There is nothing quite like the smell of roast chicken. Except, of course, the taste of the beautifully succulent meat, tender and juicy and cooked to perfection. And there are not too many meals that make you feel so much like a domestic goddess as roasting a chicken. Your home fills with the incredible scent of chicken, vegetables, herbs and spices. And best of all, you only had to spend about 15 minutes getting it all ready.
The smell of roast chicken brings back fond childhood memories of arriving at my grandmothers house on Sunday after church. Her table already laid and the dinner plates warming, as she stirred her homemade gravy. Take yourself back to your childhood with one of the following recipes.
A few tips before you start roasting…
Make sure to take your chicken out of the fridge at least 45 minutes before you’re planning to start roasting it. If it’s still refrigerator-cold when you put it in the oven, your cooking time will be longer, your chicken won’t be as tender, and you’ll be disappointed. Consider yourself forewarned.
Also don’t wash your chicken. Rinsing your chicken just spreads gross raw chicken germs all over your sink. And your kitchen. Cooking the meat to the proper temperature (165 degrees) will kill any dangerous germs or bacteria. Be sure to pat your chicken down with clean paper towels to dry it really well on the outside as well as the inside. Any excess moisture creates steam and will actually make your chicken drier.
After you’ve salted and seasoned your bird, place it on a roasting rack to ensure that your chicken cooks evenly and that it doesn’t stick to the roasting pan. Roasting your chicken at a super high heat (often as high as 450-500F) will crisp up the skin perfectly and will cook the meat as quickly as possible so that it doesn’t become dry.
Resist the urge to open the oven while your chicken is roasting. As long as you’re using a rack over the top of your roasting pan, opening the oven while your roasting a chicken is unnecessary. Using a rack will allow the heat to hit all sides of the bird evenly. Opening the oven door will decrease the oven heat and increase cooking time.
Remember your chicken is done when its internal temperature is 165 degrees. Check the temperature by inserting a meat thermometer right between the breast and the thigh; this is the thickest part of the chicken. Don’t cook the chicken past 165 degrees as it will start to dry out and won’t be as flavorful as it could be.
Don’t forget to take your chicken off the rack and let it sit on a cutting board for 15 minutes before carving. Letting your chicken “rest” gives the juices a chance to settle, so that they soak into your meat and flavor it, instead of just flowing out onto the cutting board.
Now that you’ve got the basics…
Here are 14 of the most amazing gluten free and paleo-friendly roast chicken recipes that range from basic to a little more complicated. Enjoy!