I have roasted exactly three birds in my entire life. The first was when Annie of Annie's Eats first posted her roasted chicken tutorial. I shredded the meat and used it to make two casseroles and a bowl of chicken salad. It was good, but a bit bland and not my best work.
The second was my Thanksgiving turkey last year. It was an overwhelming success. I immediately found myself wishing I'd gone with a whole turkey instead of a small turkey breast (partly because it was so delicious and partly because the whole turkey would have been considerably less expensive).
And the third was this gorgeous, perfectly cooked chicken. I cannot possibly describe to you just how delicious this chicken was. Every slice was juicy and bursting with flavor. Even the dark meat was tasty and I'm generally a strictly white meat girl. I have officially overcome my fear of roasting poultry!
I have to credit two things for the success of this recipe. One is the recipe itself which is just fantastic. The combination of spices complements poultry so well and is not so overpowering that the flavor of the chicken is lost.
But, of course, the secret weapon in this recipe is the meat thermometer. Whether you have a high tech gadget like mine with a remote transmitter and an alarm that sounds when the perfect temperature is reached or a cheap-o one with the analog reading on it (you know the one with the needle that points to the temperature) the thermometer is absolutely necessary. It's one of the few "luxury kitchen tools" that I truly believe every cook needs. I can honestly say that since I started using mine I haven't had a dry, overcooked, or undercooked piece of roasted meat.
This recipe was adapted from the turkey recipe that I used for Thanksgiving so it would be perfectly fine to use a turkey or turkey breast instead of a chicken, especially if it's on sale. Just keep in mind the size of the bird you're using because the cooking time and amount of the seasoning mixture you'll need will vary.
So splurge on that meat thermometer and the next time whole chickens (or turkeys) go on sale roast one up!
Oven Roasted Chicken
Source: Adapted from Pocket Change Gourmet
4-6 lb whole chicken (fryer chicken with bones and skin, I got mine for $0.99/lb)
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp seasoned salt
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp parsley flakes
1 tsp basil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a roasting pan (I used my 9x13 baking dish) with vegetable oil spray.
In a small bowl combine the garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt, paprika, pepper, parsley, and basil and mix well.
Rub the entire surface of the chicken with the olive oil.
Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over the whole bird and rub it in just a little. (For the record, I know it's upside down. I happen to prefer to cook the chicken upside down because with the white meat on the bottom the fats and juices drain downward and over the breast kind of basting it. It's not as pretty to serve whole this way but I think it tastes better and we don't much care what it looks like as long as it's yummy.)
Place the chicken in the oven and roast for about 1 1/2-2 hours, or until the internal temperature reads 175 degrees in the center of the breast.
Remove the bird from the oven and cover with foil. Allow the meat to rest for 30-45 minutes before slicing.
It's obvious I'm no good at carving chicken but I'll get better the more I do it.
Serve warm with mashed potatoes and green beans. Well, that's how we like it anyway.