Oven-baked whole chicken is budget-friendly and an impressive party dish that requires very little work. You could serve baked chicken for a reception dinner choice or at an engagement or bridal shower party. It is also a good all-purpose dish for both bridal partners to know once they enter married life. Follow these simple tips and your oven-cooked chicken will turn out perfectly every time.
If the chicken is frozen, thaw under cool running water for several hours, or ideally, thaw in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. On cooking day, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and take the chicken out of the fridge. Place in the sink. Remove any wrappings and reach inside the cavity to pull out the neck, heart, and other organs that may be there. Wash all under cool running water and pat dry with paper towels. Place chicken on a plate and clean your hands and work surfaces immediately. Rub whole chicken with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and season with one of these combinations: poultry seasoning and black pepper; paprika, salt, and pepper; lemon-pepper seasoning and salt; oregano, basil, and garlic; rosemary and tarragon; or any seasoning blend you like.
For beer-can chicken:
Open a fresh can of beer and drink (or pour out) about 3/4 of it. Holding the chicken in one hand, angle it slightly and ease the beer can into the chicken’s cavity. Carefully stand the chicken up so that it is supported and upright on top of the can. Put can and chicken, standing up, onto a roasting pan or cast-iron skillet. Bake for 1.5 to 2 hours.
For roast chicken:
Cut up potatoes, carrots, and onions into 1-inch cubes. Place in the bottom of a roasting pan. Place chicken, breast-side up, on top of the bed of vegetables. Roast 1.5 to 2 hours.
For baked chicken:
Place chicken, breast side down, into a roasting pan. Bake in 350* oven for 60 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully turn the chicken breast side up and place back in the oven for at least 30 more minutes. This method will help the breast remain moist and tender.
For all methods, the chicken is done when the chicken registers 165 degrees on an internal meat thermometer at the deepest part of the breast and in the leg near the bone.
Remove chicken (and vegetables, if using) from roasting pan, and pour off all but 3 tablespoons of juices. Put roasting pan or cast-iron skillet on your stove and heat over medium-high heat. Pour 2 cups of wine, chicken broth, or water into pan and deglaze. Scrape bits of chicken off the bottom and sides of pan and season sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Cook the sauce at a simmer until it has reduced by at least half. Serve over chicken. Enjoy!
This method may take a little time to master, but once you’ve run through it a few times you will have mastered an easy method of cooking. Chicken may also be roasted in a crock pot or baked in a casserole, but there is nothing juicier and more flavorful than a chicken roasted the old-fashioned way in the oven.
Alex Lemone is writes about family and wedding related topics. For more ideas for reception food and other wedding ideas, check out Wedding Ideas Etc.