Week Night Roast Chicken


Serves 4 to 6

Juicy breast meat, crisp skin with most of the fat drained away - a fine roast chicken. The bonus is it cooks in a third to half of the time of most roast chickens, and requires no attention once it's in the oven - perfect for weeknight dinners. Preheat the oven, put the chicken on its roaster (called the Spanek Vertical Roaster - available at kitchen shops and some supermarkets), slip it in the oven, and set a timer. You could bake potatoes with the bird. Then you're free to rinse greens for salad, relax, spend time with the kids, or whatever.

Marinating the chicken, slipping seasonings under the skin, or rubbing it with herbs and garlic can make each chicken distinctively different from the last. Just take care with anything containing sugar which burns quickly - some love crisp, blackened skin, some don't. Roast a chicken raised without any hormones or antibiotics, that's really run free, and you are in for out-of-the-ordinary eating. Maybe do two at a time for salad, snacks, and dinner for the rest of the week.

  • 3 to 5 1/2 pound whole fryer or roaster chicken, raised without hormones or antibiotics
  • marinades or seasonings of choice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • water

Remove one rack from the oven and set the other in the lowest possible position. Preheat to 475. Meanwhile rinse and dry the chicken (if it hasn't been marinating). Season with salt and pepper, and anything else you'd like.

Set chicken on the roaster, pushing down gently until the roaster's top ring is visible a little above the neck cavity. Cross it's legs, tuck wings back behind its shoulders. Set in a cake pan or pie plate. Add 1/2 inch of water to stop spattering. Put the chicken in the oven and set a timer.

Figure 10 minutes to the pound, plus 10 minutes. A 3 1/2 pound chicken roasts for 35 minutes, plus 10, for a total of 45 minutes. (If you want to use a sweet glaze, brush it on for the last 10 minutes of cooking.)

When timer goes off, let chicken rest 10 minutes at room temperature (enough time to toss a salad). Set on a platter and carve at the table. Find directions on the roaster package.

© 1997 Lynne Rossetto Kasper, All Rights Reserved


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