Roasting is the easiest way to cook a chicken. For maximum browning, use a rimmed baking sheet instead of a high-sided roasting pan. Create a complete meal by cooking vegetables alongside the bird.
Everyday Food, May 2009
- Prep Time 15 minutes
- Total Time 1 1/4 hours
Yield Serves 4
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1 chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), rinsed and patted dry (liver and giblets discarded)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 lemons, halved or quartered
2 to 3 fennel bulbs (2 1/2 pounds total), cored, stalks discarded, and cut into 1-inch wedges
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken on a large rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Place a lemon half in cavity. Using kitchen twine, tie legs together. Add fennel and remaining lemons to sheet and toss with oil.
Roast until juices run clear when chicken is pierced between breast and leg, or an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of a thigh (avoiding bone) registers 165, 60 to 70 minutes, basting chicken with pan juices and tossing fennel halfway through.
Transfer chicken to a platter and cover loosely with foil; let rest 10 minutes. Carve chicken. Serve with fennel and lemons.
There are several ways to test chicken for doneness. For a whole or cut-up chicken, you can use an instant-read thermometer or pierce the chicken and see if the juices run clear. For thin pieces of chicken, simply cut into the center and check if the meat is opaque.