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How to roast the perfect chicken




Roasting is a dry cooking technique where hot, dry air surrounds the food for an even cook. Roasting is great for large cuts of meat or vegetables. Here are four simple steps on how to roast the perfect chicken.


1. Grab your tools

  • Roasting pan: Choose a pan that is heavy (so drippings don’t burn), low-rimmed (so the oven heat can reach the chicken). A cast iron skillet works nicely too.
  • Wire rack: Placing the chicken on a rack inside the pan will allow the drippings to fall away from the meat. If you have a roasting pan but no rack, use vegetables (carrots, celery, sliced onion) to prop the chicken off the pan. Or place the chicken directly in the pan; parts of the skin may stick but the meat will roast perfectly well.
  • Food thermometer: Use a food thermometer to make sure your chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.


2. Set the temperature: 

  • For softer skin, cook your bird low and slow at 300-350 degrees for 1.5-2 hours.​
  • For crispier skin, cook your bird quicker and at higher temperatures, between 375 and 500 degrees for 45 minutes to 1.5 hours.



3. Prepare your chicken

  • Season your chicken with a brine-- a combination of salt, herbs, and spices.
  • There are wet and dry brines, but a dry brine is easiest. For a dry brine, rub your seasonings all over the exterior of the bird and inside the cavity. It’s better to season your bird 1 hour ahead of time and let it rest, uncovered, in the fridge to soak up flavors (Learn more about brining here).
  • You can also stuff the cavity of the bird with items like fresh herbs, crushed garlic cloves, and lemon juice and lemon rinds.



4. Is it done yet?

  • Insert your food thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone. The internal temperature of the chicken should be 165 degrees or higher.
  • Pair a fully cooked chicken with a side of vegetables and a whole-wheat dinner roll. Enjoy!


Written by Taylor Newman, PhD//DI student; Edited by L. Sanville MS, RDN, LD

Chicken original photo source

Oven original photo source

Lemon original photo source

Herbs original photo source

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