When I lived near a Costco, I used to buy the roasted chickens. They were $5.99 if I remember correctly. They were tender, moist, and huge! We'd have plenty for a few dinners and a big bowl of chicken and pasta salad. With the nearest Costco now three-and-a-half hours away, I've taken to roasting my own chickens. I thought I had found the perfect recipe, but have recently found one that I like better over at Mari's blog.
This is a method rather than a recipe, (and although we don't eat the skin), it will give you a beautiful crispy skin with moist, tender meat laced with a delicate lemon scent and flavor. Here is the link to the original recipe. In reading this recipe, I had to smile at what I thought was just a tad of hyperbole where it reads "Close up the opening with toothpicks or with trussing needle and string. Close it well, but don't make an absolutely airtight job of it because the chicken may burst". Really? An exploding chicken? I personally don't think you could truss a chicken up tight enough that it would burst, but then again, there's always a first for everything. If you haven't tried this method for roasting chicken, let it be a first for you. Oh, and if it explodes, be sure to let me know.
Roast Chicken with Lemons adapted from here
One chicken (3-4#)
One large lemon (or two small)
Salt and Pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Wash the lemon. Roll lemon on counter until soft. This will make it jucier. With a paring knife or fork, pierce the lemon several times (up to 20).
3. Rinse chicken and dry thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper. Insert lemon(s) into cavity and secure opening with toothpicks. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
4. Cut a piece of parchment the size of your roasting pan and spray with cooking spray. Put parchment in bottom of pan.
5. Lay chicken breast side down in pan and cook for 30 minutes.
6. Turn chicken on its back and cook for 35 minutes. Discard parchment.
7. Turn oven to 400F and continue to cook for 30 minutes.
8. Remove chicken from oven and let rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.