My husband and I have an ongoing competition over who makes the best roasted chicken. I am not sure he and I will ever resolve this issue, but the truth is, every cook should have their own go-to roasted chicken recipe in their arsenal.
Some people swear by the classic Forty Garlic Clove Chicken, and yet others are loyal to the Beer Can Chicken method. I enjoy both these recipes, but I have another version that is my own go-to.
Before I share my version for the perfect roast chicken, here are a few tips that my husband and I DO agree on for making the perfect roasted chicken:
MARINATE: While my husband and I disagree about whose roast chicken reins supreme, we both agree that marinating overnight makes for the most flavorful and moist chicken. We particularly reccomend marinating the chicken by using a large, ziploc plastic bag. It allows for the chicken to be fully immersed in the marinade. For the perfect Shabbat chicken? Start marinating on Thursday night – you won’t be sorry for the extra prep!
KEEP IT WHOLE: A lot of my friends are afraid of buying an entire chicken – how do I prepare it? What do I do it without afterward? Well, first I recommend learning how to cut a chicken – it will be a skill you will wonder how you ever lived without. Once you are comfortable cutting a chicken, you will see how much more flavorful a whole, roasted chicken tastes.
UPRIGHT ROASTING: Aluminum pans are very convenient for cooking, especially on Shabbat when there is so much prep and cleanup. Nevertheless, I highly recommend switching to an upright chicken roaster. It allows for the skin to crisp on the entire chicken, and for the fat from the chicken to naturally flavor the entire bird as it cooks (not to mention its more environmentally friendly). Upright roasters are very reasonably priced, and can be found in lots of stores, such as this one from Amazon for only $12. Not only do we have two for our weekly cooking, but we also have one for Passover!
1 whole chicken, rinsed
1 orange, zested and sliced
1 lemon, zested and sliced
1 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
6 cloves garlic
1/2 Tbsp fresh chopped thyme
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup white wine
salt and pepper to taste
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together rosemary, thyme, olive oil, wine, orange zest, lemon zest and the salt and pepper. Add the chicken to a large plastic bag that seals, and pour the wet mixture of the chicken. Add the orange and lemon slices, as well as the whole garlic cloves.
After you seal the bag, make sure the entire chicken is covered with the marinade. Refrigerate for 2-24 hours before roasting.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If you like, you can stuff some of the garlic cloves and citrus slices under the skin or in the cavity of the chicken. Roast the chicken for 45-55 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees.
Pronounced: shuh-BAHT or shah-BAHT, Origin: Hebrew, the Sabbath, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.