Here at Flip Flop Ranch, we raise meat chickens for sale so we have whole chickens coming out the ears. That’s why a recipe like Stupid Easy Roast Chicken is so helpful to have up your sleeve. I mean, is it even a recipe? Basically you take a whole chicken, toss it in the oven, cook it and you’re good to go. Yea there’s a few more ins and outs to this recipe, but it’s pretty much that easy.
Raising Meat Chickens
We’ve raised meat chickens for years at the ranch, but we’ve never sold poultry meat until we came across the White Plymouth Rock Chicken. I’ve never personally been a fan of the heritage meat chicken’s carcass. I guess being raised as a city girl, I got used to the big white juicy chicken breast and the small compact body with the flat back that makes the chicken look oh so nice on a dinner platter.
Heritage meat chickens tend to be long and gangly with very little breast meat. Let me tell ya. Plymouth Rocks are different. We also raise Dorking Chickens for meat and I’d say they’re a close second to the Plymouth Rocks.
Anyhow, the point being that we are so excited about our two meat breeds that the incubators are constantly churning out chicks and we are constantly preparing healthy, farm fresh poultry meat for tons of loyal customers…and for ourselves of course!
As Joel Salatin once said, “Don’t raise anything you’re not willing to eat yourself.” And boy are we.
How to cook a simple roast chicken
I put the whole chicken straight into a casserole dish. Make sure you check inside the chicken in case whoever butchered it for you left the giblets-lucky you if they did. You don’t need to truss the chicken or anything fancy. Just toss that thing right in the dish.
Next you will want to put some water into the dish. Not too much, maybe an inch or two tops. You just want to create steam in the oven so that it keeps your chicken from drying out. If you have a heritage bird then they will have more fat than the giant 6 week old chicks they sell at the grocery store so a heritage chicken won’t dry out nearly as fast.
Yes, grocery store chickens are only 6 week old chicks bred to grow at enormously unhealthy rates.
Anyhow, cover the chicken and casserole dish with foil. This will help keep the moisture trapped near the chicken and chances are you won’t even need to add more water to the dish even if you let it cook all day. The longer you let that puppy -er, chicken- roast the more tender it will be.
If you’re in a hurry, crank it up to 450 and it should be done in about an hour. My preference though is to put the chicken in after lunch and let it cook on low, about 250 degrees, for hours. This is helpful for me because I have farm chores I have to get done before dinner and if the food is on low then I don’t have to keep an eye on it.
Spices for your roast chicken?
Spices or no spices, this will end up lovely. Just depends on how you like your chicken.
One simple way is to squeeze some lemon onto the chicken, put the lemon slices into the cavity or next to the chicken in the dish and shake some salt on the chicken.
I either just shake some salt and pepper on it or my favorite spice. I love Montreal Chicken Seasoning if I just want something light tasting. However, I am a spicy fiend so my absolute favorite spice is Mesquite Seasoning. To die for if you like hot food (it’s not crazy spicy though).
Finishing off with lovely brown crackly skin
Let’s be honest. The best part of a chicken is the skin. However, it’s also the worst part. Wet, slimy, nasty chicken skin is soooo gross. If it’s brown and crackly though, I’d shank you for it (sorry, I grew up in the city remember).
There’s usually a trade off when roasting a chicken. You either have tender chicken meat and nasty chicken skin or crispy chicken skin and dried out chicken. If you do it my way though, you can have that scrumptious skin AND tender meat.
It’s easy. Like I mentioned before, cook the roast chicken on low all day, covered with foil and with water in the dish so that the chicken tenderizes from the moisture. Then about fifteen or twenty minutes before you’re ready to take the chicken out, remove the foil and crank that sucker up to 500 or even broil and let it cook the crap out of it. The high heat will scorch the skin just how we love it, but it won’t have time to suck the moisture out of the meat.
Voila! The best of both worlds.
Stupid easy Roast Chicken
- <a href="https://amzn.to/3flobpv">Casserole dish</a>
- 1 Roast Chicken
- 1 lemon
- Or spice of your choice
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F if you have a few hours or 450 if you're in a rush.
- Place chicken into a roasting pan and insert lemon halves into the cavity; spread kosher salt over outside of chicken. Or if you have a favorite spice such as montreal chicken seasoning or mesquite then shake it on.
- Place foil over top of chicken.
- Put about an inch of water in the casserole dish.
- Let roast until cooked thoroughly. An instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh, not touching bone, should read 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). About 1 hour if you're at 450.
- Take foil off and turn oven up to 500. Let that sucker brown and crisp-usually takes 15 minutes or so.
- Carve and serve. Alternatively, you could just eat the breast meat (the only part I like) and save the rest for chicken noodle soup.
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