, or to toss over a salad for a week of meal-prep lunches.

Roast chicken is a classic dinner, and it's so easy! Here are three ways to get roast chicken on your dinner table.
She’s not a looker, but it’s a great easy dinner or solution for adding protein to any meal with no work!

Tools you’ll need: slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Roast Chicken

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Course: Main Course
Keyword: chicken, protein
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken 3-4 pounds
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 onions
  • ½ lemon
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup chicken broth

Instructions

  • Rub the chicken with salt & pepper. Cut the lemon in half and put inside the chicken. Chop the carrots & onions into large chunks.
  • Grease the slow cooker with olive oil and add the chicken. Top with onions and chicken broth. Cook on low for 8 hours.
Roast chicken is a classic dinner, and it's so easy! Here are three ways to get roast chicken on your dinner table.
Roast chicken is a classic dinner, and it's so easy! Here are three ways to get roast chicken on your dinner table.

There you go! Three versions of roast chicken to fit your time and effort needs. We make all of these regularly!

Which is your favorite roast chicken version? Let me know on Instagram!

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