The Easiest Crispy Roast Chicken

“One cannot think, love, sleep well if one has not dined well.” –Virginia Woolf

 A delicious roast chicken is a fundamental dish and, frequently, a family favorite; there are even those who claim it’s a way to secure an engagement.  Whomever you are cooking for, I offer up one of my favorite tasty and nearly effortless recipes.

First encountered in It’s All Good, the 2013 Cookbook from Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen, this has quickly become one of my staple recipes for it’s glorious simplicity. It is also an excellent base to experiment from- if you love garlic, any spice in particular, want to swap coconut oil for olive oil, have at!

  • 1 whole organic chicken, approximately 4 lbs
  • Coarse sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 tbsps. Extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ lemon (or lime, or blood orange if you’re feeling experimental)
  • ½ yellow onion, peeled

Preheat oven to 425 °

A minor bit of prep I like to do when handling raw chicken: pour your salt and grind your pepper into a bowl together, and pour your olive oil into dish. This way you don’t have to wash your hands every few minutes between touching ingredients.

Now, to the bird itself. First, make sure you have removed the giblets from the bird. These can be saved to fry up with some lemon, olive oil and garlic for a delicious-on-toast breakfast, if you are so inclined. Next, rinse your bird. There is some back and forth on whether or not to rinse your chicken, but I tend towards rinsing and then a proper sink-cleaning afterwards. Dry your bird off, and then give it a nice olive-oil massage. Next, rub the salt & pepper into the skin and inside the cavity.

Place the chicken, breast side up, in a roasting dish, and insert the citrus of your choosing along with the onion in the cavity. Add any remaining salt and pepper to the top of the bird.

Roast the chicken for 1 ½ hours, basting every half hour. This is the crucial step for a crispy, juicy chicken- don’t forget to baste! Set a timer to remind yourself. It’s worth it. If you have a meat thermometer, check to ensure the internal temperature is in the 165°-180° range before declaring it cooked. Remove the chicken from the oven and let sit for ten minutes.

For an extra juicy dish, add about ½ cup of boiling water to the roasting dish, scraping up the goodness at the bottom for an easy serving sauce.

Carve, serve, and enjoy!

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