Perfect Roast Chicken

September 25th, 2019

Perfect Roast Chicken from Sugarlaws

Why, oh why, does anyone ever remove the skin from a chicken?

Ah, ok, calories, fat.  But there is a time and a place for boneless, skinless chicken breasts (which I find, frankly, completely unappealing) and there is a time for perfect, crispy, golden roasted chicken.

When we made roast chicken in a cooking class I took a few years ago, we did it using a traditional french technique — compound butter, and a lot of it, stuffed inside the chicken’s skin, to melt and tenderize the meat.  But when I am cooking at home, butter is for baking, and that’s that.  For just about anything involving cooking, I use olive oil.

But butter is solid at room temperature, and obviously olive oil is not — and therefore, inherently, much harder to stuff into pockets of chicken skin.  But with a little garlic powder and salt, I think I managed to get more than enough of it in — the meat was seasoned, moist and had tons of flavor, no butter necessary.  And the best part, of course, the crispy, browned skin, was even better.

And this is a simple, easy, no-fuss recipe.  No rotating the chicken every ten minutes, no basting.  Just put it in, turn on the oven, and broil a bit at the end if its skin isn’t golden enough for you.  Perfect for a summer dinner party, no planning ahead necessary.

Perfect Roast Chicken from Sugarlaws

 Perfect Roast Chicken

1/2 roast chicken (or use a whole chicken and double the recipe)
1/2 cup olive oil (use good quality, but not extra virgin)
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp garlic powder

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  Mix together the olive oil and spices until evenly combined.  Gently rub the olive oil mixture beneath the skin of the chicken, pulling the skin away very carefully, with your fingers, so you don’t break it.  For any places where the skin won’t pull away easily, rub the olive oil mixture on the outside of the bird.  Rub any remaining olive oil all over the outside of the chicken’s skin.

Roast at 450 degrees for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads 165 degrees.  Broil for 1-2 minutes if the chicken isn’t sufficiently browned but the temperature has reached 165.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes, and serve.

Perfect Roast Chicken from Sugarlaws

Tags: food · main dishes

24 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Eliana // May 13, 2009 at 6:17 am

    I love a good roast chicken but sometimes they are a pain to make and can dry out a bit in the oven.  This technique sounds really interesting.  Can’t wait to try it.

  • 2 Pearl // May 13, 2009 at 6:22 am

    you’ve inspired me to look for a cooking class to join, too 🙂

  • 3 Mara @ What's For Dinner? // May 13, 2009 at 6:27 am

    I make my roast chicken very similarly to yours, but I put half an onion and a lemon cut into pieces in the cavity… YUM!

  • 4 Amy // May 13, 2009 at 6:43 am

    What a lovely roast chicken!  And you can use the meat in so many things.

    And need healthy justification for leaving the skin on?  The fat found in it actually helps you to better digest the protein in the chicken.  Just eat a little smaller piece and you’re all set…don’t worry that little bit of added fat will make you fuller too!

  • 5 stephchows // May 13, 2009 at 10:12 am

    I’m not a huge chicken skin fan, but you make yours look tasty 🙂

  • 6 maris // May 13, 2009 at 11:49 am

    I really love your food photos! How do you take them? Do you have one of those mini photo studio at-home type of things?

  • 7 shannon // May 13, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    i agree with amy up there.  the fat is there for a reason.  eat it and enjoy.  boneless skinless chicken breasts are like sawdust.

  • 8 Ashley // May 14, 2009 at 10:40 am

    Oh that looks delicious!!  I think I’ll have to pick up some chicken and give this a try!!

  • 9 katie // May 17, 2009 at 10:56 am

    The problem I have with chicken skin… Is I have to exercise great self control to not pick it all off and eat it right out of the oven….  I rarely succeed.

  • 10 lori // May 18, 2009 at 8:02 am

    wow this was by far the best roast chicken recipe i have ever made. i happened across this recipe while looking for banana strawberry muffins (which i also made btw and were outstanding). i was apprehensive about cooking the chicken at such a high temp for such a short time and without basting and i was worried it was going to start burning but it never did (juice in pan smoked and spit a bit but not too bad), and it turned out perfect! the skin omg and the chicken so juicy and omg. the left overs even stayed juicy. i’ve got your site bookmarked now. i’m a fan.

  • 11 Cynthia // May 18, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    I’m smiling at your roast chicken-skin plea 🙂

  • 12 Elyse // May 18, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    I admit it.  I’m usually one of those boneless skinless chicken gals.  And I also admit that it’s all about vanity: saving the cals and the fat.  But you know what?  After seeing the pics of your chicken, I am totally craving this tasty treat.  Man oh man, does this chicken look divine!  Sorry that I’ve been an absent commenter; I just finished up my law school exams and am finally getting around to my google reader.

  • 13 gaga // May 22, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    That skin looks so crispy and yummy!

  • 14 Natalie // May 23, 2009 at 6:03 am

    I made this the other night – it was SO delicious!  I had some extra guests stop by and stay for dinner, and they were very impressed.  I will definitely be making this regularly from now on!  Thanks for the recipe.

  • 15 Feed Me Seymour. - Valerie Hope // Aug 29, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    […] sound delicious to you- don’t come over when I cook it. Showcased in the picture is a ‘perfect roast chicken.’ […]

  • 16 CalCat // Feb 25, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Where we lived in Sicily there was a chicken-roasting place just up the road. The chickens were on skewers and stuffed w/olives, onions, and garlic and basted w/olive oil mixed w/pepper and salt then roasted @ high-heat over an olive-wood fire. I had never thought to put olives and onions on the pan under the chicken until I read your recipe. OMG……… good!!! Thanks for helping me build that recipe w/out having to have skewers!!! 😛

  • 17 Lori Oster // Apr 4, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    I love this recipe! I’ve been using it for at least a year now, and it works every time. Thank you so much for posting this!

  • 18 Steve // Jul 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Try marinading the half chicken in zip lock bag with rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper and thyme. Minimum 2 hours, 24 is preferable, smaller birds are preferable…

    helps with the moisture problem and tastes great…

  • 19 TiaBean // Sep 9, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    It was fantastic!!!  I baked the chicken on a bed of sliced onions with a couple of bay leaves.  It made great gravy with a little added chicken stock.  My picky family LOVED it! Thanks for sharing!

  • 20 Jessica // Jan 14, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    I feel vindicated! I saw a lot of recipes recommending a long slow cook at 350 degrees, but I could swear it should be 450. After looking around, I was starting to doubt myself — until I came across your post. Thanks!

  • 21 Suzanne // Nov 6, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    I made your recipe last night and it was outstanding!!  I never realized I could cook chicken at such a high heat.  The skin was divine!!  Thanks.

  • 22 Yasuo // Dec 4, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    That’s is one lovely bird . Much pmeuplr than the chicken I see here. I used to get them from my neighbor, but they were always much older birds, long legs and a bit on the tough side . perfect for stewing.

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