How To Roast A Chicken

So a man should know how to make a perfect roast chicken by the time he’s 30 let’s say – just for argument’s sake. It should be the go-to dish in an increasing stable of culinary surprises for whomever you are out to impress. And there is nothing more comforting that a perfectly roasted chicken, shared with a glass of great wine or something non-alcoholic, almost anytime of the year. You can eat it in the kitchen, in your dining room, or snuggled up in bed on a cold night (cleaning bill no doubt to be expected).

And as you find yourself with a partner, it will be incredibly useful for you to be able to contribute to the cooking, despite whatever incredible talents your partner might bring to the kitchen. And not having to clean up every night is nice too.

This recipe is courtesy of Men’s Health, an invaluable guide to matters of health, sex, grooming, the opposite sex, organic living and so much more.

What You’ll Need:
1 whole chicken (3 to 4 lb), organic if possible, patted dry and giblets removed
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 lemons, halved (optional)

How to Make It:
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F, with a rack in the lower third. Put a large ovenproof skillet in the oven. While the skillet heats up, trim the excess fat from the chicken. Rub the outside of the bird with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place lemon halves, if using, in the cavity.

2. When the pan is scorching hot, 10 or 15 minutes later, carefully put the chicken in the pan, breast side up. Roast until the chicken is cooked through, 40 to 60 minutes.

3. Carefully remove the pan from the oven. Tip the pan slightly to let any juices from the bird’s cavity flow into the pan, and transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Let the pan juices sit for 5 minutes; use a spoon to skim off some of the excess fat. Cut up the bird and serve it with warm pan juices.

A whole bird, seasoned with just salt and pepper and maybe some lemon halves, undergoes an alchemy in a hot oven, emerging crispy, bronzed, and much more delicious than you’d expect—with just 5 minutes or so of effort. But don’t stop there: The mild flavor of chicken is compatible with almost any seasoning. Experiment with your favorite herbs, spices, and sauces, using these variations as a guideline. And for a complete meal, try making an edible “roasting rack” for the chicken to sit and cook on, using your choice of sliced onions, fennel, carrots, celery, and potatoes.

And for those among you interested in checking out other recipes to bolster your preparation and technique, check out The Barefoot Contessa, Jamie Oliver or this recipe at Epicurious from acclaimed chef Thomas Keller  the master behind The French Laundry in Yountville, Bouchon in Yountville, Las Vegas and Beverly Hills (and Bouchon Bakery and Bar’s too), Per Se in the Time Warner Center in New York City and Ad Hoc also in Yountville, CA.

You won’t go wrong.