Whether you are a professional chef or your cooking experience is preparing meals for your family, roasting the perfect chicken should be a required skill. Not only will you impress family and friends, but a roasted chicken prepared one day can be delicious leftovers the next. If you are just beginning your culinary journey, perfecting the roast chicken process is easy to do and will give you the kitchen confidence to tackle more ambitious dishes.

 whole chicken roasting in pan

While there are many recipes that tout the "perfect roast chicken" with various ingredients and steps, they all have several key components in common. For a simple recipe, check out epicurious (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/My-Favorite-Simple-Roast-Chicken-231348) or Ina Garten's (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/perfect-roast-chicken-recipe/index.html) recipe. For a more involved roasted chicken recipe, both Jamie Oliver (http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/chicken-recipes/perfect-roast-chicken) and Martha Stewart (http://www.marthastewart.com/356165/perfect-roast-chicken) have multiple-step processes. In addition to the recipes, below are some tips to perfecting your roast chicken.
  • Let your roasting chicken stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Rinse and pat dry your bird.
  • Use the cavity of the chicken to place lemon, garlic and herbs. The cavity will act as a steamer to infuse the bird with flavor.
  • If using a lemon, either cut it in half or poke it with holes before placing in the cavity. This will allow the aroma to seep into the meat while roasting.
  • Truss your chicken before placing into the oven. This will allow the bird to cook evenly.
  • If cooking vegetables in the roasting pan with the chicken, keep an eye on the veggies. You may need to add a little bit of water during cooking to keep them from drying out.
  • Once you remove your chicken from the oven, allow it to cool for at least 15 minutes before carving.
Don't stress out about carving your chicken unless you're entering it in a carving contest (if they exist) or trying to impress a fellow chef. Otherwise, just carve with the intent to get all the meat off the bone.

 Plate of roasted chicken with potatoes and vegetables

Once your chicken is carved and it's on the platter with the roasted vegetables, sit down and enjoy your perfectly roasted chicken.