How To – Amy’s Roasted Chicken
I love roasting chickens. A roasted chicken is affordable, quick to prepare, and it fills your house with a wonderful aroma. While you do need time, it’s not really active time. Prep the bird for 5-10 minutes and then move on to something else once it is in the oven.
I have tinkered with a lot of herbs and spices to come up with the perfect blend. This one is my favourite. It’s great on chicken, Cornish hens, and even turkey!
I love a juicy bird that cooks quickly and has crispy skin all over. That’s why I spatchcock my chickens and hens. If you have a pair of poultry shears – or even a big knife – give this method a try. It’s easier than it seems.
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Mix together all of the spices in a small bowl. Add the olive oil and lemon juice and stir together until the mixture is a paste.
Prepare your bird. Rinse and pat dry inside and out. If you are keeping your bird intact, continue with these instructions. If you would like to cook your bird as in the picture above, follow the instructions for Spatchcocking your Bird.
Place your bird breast side up in a pan. I use a cast iron grill pan because it conducts heat well and allows the fat to drain away from the bird. You can also use a rack in a roasting pan.
Rub the spice mixture all over the chicken. Make sure to cover the whole bird well. If you have spatchcocked your bird, this includes the underside. If you are using butter, put some on the breast and drums.
Roast the bird for 15 minutes at 425°F. Then lower the oven temperature to 375°F. Baste the bird occasionally. Continue cooking until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F. Timing will depend on the size of your bird. If the bird is intact, estimate 25 min per pound. If the bird is spatchcocked, it could take about 35-45 minutes.
Remove the bird from the oven. Cover loosely with foil and let the bird rest for 10 minutes before carving.
Spatchcocking your Bird
With the breast side down, use poultry shears (and some force) to cut along both sides of the backbone. If you are like me an enjoy the "Pope's Nose" (the small triangular bit at the base of the tail), make an angle cut on one side of the backbone and keep the Pope's Nose attached to the bird.
Open up the bird and use the tip of a knife to score the middle of the keel bone (the dark oblong bone in the middle of the breast). Push the breasts down and the keel bone up to expose it. Run your finger along the membrane to free the bone (use a small knife if you need to) and remove the bone. This makes it easier to flatten the bird as well as making it easier to carve.