Editor's Note: If you're looking to learn how to roast a chicken, this Roast Chicken recipe is the best there is. The difficulty with roasting a chicken lies in the task of ensuring that the bird doesn't dry out while still cooking it thoroughly throughout. The secret lies in placing a lemon inside the bird, them basting the entire chicken several times during the cooking process to achieve a juicy, tender roast chicken for a classic family dinner. Serve with a vegetable side dish for a healthy and balanced meal!
Make Ahead RecipeYes
One Pot MealYes
Recipe CourseMain Course
Taste and TextureSavory
- 1 (4-pound) chicken
- Reserved liver, neck, giblets, and wing tips from chicken
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 bunch tarragon sprigs (about 1 cup)
- 1 large lemon
- 2 tablespoons rendered goose fat or olive oil
- 1 medium onion, halved
- 1 cup chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium canned, or substitute water if necessary
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Discard the fat from the cavity of the chicken. Wash the chicken and pat it dry. Salt and pepper the cavity. Tuck a few small sprigs of tarragon between the skin and breast meat. Place the remainder inside the cavity. Prick the entire surface of the lemon with a fork and place the lemon inside of the cavity.
Truss the chicken and rub the skin with the goose fat. Season the exterior of the chicken with salt and pepper. Place it on its side on the rack of a roasting pan. Scatter the neck, wingtips, and onion halves alongside the chicken. Set aside the liver. (Freeze the remaining giblets for future use, such as making stock.)
Place the chicken on the center rack of the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Baste, then turn it on its other side, and roast for another 20 minutes. Baste again, turn the chicken breastside-up, and roast for 20 minutes longer.
Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F. and baste again. Continue roasting until the juices run clear when thigh joint is pierced with a sharp paring knife, about 15 more minutes. During the last 10 minutes or so, salt and pepper the liver and add to the chicken juices in the pan. Turning only once, roast the liver for about 8 minutes, depending on its size.
Transfer the chicken and liver to a warm platter. Turn the oven off and place the chicken in the oven with the door ajar for 10 minutes or longer while you make the sauce.
Spoon off the excess fat from the roasting pan and place the pan on the stove over high heat. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Deglaze by scraping up the browned bits in the pan with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve and pour into a warm sauceboat. Serve with the chicken and liver.
1997 Christopher Idone