The Best Roast Chicken
The original recipe, which came from an unknown magazine, called for only 2 tablespoons salt and one clove garlic , but my family loves the garlic-salt mixture, so I doubled it. Notes: There is no need to wash the chicken first. Experts have decided that any bad stuff will cook off, and washing it in the sink just spreads around any bacteria it might contain. I use the pre-minced garlic in a jar you can buy in the produce section of most grocery stores. If you want to serve more people, make two chickens in two pans on two racks, and double everything. Most ovens will accommodate two. If your chicken weighs much more than 3 pounds, let it roast longer and be sure to check the internal temperature, away from any bones. It should read 165 degrees. You can use a 9 x 12 cake pan if you don’t have an official roasting pan
- One 3-pound whole chicken
- About 3 Tbsp. coarse (kosher) salt, divided
- 2 large cloves garlic, peeled & minced
- ½ cup water
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 400.
- Step 2 Remove any excess fat from the cavity of the chicken and rub the cavity well with up to 1 Tbsp. of the salt.
- Step 3 Make a paste by mashing together the garlic with 2 Tbsp. of salt in a small bowl. Rub about a Tbsp. of the garlic-salt paste inside the bird, and truss the chicken with kitchen string. (Just tie the legs together, and fold the wings back.)
- Step 4 Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan, breast side up, and rub well with more garlic-salt paste over the outside. Pour the water into the pan. Tilt the bird and pour half of the lemon juice into the cavity, then return the chicken to the rack and pour the remaining juice over the breast. Sprinkle all of the remaining garlic-salt paste over the outside of the chicken.
- Step 5 Slide the pan into the oven and roast for 1 hour without basting. Check it after 30-45 minutes
- Step 6 if the top is getting too brown, cover loosely with a tent of foil. (Just tear off some foil, crease it down the middle, and lightly place over the chicken.)
- Step 7 Remove from oven after an hour, and let the chicken rest for 15 minutes. Before serving, tilt to pour out the pan juices, which may be served separately.Best served hot or at room temperature. (Refrigerate any leftovers for safety’s sake. They make great chicken sandwiches.)