Basic Baked Chicken-How To

“Honey, this has bones in it!” is what I said the first time I made chicken for Jeremy and I after we were married. I guess when I was a kid I wasn’t privy to the reality of what chicken looked like before it landed on my plate. Thank the Lord, I didn’t have to pluck and behead it.

What I love about baking a whole chicken? 1. I put it in the oven and let it do it’s own thing. 2. It goes a long way. We can easily get 8 meals (2 per person) out of a small whole chicken. And at $10 for an 8 pound chicken that’s a cheap meal.

Tonight, though our Tuesdays are CRAZY BUSY, I wanted a nice meal that we could eat whenever any of us were home. The chicken went into the oven at 3 p.m. and baked while we were at riding lessons for Anna, then Jeremy got home and made mashed potatoes and warmed green beans while he worked on some choral music with Kaitlyn. We all ate somewhere between 6 and 7. The leftovers will be made into chicken salad tomorrow for lunch.

Prepping the chicken isn’t so fun. It used to make me gag, but I’ve grown up since then. Now I just threaten my girls with the innards. #goodtimes #greatparentingskills

As long as the chicken is plucked and beheaded I’ve got the rest of it for you. If you get a chicken with feathers and a head still on I’m not your girl.

So here goes….this particular chicken is 8 pounds. In case you wondered.

Before anything make sure your chicken is thawed. Set it in the frig overnight to thaw completely. Once your chicken is thawed you can proceed.

First, disinfect your kitchen sink. Rinse the sink well. Set the chicken in the sink-this is where you will clean it.

Next, there will be a bag o’stuff in a bag between the drumsticks. You need to take this out. This is the stuff you can threaten your kids with. Nothing like a raw liver to gross them out. Once you take the bag out, check inside the cavity to make sure there is nothing else in there. If there is now is the time to take whatever it is out.

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Next, hold the chicken by the drumsticks and rinse it out well with hot water. Turn it over and around and get the whole thing wet with water.

Then, set it in a roasting pan.

Add salt and pepper to taste. If you want, add a couple of dollops of real butter. This isn’t necessary, but it does add some good flavor. DSC_0288

You’ll now need to go into the basement, hunt through your camping gear where you hope you’ll find some aluminum foil, because you have no aluminum foil anywhere in your house-you know, because you’ve looked everywhere-and you really don’t want to have to go to the store to buy aluminum foil.

Use two pieces of aluminum foil and fold one over one half of the pan horizontal, or as the kids say “hamburger style” (as opposed to hot dog style). Tent the aluminum foil in the middle, to keep the chicken and foil from touching and tightly secure the edges to the edge of the pan. Add the second piece of aluminum foil to the rest of the pan and repeat tenting and securing.

That was a lot of aluminum foils. DSC_0290

Place in the oven, making sure the foil doesn’t touch the top of the oven. Bake at 400 degrees F for the appropriate amount of time. This chicken took 3 hours to bake. A smaller chicken will take less time. Check with packaging to gauge time. 2 hours is a good estimate of time for a five pound chicken. BUT if your chicken has a popper in it…you’ll know exactly when it’s done! DSC_0291

Just before taking the chicken from the oven remove the foil and return the pan for 15ish minutes to the oven in order to brown the skin.

After removing from oven let the chicken sit for at least 10 minutes before carving as to let the juices settle. Enjoy!

PS-disinfect your kitchen sink again.

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