I love saving time and energy – both seem to be in short supply these days. When I figured out that I could roast two chickens at once – doubling the output (and meals) with minimal extra work it was a serious “aha” moment!
The follow-up meals that can be built from the extra chicken are endless – sandwiches, salads, tacos, soups, casseroles, etc. It’s like killing two birds with one . . .you get the point. The thing that pleases me most is the whole “production” only has to happen once – but you can use it for many other meals.
I realize if you have a large family (or teenagers) you might already roast two chickens at a time. Forgive me for just realizing this was a possibility!
Here is my recipe as we’ve always used for roasting chicken – I just modified it for two birds.
- 2 whole chickens (4-5 pounds each) – as close to the same size as possible so they cook at same rate
- 5-7 medium potatoes, quartered – whatever kind you like, I had Yukon Gold leftover from our Clam Chowder
- 6-8 carrots, peeled
- 6-8 celery stalks, quartered
- 4-5 medium onions, quartered
- 4-5 garlic cloves
- 1-2 lemons
- Olive oil
- Sweet basil
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Remove giblets and insides from chickens.
- Wash chickens well (do not use soap, haha) and make sure all feathers are removed. Dry very well with paper towels and set aside.
- Prep vegetables – quarter the potatoes, peel the carrots, quarter the celery stalks, peel and quarter the onions, quarter the lemons.
- Spread out all vegetables in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Add a few whole garlic cloves to the vegetables mix (or if you’re ambitious – mince garlic and mix it in). Reserve ½ onion, ½ lemon and two garlic cloves for chicken.
- Drizzle olive oil over vegetables, sprinkle with rosemary and sweet basil. We also had fresh parsley in the fridge, so we added that.
- It’s probably about time to preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Now back to the chicken – put a quarter of a lemon, quarter of an onion and a whole garlic clove in each chicken.
- Truss chickens with kitchen twine. This is to keep the legs in close to the body to keep them from burning. (Alton Brown does a great video tutorial on trussing turkey – same concept.)
- Put both chickens on top of vegetables in roasting pan.
- Drizzle olive oil over chickens, sprinkle salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, sage and sweet basil on top. I also rub on minced garlic, but that’s because we LOVE garlic. If you don’t have a seasoning or don’t like one – leave it out, it won’t make too much of a difference.
- Pop in the oven at 425 degrees for 60 to 90 minutes (mine took exactly 75 minutes) – basically internal temperature of chicken breasts should read 180 degrees. Rotate pan half way through to help chickens cook evenly. If you need, you can also stir around veggies – but I usually just leave mine alone and they are delish.
- When your chickens have reached 180 internal degrees (as taken in the breast) – take chickens out of oven and if you can stand it, let them rest about 10 minutes before cutting (it will keep them more moist).
Use leftover chicken carcass to make homemade chicken stock (stove top) or chicken stock in the slow cooker – and leftover chicken can be used for all kinds of meals.
How do you roast your chickens? Do you have a favorite recipe or technique?