I was very excited last week because one of my favorite stores had roasting chickens on sale.  The thought of cooking this chicken was so thrilling that I had to call one of my friends about my bird.  Her response was “what do you do with a roasting chicken?”  (She is one of my prettiest friends.) 

My response was “Um, roast it?”  She claimed that she had never roasted a bird before…EVER!  How is that possible?  How do your parents let you leave the coop without teaching you the easiest cooking techniques?

I always thought it was one of those common meals in households on Sunday or maybe that was only in Pollyanna’s house?  (Disney fans will appreciate that reference and I’m glad of that.)

There are so many reasons to learn how to roast a chicken.  One of the most sensible reasons is because it is pretty economical.  My particular chicken was only 99 cents a pound!!  Another great reason is because you will almost always have enough leftover for chicken salad.  And finally, there is nothing better than a house that is roasting a chicken. (Unless you have a sweet tooth and prefer the scent of cookies baking better.)

Some basic things to know about roasting your chicken:

  • Remove it from the plastic (remember my friend is VERY pretty)
  • Pull out the “giblets” (guts) and reserve for gravy or stuffing
  • Give your birdie a rinse or two under running water and pat dry.
  • Preheat oven to 425 and then lower the heat to 350 when you pop your bird in.  It makes the skin crispier.
  • Do the math:  Cook the chicken for 20 minutes per each pound.
  • Don’t depend on the “pop out” timer to let you know when your bird is done.  (Note in my feature picture my timer NEVER popped)
  •   Check your temp (165 degrees), legs should jiggle and juices should run clear.
  • Let the poor thing rest when it is done.  It will be juicier, trust me!

Classic Sunday Night Chicken


1 (3 pound) whole chicken
Salt and pepper

1 lemon, cut in half

Fresh sage, thyme and rosemary

6 cloves of garlic


  1. Preheat oven to 425 while you prepare your bird.
  2. Place chicken in a roasting pan and season generously with salt and pepper inside and out.
  3. Place lemon, 4 cloves of garlic and a handful of herbs in the cavity.  (I don’t jam pack it but there is at least a full cup of herbs in there.)
  4. Slid fingers under the skin on breast and place a clove of garlic on each side.  Also place some more herbs under there.
  5. Lower oven to 350 and bake for 1 hour. Check the temperature.  The proper place to put the thermometer is into the thickest, densest part of the chicken. Place it just between the breast, the leg, and the thigh.  The thermometer should rise to 165.
  6.  Remove from heat and give it a quick baste with the pan drippings.  Cover with foil and let it rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.

Feel free to use whatever herbs and spices on and in your chicken.  Just remember the roasting chicken basics and your experience will never be fowl!