This is going to be a short simple roast chicken recipe but I do have a little trick to show you. How many times have you gone to cook a whole chicken whether it be roasting, smoking, grilling or even rotisserie and the first step calls for trussing the chicken and you have no cooking twine to tie back the wings and legs? I know it happens at our house all the time.
As we all know trussing the chicken keeps the wings and legs against the body of the chicken giving it a compact shape allowing for an even cooking and not letting the tips of the wings burn. I have, as we all probably have, went ahead with cooking the chicken without any twine and it’s not like the chicken is bad but the wingtips get burnt and the legs can be a bit dry.
Here is a way to secure the legs and wings without using twine or skewers. First remove the chicken from packaging and pat dry, remove neck and giblets then place the chicken on your cutting board. Take a sharp knife, I use a pairing knife, and working at the back of the bird on the legs first. Press the legs against the body and just infront of where the tip of the leg is take the tip of your knife and cut a small slit in the skin.
Slide the end of the leg through the slit and allow the skin the keep the leg secure against the chicken.
Repeat on opposite side. Next move up to the wing. Press the wing against the body and see where the tips of the wings meet the body near the front of the drumstick. using the tip of the knife cut a slit in the skin of the chicken a bit forward of the wingtip and then tuck the tip of the wing inside the slit you just cut.
Repeat on opposite side. Then you are ready to cook the chicken in your preferred method. I did a roast chicken this past week. So here is how I got started.
Place the oven rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat the oven to 450 for at least 15 minutes. While oven is preheating season your bird. I like to take softened butter and my seasonings and mix them together in a small bowl. For this last chicken I did I used a mix of salts from a great company out of New Jersey called Saltopia (check them out on social media @saltopiasalts ). I used a mix of their TWISTED SISTAZ salt (lemon and lime salt) and SHOT WELL (an alderwood smoked salt). Once I get the seasonings mixed with the butter I gently use my fingers to separate the skin from the chicken and spread the seasoned butter under the skin to season the meat. Then with the left over seasoned butter I spread it over the outside of the skin.
I also take my seasoning mix and season the inside of the chicken (without the butter). Place the chicken in your roasting vessel and place in the oven at 450 for 15 minutes then drop the temp to 350. Total cooking time is about 20 minutes per pound basting every 30 minutes. So for example if you have a 4 pound bird you will cook at 450 for 15 minutes then drop to 350 for 65 minutes. This gives you a nice crispy skin and wonderfully seasoned bird.
- 1 Whole chicken
- seasoning of your choice
- 1 stick of butter softened
- place oven rack in bottom third of the oven
- preheat to 450
- pat dry the chicken and remove neck and giblets
- with the tip of a sharp knife cut slits in the skin of the chicken to tuck the ends of the legs and wingtips into so there is no need for twine
- mix seasoning and butter together
- using fingertips gently separate skin away from the meat and spread seasoned butter under the skin
- spread outside of skin with remaining seasoned butter
- season inside of the chicken cavity with your seasoning mixture (without butter)
- place in the oven at 450 for 15 minutes
- lower temp to 350
- cook for 20 minutes per pound (total time)
- remove from oven and let rest 10-15 minutes to redistribute juices
- carve and serve