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How to Make the Perfect Roast Chicken

Written by the YesChef staff

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YesChef Francis Mallmann Desktop
YesChef Francis Mallmann Desktop
Francis Mallmann
Teaches his Argentine Cuisine
Roast chicken is a classic dish that is enjoyed all around the world. It’s a staple in many cultures and is a beloved dish for both special occasions and weeknight dinners. Not only is it delicious and comforting, but it is also surprisingly easy to make. Roasting a whole chicken is an excellent way to learn basic cooking techniques and to hone your skills as a cook. By mastering the techniques of roasting a chicken, you will be able to take advantage of the versatility of this dish and add your own unique twist to it. In this article, you will learn how to make a beautiful roast chicken recipe. We’ll discuss the main ingredients, the tips and tricks for making the perfect roasted chicken at home, and the key cooking skills you’ll need to know. In this article, you will also learn the do’s and don’ts of roasting a whole chicken, suggested side dishes, and how the famous chef Francis Mallmann roasts his whole chicken over an open flame. With these instructions and tips, you can make the best roast chicken recipe every time
Francis Mallmann
Teaches his Argentine Cuisine

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Is Roasted Chicken Healthy?

Yes, a simple roast chicken can be a healthy option. It is a good source of lean protein, providing about 25 grams per 3-ounce serving. And it contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. It’s a source of niacin, vitamin B6 and selenium, which helps your body produce energy and keep your immune system healthy. It has phosphorus, an essential mineral that helps your body form strong bones and teeth; lots of iron, which helps your body make new blood cells and carry oxygen throughout your body; and zinc, an essential mineral that helps your body heal wounds naturally.

Roast Chicken Ingredients

The main ingredients you’ll need to make the perfect roast chicken are a whole chicken, butter or oil, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs of your choice such as garlic, rosemary, thyme, oregano, or paprika. You can also add other seasonings and spices to your liking. A whole chicken is ideal for roasting because it has plenty of fat and skin, which will help keep the chicken moist and flavorful.

Traits of a Delicious Roast Chicken

Whatever roast chicken recipe you choose, all tasty roast chicken shares certain characteristics.  Roast chicken should contain juicy meat with a golden-brown, crispy skin. It should burst with flavor, with just the right blend of fresh herbs, spices, and seasonings. It should be evenly-cooked, so that no parts of the roast chicken – including the chicken legs; the chicken breasts; and the chicken skin – are undercooked or overcooked. The meat should be tender rather than tough or chewy. And the chicken should have a pleasant aroma when it is removed from the oven.

9 Tips for How To Roast a Chicken

By roasting a whole chicken, you’ll learn some essential cooking skills like how to prepare the simple roast chicken, truss the chicken, season it properly, how to determine when it is done, and how to let it rest. You’ll also learn how to carve the chicken, which will come in handy when serving it to guests.

Making the best roast chicken recipe doesn’t have to be intimidating. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Brine the whole chicken for a juicier bird.
  2. Preheat your oven to 375-400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Rub the chicken with butter or oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Truss the chicken for even cooking.
  5. Place the chicken in a roasting pan, chicken breast side up.
  6. Add any herbs or spices you like.
  7. Roast the chicken for about 60 minutes.
  8. Check the temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer. The temperature should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit. (The best way to take the internal temperature of a whole chicken is to use an instant-read thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken, making sure it does not touch any bones.)
  9. Allow the chicken to rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

How To Truss A Chicken

Trussing a chicken means to tie the chicken’s legs together, as well as its wings, using kitchen twine. This helps the chicken to hold its shape while cooking, resulting in an evenly cooked bird. And as Francis educates us during his chicken roasting demonstration, trussing also keeps the chicken from falling apart. Tying it tightly, Francis says, will ensure that all of the delicious flavors confined within the chicken do not escape as it’s being cooked. When it comes to trussing a chicken, you must tighten the bird before cooking it. Start by positioning the chicken breast-side up. Take the legs and tuck them under the back of the chicken. Next, take a piece of kitchen twine and tie the legs together in a tight knot. Then, take the wings and tuck them under the back of the chicken and tie them together with the kitchen twine. Lastly, tie the kitchen twine around the neck of the chicken to secure the wings and legs in place. Once the chicken is trussed, it is ready to be cooked. Trussing the chicken also helps to give it a nice compact shape.

Ways to Roast a Whole Chicken

The most popular method of roasting a chicken is by cooking it in the oven. Francis roasts his chickens by hanging them from wires and cooking them over an open flame. But these are just two ways of executing a roast chicken recipe. Here’s a list of some different ways you can make roasted chicken at home:
  1. Roast in the Oven: This common method of making roast chicken involves preheating your oven, placing the chicken in a roasting pan, and rubbing the bird with olive oil with additional seasonings and fresh herbs. Roast the chicken until its internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  2. Grill: Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Rub the chicken with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs. Place the chicken on the grill and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.
  3. Rotisserie: Preheat the rotisserie to 375°F. Rub the chicken with olive oil and season it as you wish. Put the chicken on the rotisserie and cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes (or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.)
  4. Sheet Pan Roast: After preheating your oven, place the chicken in a greased sheet pan and rub the chicken with olive oil and seasonings. Roast the chicken in the oven for 30 minutes, reduce its heat from 375 degrees to 350 degrees, and roast for an additional 30 minutes (or until its temperature reaches 165°F.)
  5. Air Fryer: Preheat your air fryer to the usual cooking temperature of 375°F. Rub the chicken with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs. Place the chicken in the air fryer and cook for 30 minutes or until its inner-temperature rises to 165°F.

