Yes, you can make roast chicken on a weeknight, probably faster than fighting the parking lot at Costco, and that my friend means more time for wine.
I don’t know why there is such a deal with roast chicken. It’s not hard, it doesn’t take hours and it’s less expensive than buying just chicken breasts. Plus you can use the carcass to make stock if you want.
Roast chicken is a great weeknight dinner because after about two minutes of prep it’s totally hands off. While the oven preheats, you pat a chicken dry, rub it with oil, generously salt and pepper and that’s it. You don’t have to tie the drumsticks together if you don’t feel like it. Who cares if they’re splayed out for the few minutes before it’s cut up? Your chicken will also come out this gloriously golden brown. I didn’t even paint it with Kitchen Bouquet like they do in the magazines.
How much time it takes to cook will totally depend on the weight of your chicken. If you need it speedy, buy the smallest you can. That will probably be close to three pounds and they can get upwards of five pounds.
It’s easiest if you use an oven thermometer with an alarm like the one I use Thermoworks ChefAlarm. It comes in purple and you know that’s critical for me. Just kidding, but it does come in a ton of colors, has a high and low temperature setting and also a timer.
Another great thing about a roast chicken is repurposing the leftovers the next night. They’re perfect for a super fast pasta dish like this fabulous Pappardelle with Pumpkin, Bacon and Hazelnuts and Pesto Cavatappi.
Easy Weeknight Roast Chicken
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 tablespoons oil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon pepper
- Put an oven safe 12 inch skillet in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.
- Pat chicken dry with paper towels, rub down with oil and then salt and pepper it thoroughly. Tie drumsticks together and clip wing tips if desired.
- Carefully set chicken in hot skillet in oven, breast side up.
- Roast until breast temperature reaches 130 degrees about 40 minutes.
- Turn off oven with chicken still in it until breast reaches 160 about 20 minutes.
- That's it!
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