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Old 11-04-2007, 02:17 PM   #1
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Basic chicken roasting question

Okay, I've got a wee little whole roaster chicken (~2 lbs). I've prepped it, and it is ready to go in the oven (stuffed with a lemon and some herbs). It is my first time doing this, and I have no clue how long to cook it for-- everywhere I go says something differently.

I want to keep it pretty low maintenance-- i've seen some recipes that call for keeping it at one temperature and then lowering it for a certain amount of time, but since I have to leave the house and will be leaving somebody around to "keep their eye on it," I don't want to have to leave detailed instructions.

I called my mom and she suggested about an hour at 350, but I'm worried that it won't be enough.

Other things... Uhm, I'm roasting it with some wedged sweet potatoes and acorn squash in the roasting pan. Oh, and some carrots.

Thanks!

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Old 11-04-2007, 02:24 PM   #2
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You don't trust your Mom???

Yeah - an hour at 350ºF sounds about right.
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Old 11-04-2007, 02:46 PM   #3
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You have a meat thermometer, right?

I'd roast it at 375 and check it after 45 minutes. 2 pounds is a really small bird.

Also, don't baste. You don't want to be opening the oven. Just coat with oil or butter beforehand and leave it alone.
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Old 11-04-2007, 02:48 PM   #4
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For a 2# chicken I'd be more inclined to roast at about 425° for about 45 minutes. I like a higher temp - seems to make the chicken hold it's juiciness better. And for only 2# - well, that won't take very long. Just my 2 cents!
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Old 11-04-2007, 07:22 PM   #5
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I hope it turned out okay. How did you end up roasting it?

I would have agreed with your mom, although may have increased the temp to 375 if I were going to be home to check on it. A two pound chicken is actually a fryer/broiler rather than a roaster. Roasting chickens normally run between 3.5 & 5.5 pounds, with some maybe a little bit larger. The extra size gives you a lot more leeway in ending up with a crisp-skinned bird that's cooked through but still moist/juicy. It's not that smaller birds can't be roasted, it's just that they cook through so much faster that it can be difficult to get that crisp skin/moist meat ratio.

However, long before Perdue started marketing their "Oven Stuffer Roaster" size chickens, most supermarket chickens, unless capons or stewing hens, were just 2-3 pound multipurpose birds. And I remember mom always counting on one full hour to roast them through.
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Old 11-04-2007, 07:38 PM   #6
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I'm another meat thermometer guy. I have roasted chicken at 350, 375, 325, 450, even 500' F. I always remove the bird when the meat thermometer reads 155 and have had perfect chicken at all of those roasting temps. The only difference is how crispy the skin gets, and how long it takes the poultry to come up to temperature.

At 375, figure about twelve minutes per pound before checking the meat thermometer. Remove when it reads 160, let rest for 10 minutes, and your bird will be juicy, tender, and perfect.

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Old 11-04-2007, 10:11 PM   #7
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Thanks, all-- I decided to go with my mom, but now I've got a few methods to try to see which one I like best. It turned out alright-- definitely tasty-- but I think the skin could have been crispier. Oh well-- it seems like a great dish to experiment with, because it is pretty easy.

Oh, and I also learned I really need to learn how to carve better. :)
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Old 11-04-2007, 10:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synecdoche View Post
but I think the skin could have been crispier.
Rubbing the bird with butter and a higher temp will result in a crispy skin. Glad it turned out and yes, carving is definitely an art!!!
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Old 11-05-2007, 06:54 AM   #9
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Actually, I haven't bothered carving a chicken (or a duck for that matter) in many years now. If you have a decent pair of heavy-duty poultry shears, it's much easier & quicker to just cut the bird up into serving portions that way.

About 12 years ago my husband gifted me with a $30 pair of really sharp & heavy duty poultry shears from Williams Sonoma, & they're still going strong & definitely my "right hand man" when it comes to dealing with aportioning roast poultry.

I also like the fact that doing it this way leaves me leftovers in large pieces that remain moister in the fridge & are easily cut up into chunks (or whatever) for leftover meals, salads, etc.
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Old 11-05-2007, 08:21 AM   #10
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Poultry Shears? Never thought of that. Thanks for the idea!
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