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Five Tips for the Perfect Roast Chicken

To roast a chicken, start with the  breast-side down.

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What You Need to Know
Five essential tips to roasting a perfect chicken:

1. Use high-quality chicken.
Starting with the best bird is the first step to tasty results. Read here for more on how to buy the best chicken.

Roast Chicken

2. Start breast side down.
Positioning the chicken breast side down allows all the juices to gather in the breast meat during the first half of cooking. When you flip the bird, those juices slowly redistribute but leave plenty of moisture behind to keep that white meat ultra juicy.

3. Use high heat.
Heat is roast chicken’s best friend. A 450°F oven browns the skin quickly and keeps it nice and crisp.

4. Don’t overcook.
An overcooked chicken is a dry chicken. To prevent overcooking, use an instant-read thermometer as your most reliable indicator of doneness (see the tip below for how to use it). It should read 165° to 170°F.

5. Let it rest.
Don’t be tempted to cut into the chicken as soon as it’s out of the oven. Resting for at least 15 minutes on the cutting board allows the juices to redistribute into the meat, making it moist and tender.

Cook’s tip

To get the most accurate temperature reading, insert the instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh, toward the interior rather than the exterior of the bird. Make sure you don’t touch the bone with the tip of the thermometer, or you’ll get a higher reading.

Roast Chicken
Tool Box
The simple utensils needed for this roast chicken are essential to any well-stocked kitchen:

• Medium flameproof roasting pan (about 9×13 inches)
• Medium roasting rack that fits in the pan
• Sturdy tongs
• Instant-read thermometer
• Carving board


Roast Chicken
Best-Ever Roast Chicken

Photos: Scott Phillips


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  • User avater
    recipesforkeeps | 08/13/2011

    A complete success! This is a perfect method for a very moist, tasty chicken.

  • MrTed | 03/11/2011

    No Brainer, its great

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