The most basic way possible

Cooking with meat always throws me for a loop. I don’t work with it enough because it’s so dang expensive, and when I do work with it, I quake all over cause I don’t want to mess it up since it’s so dang expensive, plus all that work. Plus, the cost. Did I mention the cost? The stakes are high.

But then I roasted two chickens the most basic way possible and the meat was so good that I nearly ate half a chicken during the de-boning process. When my oldest daughter came into the chicken, I mean kitchen—kitchen!—she took one look at the pile of bones and set to wailing, “But I wanted to eat a whole chicken for supper!” Because chicken tastes better when it looks like chicken, obviously.

Simple Roast Chicken
With inspiration from The Best Way To Roast a Turkey, by Aimee of Simple Bites

1 whole chicken
3-4 tablespoons butter
black pepper

Rinse the chicken and place on a roasting pan—in other words, a pan with sides. Smear dabs of butter all over the outside of the chicken and inside the cavity. I’m serious here. You want to grease that baby up good.

Salt and pepper the chicken inside and out. You’ll probably use at least a teaspoon of salt and a half teaspoon of black pepper, but it depends on the size of your bird.

Roast the chicken at 400 degrees for 20 minutes before reducing the temperature to 350 degrees and roasting for another hour or so. Not that I know anything about times, though. The way I check for doneness is by look (is it dark golden brown all over?) and leg flexibility (does the leg move easily when wiggled back and forth?). If the answer to both questions is yes, then it’s done. Or else you can just roast it to death. That works, too.

Allow it to rest, covered with foil, at room temperature for 15-30 minutes before devouring.

Note: Don’t waste oven heat—roast two birds at time. Leftovers freeze splendidly. Bonus, each kid gets a leg = no fighting.

P.S. I wanted to title this post “Put a bird on it,” but it didn’t exactly fit, so I refrained. But it’s how I refer to this post…in my head.

This same time, years previous: one hot chica


  • Starr

    If the chicken is not your regular ol' grocery store bland bird, then I think this method could work. But for the stuff i have access to, a brine helps a lot.

    (also, for the factory chickens, rinsing isn't a great idea. it just shoots pathogens all over the place!)

    I'm a recent roast chicken convert. Yummy!

  • Anonymous

    I do the same thing, thawing a chicken. Especially if it's a chicken I butchered myself. I mean, sheesh.

    I do brine them while or after thawing, though.

  • teekaroo

    Ah, so that's butter smeared on those raw chickens. I was a little freaked out at first, wondering what that was, but it makes sense now.

  • the domestic fringe

    Your chickens look lovely. I do enjoy a roasted chicken. I recently roasted 2 myself, but I tried a new way that I read about. You butter and season the chick, they you stuff a cut up onion inside the bird and bake at 325 (ridiculously low, I know) for like 4 hours. It was SO good. I know nothing about cook times, so I don't know the difference. All I know is that I like chicken, no matter how you roast it. 😉

  • Jennifer Jo

    Kirsten, I just set the birds on a tray on the counter overnight. They're ready to go by morning, though I let them sit till mid-afternoon when it was time to cook them. (The food safety folks will probably want to chop off my head for admitting this. Sorry.)

Leave a Comment