How to Roast and Carve a Chicken
A lot of home cooks are more comfortable baking a birthday cake than roasting a chicken. But it's one of the easiest and most stress-free ways to get a good meal on the table. Follow this recipe if it's your first time roasting a whole bird, and come up with your own twist next time.
What you will need
salt as needed
black pepper as needed
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
How to cook
Coat the bird well in a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Feel free to toss in some other spices here if you like.
Mix the olive oil into the garlic. Don't feel like you need the garlic if it's not your thing. Some chopped herbs would work well in here as well. The oil will help crisp the skin a bit, and it's a great vehicle for intense flavor.
Gently separate the skin from the meat, starting with the breast, and working around over and behind the leg. Releasing the skin from the meat will allow you to spread some flavor under the skin where it will sink into the meat more easily.
Pour the garlic oil under the skin and spread it around as best you can.
Transfer the chicken over to a baking dish. Chose one with a high enough rim to capture all of the juices.
Pin the wing tips behind the back like the chicken is relaxing on a beach chair.
When you roast a chicken, you want the knees tucked up against the breast for more even cooking. Most of the time you use butcher's twine to secure the legs. I like to use the loose skin at the
After cutting small incisions in the skin on either side of the opening, tuck each ankle into the hole on the opposite side.
Preheat oven to 375ºF
I've roasted lot of chickens. The temperature is not crucial, so long as the final internal temperature of the chicken is correct. You'll get slightly different results at different temperatures.
An average chicken will take about 90 minutes to cook. But chickens come in all sizes and shapes, so you need to check the temperature at the thickest part of the breast and thigh. Aim for a final temperature of 160ºF.
Give your bird some time to cool down. Drain off the juices, but don't discard them. Move it over to a cutting board.
If you're feeling lazy, just toss this guy on the table and have at it. But carving chickens is kinda fun when you get the hang of it. Start by slicing at the crease between the leg and breast on both sides.
Slice down the chest to one side of the breast bone.
Follow the breast bone into the breast, tilting the knife to cut along the rib cage until the breast is mostly removed.
The wishbone is basically the chicken's collar bone. Pinch into the collar until you feel the thin bone, then pull gently to release. It should come out pretty easily, ideally in one piece. If it looks broken, dig around for the missing piece.
With the wishbone removed, you're clear to splay the breast out until joined only at the shoulder joint. Slice through the cartilage at the shoulder joint to remove the breast along with the drumette.
By folding back the leg, you should easily release the leg from it's socket.
Slice through the hip joint to remove the leg.
To separate the drumstick from the thigh, slice from the inner recess to the outside of the knee joint. If you hit the right spot, you should easily slice through the cartilage at the knee.
Slice the wing away from the breast. Often the breast is served with the wing attached. This is known as an 'airline chicken breast' for some reason.
Slice the breast into 3 or 4 slices.
Cut through the elbow joint to separate the wing from the drummie.
Repeat this series on the opposite side. You won't need to remove the wishbone of course because it should already be gone.