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The Ultimate Roast Chicken

When you find a roast chicken recipe that’s reliable, easy to prepare and tastes delicious, you should never (we repeat: never) let it go. That’s precisely how we feel about our five-step recipe. With fresh, quality ingredients like rosemary, garlic and thyme, and our secret roasting technique for crispy skin (hint: use a baking sheet), there’s no denying you’ll instantly fall in love.

Makes 4 servings

One 3-pound whole chicken

½ cup kosher salt, plus more for seasoning 

½ cup light brown sugar

4 sprigs rosemary, divided

5 sprigs thyme, divided

2 lemons, halved

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Freshly ground black pepper 

1. In a 2 gallon pot, combine the salt, brown sugar, 2 sprigs of rosemary, 3 sprigs of thyme, 2 lemon halves and one gallon of water. Submerge the chicken in the brine, cover and refrigerate overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Remove the chicken from the brine, transfer to a large plate and pat dry with paper towels. Stuff the cavity with the remaining rosemary, thyme and lemon.

3. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic and two tablespoons of the butter. Gently spread the garlic butter under the chicken's skin. Spread the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over the surface of the skin. Season the skin and the cavity with salt and pepper. 

4. Truss the bird tightly and place it in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet with a rack. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350°F and baste with any liquid that's collected at the bottom of the pan. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 155°F. If your bird is larger than 3 pounds, add about 20 minutes of cooking time per pound.

5. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

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