Roasting Chicken No-No’s

To ensure that your roast chicken is prepared properly and tastes delicious, you’ll want to avoid some common mistakes people make during the cooking process. Here are some errors that can lead to a roasted chicken meal that is mediocre or worse: Not Preheating the Oven: Preheating is a necessity for chicken roasting, as it ensures the chicken cooks evenly and the skin crisps properly. Not Seasoning Properly: It is important to season the chicken before roasting to ensure the bird is flavorful. Not Trussing the Bird: Trussing the chicken helps it to retain moisture, cook evenly, and have a more attractive presentation. Not Checking the Internal Temperature: Checking the internal temperature of the chicken is the only way to ensure it is cooked to the proper temperature and is safe to eat. Over-Roasting: Over-roasting a chicken can result in a dry, tough bird. Pay attention to the timing and temperature to avoid this mistake. Nobody likes their chicken dry.

Great Ways to Flavor Roast Chicken

There are all sorts of seasonings and spices that can enhance the taste of your roast chicken.

You can add a mixture of herbs like fresh thyme and oregano. You can brush the chicken with barbecue sauce or honey mustard before roasting. And you can flavor it with roasted garlic, which can be done by cutting garlic into small pieces and placing them inside the chicken cavity. When making his roasted chicken over an open flame, Francis tucks sticks of butter, rosemary, garlic, and lemon slices inside the skin of the raw kitchen. The end result is a bird that is bursting with flavor (including melted butter.)  Here are some other excellent ways to flavor your roast chicken:

With Chicken Brine: Brining chicken prior to roasting is a great way to infuse flavor and moisture into your chicken. Brining is a process during which you soak the chicken in a solution of salt and water for a few hours before cooking. This helps break down the proteins in the chicken, making it more tender and juicy. The salt also helps infuse flavor into the bird, ensuring that it remains tasty even after roasting.

Freshly ground pepper: Pepper rubbed generously over the skin and inner cavity of the chicken is also an excellent flavor enhancer. Black pepper is good to flavor roast chicken with because it adds a spicy, savory flavor that complements the flavor of the chicken. It also helps to bring out the chicken’s natural flavor while adding depth and complexity to its taste.

Garlic butter: Garlic butter can provide an awesome flavor for roast chicken. To make it, just mix together, in a small bowl, softened butter, minced garlic, chopped fresh herbs (such as parsley, thyme, and/or rosemary), and a pinch of salt. Rub the garlic butter all over the chicken, making sure to get underneath the skin.

Lemon Juice: Lemon juice can be a great addition to a roast chicken as well. To use, simply mix together the juice of a lemon, some olive oil, and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Rub the mixture all over the chicken, inside and out, and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before roasting. This will help infuse the chicken with a bright, tart flavor while also creating a crispy and delicious-tasting skin.

Preserved Lemons: The salty, briny, citrus flavor brings a beautiful pop of color and flavor, and brightens up any dish, especially roasted chicken. Chef Erez Komarovsky always has a jar of preserved lemons in his kitchen and you can make it too by following his fabulous preserved lemon recipe.

Citrus and Spice: To season your roast chicken with this combination, rub the bird with olive oil, orange or lime juice, and a mixture of spices like cumin, paprika, and chili powder.

How to Carve Your Roast Chicken

Before eating your delicious chicken dinner, you will need to carve it up. Don’t be intimidated. Carving a whole roasted chicken is easy with the right tools and techniques. First, using a sharp knife, remove the thighs and legs. Make a shallow cut between the leg and the body and pull the leg away from the body. Cut through the joint that connects the leg and thigh and separate them.

Next, remove the breast meat by cutting along the breastbone from neck to tail and pulling it away from the body. Then cut along the rib cage and remove the breast meat in one piece. Finally, move on to the wings by cutting through the joint between the wing and body. Cut it into slices for serving.

When to Eat Roast Chicken

Roast chicken is a great dish for lunch or for dinner any day of the week. It’s a classic for Sunday dinners, and is a great way to meal prep for the coming week. It’s easy to prepare and can be served with a variety of side dishes. And roasting chicken is incredibly easy, requiring only a few minutes of preparation and an hour or so of baking. Serve it with a side of veggies for a complete, balanced meal.

Suggested Side Dishes

The best roast chicken is even more delicious when served with the right side dishes. Some of the best side dishes to serve with roast chicken include roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, green beans, and salads.

Francis Mallmann’s Famous Hanging Chicken with Rescoldo Vegetable

Francis Mallmann brines his chicken, trusses it, and then hangs his chicken on wires over an open flame, roasting it until it’s golden brown. He serves the chicken with a side of pineapple, cabbage, and rescoldo vegetables, which are cooked directly over hot coals for a smoky, charred flavor.

There is nothing quite like Francis’s well-executed roasted chicken. For its juicy and tender breast meat and the incredibly flavorful dark meat of its chicken legs; for its golden brown, crispy skin, for its amazing flavor and aroma, and for its nutritional benefits as a high-protein, low-fat food, an easy roast chicken recipe is an important one to be able to master. Add some delicious sides such as rescoldo vegetables and your friends and family will be impressed by your skills and extremely satisfied with your meal.

Francis's Roasted Chicken with Rescoldo Vegetables




YesChef Francis Mallmann Desktop
YesChef Francis Mallmann Desktop

Francis Mallmann

Francis Mallmann, the pioneer of open-fire cooking, is South America’s most famous chef and is known for his rustic open-fire cooking style in wild and remote locations. Join the James Beard award-winning author and Chef’s Table star as he brings you on a journey into his kitchen in the Patagonian wild where he teaches you how to master the grill and his Argentine-style barbecue.

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