Follow this step-by-step and be assured to have a perfect roast chicken on your table every time.
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Step 1: Take Off the Chill
To ensure even cooking, let the chicken stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before roasting. Discard any pop-up timers that come with the chicken; an instant-read thermometer gives a far more accurate reading.
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Step 2: Seasoning Secrets
Don't forget to salt the cavity of the chicken; this will season the meat more effectively than salting the skin. Stuff the cavity with aromatics like fresh herbs, garlic cloves, lemon wedges, and quartered onions to perfume the meat.
Add even more flavor by rubbing herbs, spices, or seasonings between the meat and skin. To accomplish this, use your fingers to gently separate skin from flesh, including thigh and leg areas, starting from the neck end and working your way back. Distribute seasoning under skin of each chicken, dividing evenly.
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Step 3: Truss It Up
Trussing helps the chicken keep its shape and cook more evenly during roasting. Although traditional trussing involves tying the whole body of the chicken together, it is much easier to just tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
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Step 4: Rack It Up
Either place a rack in your roasting pan or arrange a single layer of onion slices in the bottom of the pan to form a bed for the chicken. The onion will flavor both the chicken and the pan gravy, and it will prevent the chicken skin from sticking to the pan (or rack) and tearing.
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Let the chicken rest for at least 15 minutes before carving; this allows the juices to collect in the meat instead of in the well of your cutting board.
This recipe requires no turning or basting. Tying the legs helps the meat to cook evenly, roasting the vegetables alongside the bird makes for a delicious meal from one pan.