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How to Bake a Whole Chicken

If you’re looking for a tasty and economical meal, baking a whole chicken is perfect. It’s cheaper to buy a whole chicken than to purchase the individual parts, and you can get a few meals out of it.

Plus, you only need a few ingredients. You can simply use salt, pepper and butter to make your roasted chicken taste delicious.

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Is There a Difference Between Baking a Chicken and Roasting It?

Originally, roasting referred to cooking food over a fire. Nowadays, we roast chicken by cooking it in the oven at a high temperature, usually 400°F or more.

Baking a chicken usually involves cooking it in an oven heated no higher than 375°F. It takes longer to bake a whole chicken than to roast it, but the meat will be more tender.

Some people use the terms “baking” and “roasting” interchangeably, however. So, in this article, we’ll talk about how to bake a whole chicken at 350°F and how to roast a whole chicken at 425°F.

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How Long Does it Take to Bake a Whole Chicken?

The amount of time it takes to bake a whole chicken will depend on its size and on your oven’s temperature. Roasting a chicken at 425°F will take 45-90 minutes.

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How Long to Bake a Chicken at 350°F

Baking a whole chicken at 350°F will yield a more tender result than roasting at a higher temperature. Bake for 20 minutes per pound, then an extra 15 minutes.

Do you Roast a Chicken Covered or Uncovered?

For crispier skin, roast your chicken uncovered. Only cover the chicken if you want moist, soft skin.

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How to Keep Chicken Moist During Roasting

You can cover the chicken to keep it moist. However, the skin will not be crispy.

You could roast the chicken covered for 2/3 of the cooking time, then uncover the bird during the last part of cooking to help the skin turn brown.

How to Bake a Whole Chicken

Preheat your oven and remove the neck and giblets from the chicken. You can save them to make chicken stock, if you wish.

Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. This will help prevent the skin from steaming.

Rub butter on the outside of the chicken to provide flavor and help with browning.

Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. If you wish, you can add garlic and half a lemon to the cavity.

Tuck the wing tips underneath the breast and place the chicken breast side up in a roasting pan.

Using a roasting rack is optional.

Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh (but not touching bone), registers 165 degrees, or the juices run clear when the thigh is pricked with a fork. Let the chicken rest for 10-15 minutes before carving and serving.

Store leftover chicken in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Lemon Rosemary Roast Chicken Picture

What to Serve with Roasted Chicken

Potatoes and vegetables work fabulously with a whole baked chicken. Try these Toaster Oven Rosemary Potatoes or mashed potatoes and KFC Gravy.

For veggies, try this Green Bean Salad or these Slow Cooker Honey Glazed Carrots.

Let us know when it’s time to eat!


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