Oven-Roasted Crispy-Skin Whole Chicken (Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, grain-free)
Roasting a whole chicken so super easy and yet, for some reason, I rarely do it. I love the way it makes the house smell good and makes my mouth water while I'm waiting 'patiently' for it to be ready for my belly... and daydreaming about leftover chicken salad, chicken sandwiches, chicken soup...!
One nice thing about roasting a whole chicken is that you don't need any fancy equipment... and it doesn't create a lot of messy dishes. All you need is a roasting pan (or rimmed baking sheet), aluminum foil, and meat thermometer. Chicken is fully cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. To test the temperature of your chicken, place an instant-read thermometer into the inner thigh (close to but not touching the thigh bone).
A whole chicken roasted simply with salt, pepper, and butter is awesome. I like to make it even MORE awesome by rubbing the entire bird with paprika and ancho chili powder, and filling the cavity with garlic and herbs such as fresh rosemary, thyme, and oregano. Having something in the cavity also keeps the meet closest to the bone from drying out. As an extra step, place a wedge of fruit such as lemon or orange in the neck cavity to keep in moisture. The deep colors of the spices might make the skin look charred but, trust me, they are not! That is just pure, seasoned goodness. :)
I use the 'high heat' method to roast my chickens. This simply means cooking the bird at a higher temperature of 425 degrees F for 10-15 minutes to brown the skin and then reducing the oven temperature to 350 degrees F for the rest of the cooking time. In addition to the browning time, estimate 20 minutes of cooking time per pound of chicken.
When the chicken has finished cooking, remove it from the oven and cover it loosely with aluminum foil. Let the chicken rest for 10-20 minutes before carving. This will allow all of those gorgeous, flavorful juices to redistribute through the meat. If you slice into your bird right after taking it out of the oven, all of those lovely juices will run out all over your carving board and you will be left with dry meat. No bueno!