I’ve been using this method for preparing cheap, roasted whole chicken for the past few months. I vary the seasonings depending on my mood that day, but I *always* brine the chicken ahead of time. It really makes a difference in whether your protein-packed clucker tastes more like a gourmet restaurant entree or a flavorless failure.
- BRINE the raw chicken (3.5-5 lbs) in a solution of 1/4 c. salt dissolved in enough cold tap water to cover the bird in a covered container. I usually just do this in a pot with lid. Place in the refrigerator and allow to soak for 3-8 hours.
(If I’m feeling really lazy, I’ll do this first thing in the morning and tell my husband to throw the bird in the oven when he gets home at 5 PM.)
- DRAIN the brining solution away.
- PREHEAT your oven to 350 degrees F.
- RUB your choice of seasonings over the entire surface of the chicken’s skin. Lemon pepper, salt & pepper, chives, rosemary, cilantro, garlic & red pepper, and commercial steak seasoning are all good choices. Pry up the skin over the breast and work some seasonings in there as well.
- PLACE the chicken in a roasting pan or baking dish and bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes per pound.
Voila! Oven-roasted, superbly-seasoned chicken that will rival anything you can order at a restaurant…all for under $1.00/pound.