Simply perfect chicken


Carrots make a more-than-sufficient roasting rack.
Carrots make a more-than-sufficient roasting rack.

Well, with lots of help and a little luck we finally have our first batch of chickens ready for the grill!

I like to cook whole chickens because I love to share food and I also love leftovers.

This is my standard recipe for whole roasted or grilled chicken.


One whole chicken thawed any size.

Wipe off any excess moisture from the outside of the bird with a towel.

Coat generously with salt all over.

Place on a rack in the fridge uncovered for several hours (overnight is best).

Remove from fridge ahead of time (rub with olive oil, optional).

Preheat grill or oven to 450.

Place whole chicken on rack over roasting pan with enough water not to hurt the pan.

Sizzle for a half hour.

Turn heat down to 300-350 depending on how closely you’re planning to watch it (lower temp is more forgiving, but takes a little longer. At this point feel free to flip the chicken over unless you’re really looking for stunning presentation when you pull it out.IMG_7647

Cook until meat thermometer reads 170 in the middle of the breast (160 is plenty, but I find the flavor and texture are more delicious after 170–a pastured bird will still be plenty juicy).

Don’t forget to let the bird rest for 15-20 minutes before carving, this easy to skip step is very important.

I like this recipe for its simplicity. It really allows for the flavor of the bird to shine through, especially for those of us who appreciate the skin. However, it also works as a great basis for many fun variations and can be modified easily to pair with any menu.