Cooking Basics: How to Roast Chicken
As Ina Garten would say, “Let’s get back to the basics.”
And since Ms. Garten is a culinary genius, I think it is only right to follow her advice.
First let’s start with WHY.
Why should you roast chicken?
- produces moist and flavorful meat
- healthier than a rotisserie chicken and just as good
- versatile: endless uses in recipes
- saves you time in the kitchen
Are you convinced yet? This is a time and money saver!! What more convincing do you need?
Step 1: How to Season the Chicken
I started with Bone-In/Skin-On chicken breasts. Why? This skin and bone provide so much flavor to the meat and I actually prefer white meat to dark meat. If dark meat is your thing, by all means follow this technique for thighs or drumsticks and reduce baking time by about 15 minutes.
I place my chicken breast on a large baking sheet and drizzle liberally with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. For this batch, I laid the chicken on fresh rosemary stems to infuse the flavor into the breasts as well, but this step is not necessary.
The more meat the merrier–same amount of prep for more results! I was a ding-dong and only roasted 2 breasts on this occasion–maximize your effort and time by doing at least double this!
Step 2: How to Bake the Chicken
Roast your chicken at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
I promise you your chicken will be so much more flavorful than boiled meat! Remember I learned from the pro, Ina!!
Step 3: Chopping the Cooked Meat
Once the chicken has cooled, remove the skin and discard. Remove the meat from the bones. Save the bones to make homemade chicken stock for pennies (another basic I will be teaching you!) If you are not planning on making stock within a day or two, freeze the bones for later use.
I like to chop my meat into large chunks, but chop into any size you desire.
Step 4: How to Store the Roasted Chicken Meat
Once you have chopped your chicken, I like to measure it out into 1 cup and 2 cup portions and place into freezer quart size bags. If I am not using within 3 days, I freeze immediately. Because I typically make such a large batch of roasted chicken, I have several bags at my beckon call in my freezer.
Talk about a time saver!!
Step 5: How to Use the Roasted Chicken Meat
The uses for cooked chicken meat are endless. This meat is perfect in soups, casseroles, salads, topped on quesadillas, scrambled into eggs, for sandwiches and the list goes on and on.
Anywhere a recipe calls for Rotisserie Chicken, use this roasted meat. It is just as flavorful and so much cheaper!