Simple Roast Chicken—from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything

Roasted Chicken

Roasted Chicken

We tried several different recipes, but ALWAYS come back to this one because it is easy and reliably great. And our chickens are reliable done in about an hour (in our convection oven). Just make sure your chicken is fully defrosted and best if it comes to room temperature before cooking. In his updated cookbook he does a version heating the pan first..we haven’t tried that yet, but sounds intriguing, but this has worked so well, why mess with success.

This week you can enjoy it with FRESH chicken!


1 whole chicken, rinsed & patted dry

3 Tbsp Fat (If we don’t have lard, poultry fat or bacon fat on hand, we use olive oil)

2 tsp chopped herbs (any mix or just thyme)

Salt & ground pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 450-500°F.  Place Chicken, breast side down, on a rack in a roasting pan.  Begin roasting.  Mix together the oil, herbs, salt & pepper.

After the chicken has roasted for about 20 minutes, spoon some of the oil mixture over it, then turn the bird breast side up and baste that side.  Put back in hot oven for 7-8 minutes; at this point the breast should be beginning to brown (if it hasn’t, roast a few more minutes).  Turn heat down to 325°F, baste again (on side that is up) and roast until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 160-165°F.  Total roasting time will be about an hour. We use convection, and recommend it if you have the option.

Before removing chicken from pan, tip the pan to the let the juices from the bird’s cavity flow into the pan (if they are red, cook another 5 minutes).  Remove the bird to a platter and let it rest for about 5 minutes.  While it is resting, pour the pan juices into a clear measuring cup, and pour or spoon off some of the fat.  Reheat the juice, carve the bird and serve with pan juices.  And save that amazing roasted chicken fat for starting the next bird, veggies, potatoes or whatever requires delicious pasture-raised fat.