How to Roast and Carve a Chicken Without Burning Down Your House

homemade roast chicken recipe
Find out how to successfully season, roast and carve a chicken for the holidays.

Sure, you can buy any old roasted chicken at the supermarket -- but wouldn't dinner taste that much better if you actually made it at home? Master this roasted recipe and you'll never go back to the store-bought stuff:

homemade roast chicken recipe

Serves: 8

What You'll Need:

  • 1 whole chicken (between 4 and 5 lbs.)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or melted butter)
  • 1 large lemon, quartered
  • 1 large bunch of dried thyme
  • 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 4 medium-sized carrots, roughly chopped
  • Large carving knife
  • Carving fork
  • Cutting board

Step 1: Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the giblets (that's just a fancy-sounding word for the bird's liver, heart and gizzard) and pat the chicken dry both inside and out with paper towels. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the lemon quarters, garlic and springs of thyme, then tie the legs together with kitchen string.

homemade roast chicken recipe

Step 2: Line your roasting pan with the sliced onions and chopped carrots before placing the chicken breast-side-up over the veggies. Tuck the wings under the body and rub the entire chicken with olive oil or butter. From there, generously season the chicken with about 1 tablespoon of salt and some freshly-ground black pepper. Reduce the oven heat 400 degrees and roast the chicken for an hour and 20 minutes, undisturbed.

(Not sure if it's cooked all the way through? Use a meat thermometer and when it registers 165 in the thickest part of the chicken, you're good to go.)

homemade roast chicken recipe

Step 3: Before you begin carving the chicken, allow the bird to rest for 15 minutes once it's out of the oven. Place the chicken on a cutting board and remove the strings while having your carving knife and fork ready.

homemade roast chicken recipe

Step 4: To ensure steadiness, use your carving fork to pierce the chicken breast and then cut through the skin using the knife to separate the leg from the body.

homemade roast chicken recipe

homemade roast chicken recipe

Step 5: Cut through the hip joint to remove the leg from the chicken, then repeat on the other side.

homemade roast chicken recipe

Step 6: To remove the chicken breast: Make a long cut along the breast bone, then hold steady at the base with the carving fork, and make another long cut underneath, separating the breast from the body. Repeat on the other side.

homemade roast chicken recipe

Step 7: Separate the wing from the breast and serve it either whole, halved or cut into medallions. Now go ahead and enjoy dinner -- you actually worked hard for it.


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