I like roasting the whole chicken. Although I know a big part of it will eventually end up in the soup, I still like to roast it whole, then tear apart those juicy, tender pieces, covered by the golden, crispy skin.
Here’s how it goes:
Take one piece free range chicken, as small as you can find. Mine was about 2 pounds.
Bigger chickens take longer to cook, so if you want to also roast some vegetables with your meat, they will be overcooked. If you cook for more than 3-4 people, you’ll probably need two chickens like this.
In a cup, mix one teaspoon of salt with half teaspoon black pepper, one teaspoon paprika and one teaspoon rosemary. If you can find fresh rosemary, that’s nicer. I only had dried rosemary, so that’s what I used. You can add whatever other spices you like. Red chili flakes and garlic powder are also excellent.
Rub the chicken thoroughly with the spice mix you prepared. Don’t be afraid to use your hands. In order to minimize the mess, I put the chicken in a big pot before rubbing it. It’s much better than doing it on the kitchen bench, believe me!
Don’t forget the interior and the underarms
Use plenty of spices, because this is how your roast chicken will get a nice color and amazing flavors. Rub the interior of chicken as well. You can also sneak some spices between the meat and the skin on the breast (you’ll see that there’s a kind of a pocket between the skin and the breast itself). That’s nice, because it helps the usually dry breast to become more tender and flavorful.
Don’t forget to pre-heat the oven now, you’ll need it soon. 400F should be a good temperature.
Oil an oven tray. Add some salt and the chicken. Now you don’t want your chicken to get bored for a whole hour in that hot oven, so add several potatoes, an onion and some 5-6 garlic cloves. Wash and cut the potatoes in halves or quarters. Do not peel them. Peel the onion and cut it in half. Don’t peel the garlic cloves.
Roast the chicken and the vegetables for about 45 minutes over medium heat. Take the tray out of the oven, turn the chicken and the vegetables upside down and cook them for 15-20 minutes more.
If you have guests for dinner, you can bring the whole roast chicken at the table, on a big plate, decorated with lettuce leaves. If you eat alone, like I did this time, you can simply grab whatever parts of the chicken you like most, put them on a plate with some of the roast vegetables and eat it using your bare hands.
I had that with pickled beetroot salad, which I was too hungry to photograph, so you’ll have to imagine it.
Now, the list of ingredients for this roast whole chicken recipe:
- 1 whole free range chicken, about 2 pounds weight
- 7-8 medium size potatoes, halved or quartered, not peeled
- 1 medium size onion, peeled and halved
- 5-6 garlic cloves, whole, not peeled
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary