“My friend, Patricia, asked me one day for advice on roasting chicken and turkey and making gravies. I realized I didn’t have a comprehensive recipe for roasting chicken or how to make gravy out of the drippings. Quite an oversight for a family cookbook! But that is remedied now. Thanks, Pat!” – April Ferre
- 1 Whole Chicken
- 1/2 Cup Butter Melted
- 1 Recipe Desired Stuffing Optional
- If chicken has been previously frozen, make sure it is completely dethawed before cooking. Remove any innards from the body cavities and thoroughly wash chicken inside and out. Stuff bird, if desired.
- Note: If stuffing bird ahead of time, make sure that stuffing is completely cold first. Stuffing a cold bird with warm stuffing and then refrigerating may result in bacterial growth overnight.
- Place chicken in roasting pan. If you do not have a roasting pan, a 9×13-inch baking dish with high sides can be used. Pour at least 1/2 cup melted butter over chicken, making sure to coat the entire skin of the chicken. Cover loosely with foil and roast in 350 degree oven, basting every 15 to 20 minutes or so.
- (Picky chef people will say that if you cover the chicken then it really isn’t “roasting,” but we’ve never cared for that sort of semantics, we just want our bird to come out right. And this is how you do it. We’ve never had a dry chicken or turkey in our house.) – Calla and April Ferre
- Approximate cooking times (unstuffed):3 to 5 pound "Broiler" Chicken: 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.6 to 8 pound "Roaster" Chicken: 1 1/2 to 2 1/4 hours.
- About 1/3 of the estimated baking time uncover the bird and baste it well with the melted butter and juices in the pan. Remember that if you stuff your bird, the cooking time increases. To check if the bird is done, you insert a fork a good ways into the breast, pull it out and then press down where you made the holes. If the juices run clear, it is done. If you see a bit of pink left, it needs to cook a little longer.
- If you follow these instructions, you should come out with a nice moist bird. The key here really is a generous amount of butter, which will also be important in making your gravy. Lots of people get scared off by using a lot of butter, but that really is what keeps the bird moist during cooking and will give you what you need to make the gravy in the end.