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Old 01-29-2005, 08:23 AM   #1
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How long do I bake a whole chicken?

I thought I'd try to cook a big whole chicken. I have never cooked a bird by myself and I don't have a meat thremometer.

I put it in at 10:15 at 350 degrees. Does 2 hours sound about right?
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Old 01-29-2005, 08:29 AM   #2
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I cook 2 chickens at once and it takes 2 hours....I'm guessing that would be too long for 1. How about 1 hour and 15 minutes? A good way to check is to pull the leg off and if the juices run clear, it is done.
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Old 01-29-2005, 08:37 AM   #3
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really depends on the size of the chicken. For a medium chicken..at 350..I'd give it a good 1 1/2 hours. I tend to cook mine at 375..and in general it takes around 1 1/4 hours.
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Old 01-29-2005, 08:49 AM   #4
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Congrats to you! Nothing smells better than a chicken roasting! When you try it again, you can put a half onion and a couple garlic cloves "inside" ... unbelievable aroma!

If you do 350 degrees, about 1.5-2.0 hours. Check the color, when it's golden brown and you can move the leg easily it's probably done. To be sure, stick a knife in the thigh and look at the juices ... clear is done, pink needs 15 more minutes.

In Cooks Illustrated magazine (for serious cooks), they did experiments on how to roast chicken ... they do experiments for everything. The best chicken was cooked at 500 degrees for 1 hour. At that high heat the skin seals quickly keeping in all of the juices and chickens aren't very big so they cook through.

Good luck (be sure to save the carcass for homemade chicken stock!)
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Old 01-29-2005, 09:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kimmer
In Cooks Illustrated magazine (for serious cooks), they did experiments on how to roast chicken ... they do experiments for everything. The best chicken was cooked at 500 degrees for 1 hour. At that high heat the skin seals quickly keeping in all of the juices and chickens aren't very big so they cook through.

Good luck (be sure to save the carcass for homemade chicken stock!)
That is an excellent idea! I usually cook whole chickens and turkeys on high for the first 15 minutes or so to seal in the juices but then turn it down and cook on a lower temp. I am doing a whole chicken tonight also and will give that a try!
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Old 01-29-2005, 06:46 PM   #6
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2 hours is way too long, unless you have a huge bird. Most supermarket birds are about 3 lbs now, and an hour is about right for them. Here's the Fine Cooking recipe, which is excellent, and a lot less fussy than many recipes, which require basting and constant turning:

Serves four.

3- to 5-lb. roasting chicken

2 to 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened

1/2 tsp. coarse salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Sprigs of fresh herbs (parsley, chervil, tarragon)


Heat the oven to 450°F. Remove the giblets from the chicken's cavity (save for a stock if you like -- but don't include the liver, which would make the stock bitter). Pull any loose fat from around the opening. Rinse the bird inside and out and pat dry. Rub the chicken all over with the softened butter, gently pushing the butter under the breast skin. Sprinkle the outside and the cavity with the salt and pepper and stuff the herb sprigs inside.

Put the chicken, breast side up [since I like white meat, I prefer breast side down, which makes for a much juicier breast, even though then the breast skin doesn't get crispy], on a V-shaped rack (or a flat rack) and set the rack in a roasting pan just larger than the rack. Roast for 15 to 20 min., reduce the heat to 375°F, and continue roasting for an additional 45 min. for a total of about 1 hour for a 3-lb. chicken. For larger birds, add another 10 min. for each additional pound. The chicken is done when the leg wiggles freely in its joint and when the juices run clear from the thigh when you prick it and from the cavity when you tilt the bird. A thermometer inserted into the lower meaty part of the thigh should register 170°F. Set the chicken on a warm platter, propping up the hindquarters with an inverted saucer, and tent with foil to keep it warm while you make the sauce. Remove the rack from the pan.

LET THE CHICKEN SIT for 10-15 minutes before you carve it, while you make a sauce from the drippings. This is a critical step to make a tender juicy chicken--resting lets the juices get reabsorbed back into the meat.

Three steps to a great roast chicken (also from Cooks Illustrated):
Slip your seasonings under the skin for full flavor and moist meat. Rub the chicken all over with softened butter, gently pushing the butter and other seasonings under the skin without tearing it.

Fill the cavity with flavor: Season the bird inside and out with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and stuff the cavity with herbs, lemon, mushrooms -- whatever will enhance the flavor of the meat and the sauce.

Lift the bird with a rack so the skin crisps all around. A V-shaped rack is best, set in a heavy roasting pan just larger than the rack, but a flat rack is better than nothing.

And some more tips from them:

Hurry up and wait. The next step in roasting may seem counterintuitive: you pull your golden-brown bird hot from the oven and you want to rush it to the table. Don't. The chicken will be much better if you let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes. This lets the juices redistribute themselves. We actually prop up the chicken, backside up, to let the juices run into the breast meat. The 10-minute rest also gives you time to degrease and deglaze the pan and to finish your sauce.

Capture all the flavor by making a sauce from the drippings
A double reduction intensifies the sauce.
This is always our final step in roasting a chicken, and one that we think too many cooks overlook -- making a sauce from the pan juices. The crusty bits that cling to the roasting pan are like gold: concentrated nubbins of roast chicken flavor. We pour or spoon off all the fat (don't go crazy and try to get every drop: a little residual fat won't make your sauce too greasy, and chicken fat tastes good) and then add some liquid to the pan to melt the caramelized juices, forming a thin, shiny veil that covers the pan. We add some stock, reduce it, add a little more, and then reduce that to a silky sauce, thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. If you like, you can reduce just once, but we like the double reduction technique because it seems to create layers of more complex flavors.

all from http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/pages/c00015.asp
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Old 01-29-2005, 07:38 PM   #7
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I usually go 350 for 90 minutes as a starting point, then test and adjust the time accordingly.

Lori
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Old 01-30-2005, 09:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kimmer
Congrats to you! Nothing smells better than a chicken roasting! When you try it again, you can put a half onion and a couple garlic cloves "inside" ... unbelievable aroma!

If you do 350 degrees, about 1.5-2.0 hours. Check the color, when it's golden brown and you can move the leg easily it's probably done. To be sure, stick a knife in the thigh and look at the juices ... clear is done, pink needs 15 more minutes.

In Cooks Illustrated magazine (for serious cooks), they did experiments on how to roast chicken ... they do experiments for everything. The best chicken was cooked at 500 degrees for 1 hour. At that high heat the skin seals quickly keeping in all of the juices and chickens aren't very big so they cook through.

Good luck (be sure to save the carcass for homemade chicken stock!)
Kimmer! I cooked my 7 lb baking chicken last night at 500 for about an hour and 15 minutes. It turned out wonderful. I basted it with a mixture of olive oil, butter, sage leaves and garlic. The skin was brown (all over!) and crispy but the inside was nice and juicy. Worked like a charm! I should have taken a picture it looked so good!
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Old 01-30-2005, 11:31 AM   #9
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I usually cook a chicken 20 minutes per pound. I've not had any problems with raw chicken.
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