I used to be just like any other typical grocery shopper and would pick up chicken breasts already prepped and trimmed for quick weeknight dinners. Then a friend of mine brought to my attention that you could get a whole chicken from Whole Foods for $2.49/lb vice the 4 chicken breasts for $4.99/lb that I was currently buying (I’m not sure what the conversion rate is from breast to whole chicken but that just seems ridiculous!). On a tight budget with three small children, it clearly made much more sense to buy the whole bird, although the thought was a tad terrifying at first. It kind of felt like I’d be stuck in the kitchen constantly, preparing a mini-Thanksgiving dinner for a regular night meal, but I was so wrong! Here’s how I tackle the whole bird with gusto and make the most of every penny. Without further ado, let’s talk no frills whole roasted chicken and bring the affordable tasty to your home!
Knowing that I would have more chicken than I would need for one meal, I set a goal to put together as many recipes using a whole chicken as I could so that nothing would go to waste. Today we’ll just cover roasting the chicken, but be on the lookout for these tasty recipes in the coming months (and remember, you could use this chicken for the Chili-Lime Chicken with Strawberry Avocado Salsa recipe that I shared a few weeks ago!):
- Chicken Stock
- Chicken Quesadillas
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Chicken Pot Pie
- Peanut Butter Chicken (A recipe of my sister’s that makes no sense, but tastes sooo good! And no, it doesn’t actually have peanut butter in it, but that goes with the not making any sense part. You’ll have to trust me! You don’t want to miss this one.)
Anyhow, let’s start at the beginning, and prepare the whole roasted chicken that we will need for these recipes! After rummage online through several recipes that made me feel like I needed a culinary degree, I adapted a few of them and have found that my comfort zone in the simple is much tastier and more importantly, manageable in a busy home.
What you’ll need:
- 4-6lb Whole Chicken
- 1 Lemon
- Salt & Pepper
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large red onion
- 3-5 garlic cloves (We love garlic in this house, so the more the merrier!)
-Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and let the butter sit out at room temperature
-Take the bag of giblets out of the chicken, put it in a bowl and store in the refrigerator (I know, gross. But we’ll use it later for chicken stock. Hang with me!)
-Peel & Slice the onion and lay the rings throughout the bottom of your roasting pan
-Rinse the chicken with cold water and pat dry
-Rub the butter over the surface of the chicken
-Salt & Pepper the inside and outside of the chicken
-Place chicken on top of the onions in the roasting pan
-Slice lemon into quarters
-Squish (yes, a very technical term I know) the garlic cloves and put them into the cavity of the chicken along with the lemon slices
-At this point, if you’d like to tie your chicken up; here’s a video on how to do that, although I admit I often skip this step. I do tuck the wings underneath to lift it up a bit though.
-Place the chicken in the oven and cook for about an hour and a half. Juices should run clear, temperature of the bird should be around 175 and the top will be a beautiful crispy brown.
-Let stand for 10 minutes and enjoy!
Be sure to check back for new recipes as they get shared so that you can make the most of your whole roasted chicken at home too! If you have any awesomely tasty recipes to share, be sure to comment below and we’ll keep the yummy going!