In life I have roasted maybe 4 whole chickens. Not because I don’t love roasted chicken, but because I felt like they often turned out dry in some parts and the skin never did the beautiful golden crispy thing like I wanted. I figured I was just destined to be that person who picked up the “cheater” chicken at the grocery store, pre cooked, delicious and ready to go near the checkout lanes. Well a few weeks ago I was at the grocery store, our fridge was painfully empty and it appeared the grocery store had not had a restock recently! In the chicken section there were two lonely whole chickens and a container of wings. I figured it was Sunday, I had time, lets give this whole chicken roasting another shot. After all my ham turned out delicious, maybe I will have luck 2 times in a row!
Roasted Lemon Pepper Rosemary Chicken: 4+
Large Chicken (mine was almost 7#)
Lemon Pepper Seasoning
Crushed Dried Rosemary
1 Large Roaster Chicken
3-4C Chicken Stock
First take your chicken out of its packaging, next reach in the cavity of the chicken and removed the innards (they should be bagged) discard or if you know something tasty to do with them, by all means set to the side and use how you would like. Next rinse your bird all over and inside the cavity with cold water, then pat dry with some paper towels. Place on a rack in a 13×9 pan (breasts up!) (I used a smaller broiler pan that had holes in it), take some olive oil and pour it over the bird and with your hand rub it all over the skin, next sprinkle liberally with the Lemon Pepper & Rosemary – Note: I did not use salt and pepper at all because the lemon pepper has enough of both for me! Make sure to also season the cavity. Next pour the chicken stock into the 13×9 pan. Place in a 350° oven and plan to bake for approximately 18-20 minutes per pound. I cheated – my bird came with one of those handy dandy pop up when done buttons…. I recommend using one of these!
Bake the chicken in the oven, but every 20 minutes quickly remove it from the oven and with a baster or a spoon, pour the juice in the bottom of the pan all over the chicken and be sure to also pour some juice in the cavity and put it back in the oven. I had never done this before and I think it made a world of difference in the quality of my dinner. The bird was so juicy, the skin so crispy. Seriously it was heaven. And the juices in the bottom of the pan turned a deep dark brown which made making gravy easy peasy. Cook the bird until the little button pops or it reaches the recommended internal temperature (which it should say on the birds packaging! Perdue Chicken says you want an internal temp of 180° in the thickest part of the bird if you are using a thermometer.
Once the bird is finished cooking remove it from the oven and the pan (I set on my cutting board) and LEAVE IT ALONE for at least 15-20 minutes. This lets all those juices stay in the bird instead of running all over your cutting board. While the bird is resting you can rescue the juices from the bottom of the pan. If there are any baked on bits take a metal whisk and scrape them up. Pour into a sauce pot and feel free to add another cup or two of chicken stock if you don’t have a lot of juices left to make gravy. In a small cup mix together 1/2C Cold Chicken Stock and 2TB Corn Starch and set to the side. Bring the sauce in the pot up to a boil and then whisk in the stock / corn starch mixture and continue to whisk. Once it comes back up to a boil it will thicken very quickly. Once thick remove from the heat.
Okay gravy done, bird rested, get to carving! I was impressed that I actually made it through the carving process properly. Feel free to check out the internet for tips on the best ways to get the meat off nicely! I tend to slice the breasts off, then go after the legs and wings. Serve & Enjoy!!
WW: For this recipe I’m not giving exact points, it depends if you actually eat the skin, what part of the chicken you eat, etc. Keep in mind the following: Chicken Breast w/o the skin is approximately 1PP per ounce cooked. Chicken Thighs w/o skin run 1PP/1oz, 3PP/2oz, 5PP/3oz, 7PP/4oz. So dark meat is more “costly” then light, and adding in the skin you also need to account for the amount of olive oil used which can vary depending how big your bird is and how heavy handed you were with it.