I love cooking baby chickens! I get 3 uses out of roasting one, thats if my family does not eat it all of it then I only get 2 which is fine with me!
- We get supper with tender roast chicken and slow cooked carrots – with a side of gravy made from the liquid that cooked off while it was roasting with a dollop of mashed potatoes – YUM!
- Then I pick all the meat that is left over, (pending on my families appetite that evening) set the meat aside. I then make a chicken broth with the bones and a few left over pieces of meat – I will post how to do this as well. Then I can freeze it or make a fresh batch of soup!
- If there is left over chicken the next day I will whip up some chicken salad sandwiches and have that for supper or an afternoon snack.
It doesn’t get much better then that – 3 meals out of one!
I love cooking in my oven, I like the fact that I can pretty much set it in there and forget it (with in reason). I always cook with my sense of smell, you can always tell when your batch of cookies is done and same with chicken or beef or anything for that matter, your nose will tell you a lot when cooking.
I know you can go to the store and buy a rotisserie chicken for like $15.00, bring it home and eat right away – don’t get me wrong I love those chickens as well. Those are our “go to” lunch when we head to the lake for a day on the boat – on our way out of the city we stop at the grocery store grab a chicken, some buns bring along a cooler with our sauces of choice and have a fantastic sandwich when we get set up on the water and fishing away!
My roast chicken is just a tender, just as juicy and tasty! You can adjust the flavours on how you are feeling or what spices you enjoy.
We buy our chickens in bulk, so when we bring them home I wash them and clean them package them up and place in the freezer. This way they are ready to go when I go to cook them. Since I cook these chickens from frozen it works out perfectly. I do rinse while frozen and pat dry, but the legs are frozen and it is hard to move around – this way I know I have already cleaned it!
Yes, I did say I cook it from frozen. I was always taught that you have to defrost it all day in a sink of cold water (similar to your typical turkey) and then butter the chicken under the skin before you place in the oven to roast – but that is not the case, no need here. But, if you have a defrosted chicken that will work just fine as well it does not have to be frozen.
I cook my frozen chicken at 250*F for 1 hour untouched, once the hour has pasted (really giving it time to defrost entirely) and start to slowly cook. I crank up the heat to 350*F. If you have a defrosted chicken, start your oven at 275*F for the first hour and then turn it to 350*F, your chicken will be done probably a good half hour or more then one that is frozen so keep watch. I do add about a tablespoon of butter to where the legs meet, when I bump up the heat and let it melt where it wants to, I do find this helps to give it a bit more juicy-ness when done! My key time to have this chicken in the oven if I want to have supper at 6:00pm, is to have it in the oven no later 3-3:15 so really it only takes little less then 3 hours in there.
I loves spices – the more the merrier! My cupboard is literally busting at the seams, but yet I always find room for more when I see something new… But I like to try different ways of cooking things and flavour is one of the best way to express yourself! With this chicken my go to spices are pretty basic, I use salt and pepper generously, paprika, garlic powder, a cinnamon stick, bay leaves, cloves, celery seed, garlic blend (like Mrs Dash – Garlic and Herb), Italian seasoning and few others. I may grab a shake of nutmeg just for a hint of “nutty” flavour which is pretty good, not a lot, but just enough. I do like to make a gravy with the stock from cooking, so the more flavours I can marinate into the stock, the less seasoning I have to do later when the gravy comes.
With this chicken I like to use carrots (because it is the one vegetable both my kids and my husband love – 3 points for mom), garlic cloves and onions. I do not add whole celery as I don’t like how they turn when they are cooked I like the flavour but prefer celery seed instead – same flavour, no wilted pieces that will just go in the trash and not get eaten. I lay the onions on the bottom of my roasting pan and set the chicken on top of the onions so it is not sitting directly on the bottom of the roaster, I do not use my rack for in my roaster for this. Then I layer the carrots around the outside of the chicken. I use as many as my family eats, you can adjust to your wants.
I do add about 2 cups of water to the pan as well, just enough so that the chicken is slightly sitting in some water, but not a lot.
Tender Roat Chicken
Prep Time 10 Minutes Total Time: 3 Hours 10 Minutes
- Whole baby chicken, washed and dried – I use frozen, if using defrosted or fresh chicken, note cooking times and temperatures above and below noted
- 1 medium onion cut into slices
- 3 carrots peeled and cut into long slices
- 5 whole garlic cloves
- 1 Tablespoon of butter – for mid cooking, not for under the skin
- These are the spices I added this time, I never make a chicken with out the first 4 ingredients below, as mentioned above this can be adjusted to your preferred flavouring, add more or take away, make it your own – our goal here is to get you a tender chicken seasoned the way you like.
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3-4 cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste,
- Mrs Dash – garlic and herb
- Italian seasoning
- Garlic powder
- Onion Powder
- Celery seed – I normally use just a little as the flavour is very over powering I find so not to much
- 2 cups of water more or less pending on your size of roasting dish
What you need to do:
- First things first, pre heat your oven to 250*F if using frozen, 275*F if using defrosted or fresh.
- Clean your chicken and pat dry.
- Place you onions in the centre of your roasting pan, and place the chicken on top of them, place the carrots all around the outside of the chicken. If you chicken is fresh, you can stick a few carrots and onions inside for added flavour.
- Add your whole spices and garlic in around the chicken and veggies. Generously season your chicken as well as the area around the chicken – add 2 cups of water so that you chicken is about 1/2 inch or submerged in the water, no more as it will give you more stock as it cooks.
- Cover your chicken and place on the bottom rack in your pre heated oven.
- Let it cook for 1 hour undisturbed – once 1 hour is up, turn the oven to 350*F, add a tablespoon of butter to where the legs meet and let it melt, cover and place back in the oven.
- Let it cook another 45 minutes – 1 hour and check, use a baster and baste the chicken a few times. I like to use a baster, because I like to suck up the juices and about 8-10 times I squeeze the liquid into the body cavity of the chicken, getting it in every area I possibly can. As well as poke a slight hole above the legs into the breast (I know – I know, I am letting the juices out, but I can tell you this is a must) and squeeze the juice as much as I can into the hole that I have made. This also give you a good time to check the liquid running to of the chicken, if it is slightly pinkish you know you are not far off from it being done.
- Watch your chicken closely, check it again every 20 minutes or so, you can tell your chicken is done when the legs move freely and the juice is running clear. DO NOT over cook as it will result in a dry chicken.
- Once done remove from oven and take the juice out if making gravy, turn your oven off and place chicken back in the oven, leave the chicken to rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
- Set on a serving tray with your carrots and cooked onions and serve with you favourite sides.