Diane Rossen Worthington

Crispy Roast Chicken
Crispy Roast Chicken

Like most cooks, I've had many conversations on the proper way to roast a whole chicken. Some argue that roasting with the breast side down is the very best way to keep the bird moist enough, while others insist that method produces a zebra-striped bird stamped with its roasting lines. And what's the correct roasting temperature? 350 F, 400 F or even 500 F degrees?

This controversy isn't new. While doing research for my book "The New California Cook," I came across this note in "The California Cookbook" (1946): Author Genevieve Callahan wrote, "I am inclined to feel that the temperature and the length of time of roasting have more bearing on juiciness than has position during roasting." I agree with her, although her recipe suggests a 325 F oven. In an "unorthodox note," Ms. Callahan mentions high-heat roasting and cites "an old Italian short time-high temperature method." This crispy roast chicken is modeled after that "old" Italian technique.

I find that cooking whole chickens at 425 F keeps them juicy inside and crispy-brown on the outside. (If you have a convection setting on your oven, use it and reduce the temperature by 10 minutes -- the skin will be extra crispy.) The marinade adds color and depth of flavor to the chicken and its juices. The skin is slightly burnished and the chicken is fragrant and moist.

I make this Crispy Roast Chicken recipe this almost every Friday night at our house with minor changes. If you like, add 1 pound baby potatoes to the bottom of the pan.

I sometimes cut up an orange or a sweet Meyer lemon and add it to the vegetables on the bottom of the pan.

I like to carve the chicken and spoon the vegetables and juices on top. If you want to roast a larger bird, use a 5- to 6-pound roasting chicken and increase the cooking time by 20 to 25 minutes. Watch the chicken carefully and put a foil tent on top if it seems to be getting too brown.

[ Also worth trying is my Stuffed Roast Chicken Breasts with Pesto Cream recipe ]

Crispy Roast Chicken Recipe

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook time: 45 minutes

    Yield: Serves 4

Crispy Roast Chicken Recipe Ingredients


    2 tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard

    1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

    2 tablespoons soy sauce

    3 garlic cloves, minced

    1/4 teaspoon black pepper

    One 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 pound fryer chicken, cleaned and patted dry

    1 onion, sliced

    2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

    2 cups chicken broth

Crispy Roast Chicken Recipe Instructions

1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a small mixing bowl, mixing to blend. Taste for seasoning. Place the chicken in a large nonaluminum mixing bowl. Starting around the main body cavity, carefully slip your hand under the skin, being sure not to tear it. (You may need to use gloves if you have long fingernails.) Pat the marinade under the skin and all over the bird on both sides on top of the skin. Cover the chicken and marinate for at least a few minutes and up to 8 hours in the refrigerator.

2. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Sprinkle the onions and carrots on the bottom of a roasting pan and add 1 cup of the broth. Place the chicken, breast side up on a rack, or on a vertical roaster in the roasting pan. Roast the chicken for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a knife. Halfway through the cooking, add the remaining cup of chicken broth to keep the bottom of the pan from scorching. Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes before carving. Carve the chicken and arrange on a serving platter. Scrape up the juices and vegetables and pour them over the chicken pieces. Serve immediately

Advance preparation: This Crispy Roast Chicken Recipe can be prepared up to 8 hours ahead through step 1 and refrigerated. This is also excellent served cold.

[ Also worth trying is my Stuffed Roast Chicken Breasts with Pesto Cream recipe ]

Entree, Chicken, American


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Marinated Crispy Roast Chicken Recipe

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