This is part one in a 3-part series about ways to make and use a whole chicken.
I was inspired to write this post by my friend Beth who emailed me several weeks ago saying, “Paula, I threw a whole chicken in my crock-pot and it turned out really greasy and I don’t know what to do about it!?” Beth, have no fear. The answer is here.
Chicken skin contains a lot of fat, and if you let the chicken rest in a pot or a pan to cook, all that fat is going to melt into the pot or pan and seep into the chicken, making it super greasy. The answer to this problem is to raise the chicken out of the pan on one of these:
You can purchase Beer Can Chicken Roasters on amazon.com or at your local kitchen gadget store. They run somewhere between $5 and $10 and are worth every penny. Roasted chicken is one of those foods that takes about seven minutes to prep and makes the house smell amazing. Add some mashed potatoes or rice and a veggie and you have a complete meal with almost no prep time at all!
This roaster is designed to hold a can of beer. The idea is to pop the top of the beer can and as the chicken cooks, the beer evaporates, flooding the meat with flavor and moisture. You can just as easily use soda or just skip the canned drink altogether.
Please remember to wash your hands after each time you touch raw chicken.
1 whole chicken
Italian seasoning to taste – I use about 3 or 4 tbsp
Place oven rack on bottom shelf and preheat your oven on convection to 375 degrees. If you don’t have a convection option, preheat your oven to 400. Place chicken holder in the center of a 9×13 pan filled with 1/2″ of water at the bottom (this catches the fat and ensures that it doesn’t burn to your pan and create a smoky mess).
Remove innards (you can use these in something else or toss them) and wash chicken. Place on chicken holder and stabilize.
Pour oil over chicken and spread with your hands.
Sprinkle generously with salt and Italian seasoning.
Bake until temperature in the deepest part of the thigh is 165 degrees, or approximately 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of your bird. Half way through baking, pierce the bird’s skin with a knife to allow juices to run.
Once chicken is cooked, let stand for 5 minutes to seal in juices. Then carve and serve!
(Next in our series: Making easy homemade chicken stock using the carcass of your chicken.)