This Simple Roast Chicken is tender, juicy and delicious! Salt, pepper, and chicken are the only 3 ingredients at the start of roasting, the roasted lemons and garlic can be squeezed over the top of the chicken at the end. Now you’ve taken a roast chicken to a whole new level. Add a few potatoes tossed in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and you have a really quick and easy, one sheet pan meal. Easy to prepare, easy to clean up, no fuss, no muss, this will be your new favorite Roast Chicken recipe.
You need to remove the backbone, or even better, ask your butcher to do it, then give your chicken a good wash under running water. In order to get really crisp skin, pat the chicken dry with paper towels. When it’s totally dry, add the salt to begin the ‘dry brine’, this can be done up to 24 hours in advance. The simple rule of thumb I like for brining poultry is to add ½ teaspoon of salt for every pound of meat, for example, a 4-pound chicken needs 2 teaspoons of salt.
I like to dry brine the chicken rather than the messy wet brine, it’s not a big deal and certainly not complicated. Dry brining is simply putting the normal amount of salt and other seasonings, such as dry rubs, etc. onto the chicken that you would normally use. The only difference is that you put the salt and seasonings onto the chicken a couple of hours before you actually begin cooking it.
Why bother brining? Salt is hygroscopic, which basically means it absorbs moisture from the surrounding environment, it also interacts with protein molecules in a way that makes the protein hold onto moisture better. In short, raw meat that has been given time to absorb sodium prior to cooking will be moister and more tender. The flavor isn’t altered because you’re not adding anything different, you’re just giving the salt time to do its thing, and it is definitely worth the effort.
Here is how I make my Simple Roast Chicken
- 1 4-5 Pound Chicken
- 3 Lemons, Halved
- 3 Heads Garlic, Halved
- 1 Red Onion, Quartered
- Salt ½ Teaspoon per Pound of Chicken
- 1 Pound Potatoes, 1-inch Dice
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- Black Pepper
-Remove backbone from the chicken, wash under running water and pat dry with paper towels, add salt and pepper, this can be done up to 24 hours in advance.
-Preheat oven to 400°F
-Place chicken on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper
-Lay the entire head of garlic on its side and cut in half, it’s not necessary to remove the paper
-Place the potatoes, garlic, onion and olive oil in a bowl, salt, and pepper to taste and give them a stir
-Arrange the potatoes, onion, heads of garlic and lemon halves around the chicken
-Place the sheet pan in the oven, turning it every 15 minutes
-Roast until an instant-read thermometer, inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F
-Remove from the oven, cover the sheet pan with foil and let rest for 15 minutes before carving
-Serve with the roasted lemon and garlic on the side