There are not many things that are as simple to make and as satisfying than roast chicken . A simple marinade , or just a brush of salt pepper and oil and into the oven it goes . An hour or 2 depending on the size of the bird for a warm home cooked meal. Spread a few vegetables on the cookie sheet and place it in the oven during the last 30 minutes or while the chicken is resting and voila a complete meal is ready for the table. The best part is that while the oven does all the hard work you are free to attend to the last of the days work , be it sitting through that music practice , or helping out with homework, or just kicking back and watching that favorite show on TV . Not a fan of Roast Chicken ? May be my Garlicky Roast Chicken will change your mind !! Now if you are a vegetarian , or if you have to feed a vegetarian I would urge you to use my garlicky marinade and roast potatoes or squash. “Simply yum” is the way to describe it. The good thing about roast chicken is that there are umpteen variations. There is no need to make it the same every time. We love the lemon herb, tandoori , simple salt pepper and garlic versions . This Garlicky version is very much inspired by the Lebanese garlic spread. We do make extra marinate and toss some root vegetables in it to roast as well.
Here are a few things to remember if you like the nice crispy crust and the tender juicy meat .
Here are a few tips to get a nice brown crust and tender juicy meat.
- Use a sheet pan , not a roasting pan. The shallow sides of the sheet pan allows for better air circulation.
- Use a roasting rack . The effects are two fold. It lets the hot air circulate all around bird better giving as close to a rotisserie effect as possible as well as keeps the bird away from its own juices. Only roasting , not steaming !!
- Roast at high temperatures . Preheat the oven . Once the oven dial registers the desired temperature do not rush to put the bird in . Wait for a few more minutes , at least 10 , before placing the chicken to roast. This ensures that there are no drastic initial temperature changes.
- No basting in between . Do not open the oven the oven door and let the temperatures fluctuate . Heat is a good thing – let it do its magic .
- Let it rest !!! This may be the hard part , but cutting into it too soon is like poking a hole in an inflated balloon. As the meat cools down the liquids and the protein reach a balance and you get the juicy meat instead of dry , flavorless strands .
Garlic, olive oil , lemon and salt – the main ingredients of this marinade . Reduce the lemon juice and increase the garlic to get a thicker paste like consistency . Once these four ingredients are blended well add the herbs and pulse a few times .
Pour a couple tablespoons of the marinade in the cavity spread well. Rub the marinade generously over the chicken. To truss or not is a matter of personal choice. Set aside for up to 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a sheet pan with Aluminium foil for easy cleanup and arrange a roasting rack on top . Alternately one could use , sticks of carrots or celery or even wooden skewers to get the elevated effect . Place the chicken on the rack and slather any remaining marinate on top .
Roast for 1 hr . By now the chicken should be done and the juices will be running clear . If not reduce teh temperature to 400°F and roast for an additional 20 to 30 minutes . If the skin seems to be browning too much cover with a foil to prevent burns .
When done remove from the oven , loosely cover it needed and let it rest for 30 minutes before carving .