Serves 4 for dinner
Many of us think that washing a raw chicken is an essential part of the prep. That’s not the case. Rinsing a raw chicken can be dangerous and the FDA warns against the practice. Why? Cooking chicken to a temperature of 165 degrees F will kill any harmful bacteria. Rinsing doesn’t do anything, but potentially cross-contaminate other surfaces.
1 (4 ½ lb) whole chicken, trimmed and giblets removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Special equipment: kitchen twine
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and place a rack in the center of the oven. Rub the chicken all over with the olive oil. Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper being sure to season the cavity.
Place the chicken in a small roasting pan or a baking sheet that is just slightly larger than the chicken. *
While trussing is not necessary (pictures are included in the blog post), it does allow for more even cooking of the chicken. To truss the chicken, cut a long piece of twine. Turn the chicken so the cavity is facing you and the breasts face up. Loop the twine around the wings and secure them to the breasts by pulling the twine tight. Cross the twine in front of the cavity, at the bottom of the breasts, and then pull the twine up around both legs. Tighten to pull the legs together and tie the twine in a bow to secure.
Roast the chicken for 3 hours, basting with the rendered juices and fat every hour. Remove the chicken from the oven and let sit for at least ten minutes before carving.
* This is important, because if the roasting pan is too large, the fat and juices from the chicken will evaporate during cooking and cause the pan to start smoking. If you only have a large roasting pan or baking sheet, make it smaller by folding the edges of a sheet of aluminum foil up to create a makeshift smaller pan and placing it on the baking sheet. Place the chicken atop the foil pan and proceed as directed.