Chicken roasted in a French style is moist, flavorful and easy to prepare. This is a great recipe for those who don't have much time to cook but enjoy a good home-cooked meal. The whole chicken is cut up before cooking to cook more quickly.
The key to this recipe is the lemon marinade which flavours the meat while keeping it moist and tender. This recipe can be prepared in an oven. However, if you want to make it even simpler, you can use a crockpot or slow cooker.
Traditional French Roasted Chicken
In this recipe, we will be making a delicious roast chicken. The main ingredients we'll need are chicken and some herbs and spices.
- The first thing you want to do is take the chicken out of the fridge, season it with some spices, and let it come to room temperature on the counter before cooking. This will help ensure that your chicken cooks evenly.
- Mix the garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper in a small bowl to make the seasoning. Then rub this spice mixture all over the chicken, making sure to get plenty of it under the skin as well as on top.
- Next, pour about 1/4 cup water into your roasting pan and put the prepared chicken breast side up into the pan. Now put it in a preheated 425-degree oven for about 90 minutes until cooked through (the internal temperature should reach 160 degrees when measured with an instant-read thermometer).
- When your roast chicken comes out of the oven, transfer it to a cutting board and let it rest for about 10 minutes before carving. This time allows all of those flavorful juices pushed out during cooking time to redistribute throughout the meat, so your roasted chicken stays moist and tender!
The secret to the perfect roast chicken is threefold: brining, trussing, and roasting at high heat.
- Brining is essential for keeping the meat moist and flavorful.
- Trussing helps keep everything nice and even-cooking with no underdone areas.
- Finally, for a brief flash, high heat is what gives you that crispy skin without overcooking the meat underneath.
Difference between a Roasted Chicken and Rotisserie Chicken
- The difference between roasted and rotisserie chicken is simply the cooking method. Roasting is a dry-heat cooking method that uses indirect, diffused heat. Rotisserie chicken can be cooked with either direct or indirect heat, but the most common version is done over a heat source.
- Roasted chicken can be done in your oven at home; whole rotisserie chicken is traditionally done on a spit over an open fire. The slow rotation of the bird while cooking allows it to turn slightly, even browning all sides of the meat evenly. In most cases, this process results in moist, tender meat.
Both versions are delicious options for an easy weeknight dinner – and both make great sandwiches the next day.
It comes down to how the chicken is prepared and cooked. Rotisserie chicken is cooked on a rotisserie, which means it's cooked over an open flame from a heat source located below the meat. A rotisserie is a big spit that slowly turns to cook evenly on all sides.
On the other hand, a roasted chicken is not cooked on a spit or open flame. Instead, it's placed in an oven-safe pan and cooked in an oven. As a result, the heat comes from above and below the chicken, not just from one side.
Now difference between a Roasted Chicken and a Baked Chicken
A roast is a piece of meat. Usually, beef, pork or lamb is cooked in an oven. It may be cooked at high temperatures or very low ones.
A chicken can be roasted or baked, but it will not come out tender and moist if cooked at high temperatures. High temperatures will dry it out, and you'll need to add water to keep it from drying out.
Baking is cooking something in an oven at low temperatures for a long time. This doesn't mean the temperature has to be below, but the cooking time is longer than high-temperature cooking methods.
How do you cut a French-style chicken?
Do you wonder why your chicken breasts come out dry and tough, even when you use a recipe from a celebrity chef or a fancy cookbook? The problem may not be with the recipe, but in how you cut your chicken.
Using a standard knife to cut your chicken into chunks, strips or medallions can result in dry, tough meat. Cut your chicken the French way instead, and you'll have succulent, tender pieces ready for any recipe.
Roasted chicken is healthy
Roasted chicken is a healthy, lean protein that helps you feel satisfied, and it's low in calories and fat. With so many ways to prepare it, roasted chicken is a versatile ingredient you can use to make an endless array of healthy meals.
Roasted chicken is cooked by heating the meat to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature and cooking method makes the meat safe and preserves flavour and nutrients. Roasting chicken is healthier than frying because it requires little or no oil or butter. Remove the skin from your roasted chicken for fewer calories and less fat.
To ensure that your roasted chicken is safe to eat, use a food thermometer to check that the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit before serving it.
Tying a chicken for roasting
There are a few ways of tying a chicken for roasting, and they all help in different ways.
- The simplest way, and my preferred method, is to bring the legs together, twist them down and then tie them with string. This keeps the legs nicely tucked together under the breast.
- Another method is to take the wings and legs and fold them underneath the bird so that you're trussing it as if it were a chicken-shaped parcel. This keeps the wings and legs protected from burning but don’t do anything for keeping the breast moist. However, this is probably your best bet if you like crispy skin.
There are other methods, such as "laying" a bird on your back (which I've never done), but they're relatively rare.
Ultimately, it's up to you to decide which method works best for you.
French-style Roasted Chicken with Gravy
A great roast chicken is a pleasure to eat. But a great roast chicken with rich, luscious gravy that makes you examine the bones for the last drop of meat — well, that's a thing of beauty.
The French call this dish poulet au jus de cuisson, or chicken in its cooking juices. The concept is simple: You cook the bird in a frying pan or roasting pan until the skin is crisp and dark — almost blackened. Then you add stock or wine to the pan, put it in the oven and baste as it cooks for about an hour and 15 minutes. Finally, you make gravy with the pan drippings, often adding cream to make it extra rich.
It's not difficult to make. But it does take time and attention. You have to baste every 15 minutes or so while it's cooking. And you have to watch closely at the end so the gravy doesn't get too thick or burn (it is best if you can leave it on low heat while you're making your side dishes).
Should I boil chicken before Roasting?
I've seen plenty of recipes that instruct you to boil chicken before roasting it. But is that a good idea?
The theory behind boiling a chicken before roasting is that it will help the bird cook more evenly and result in moister meat. While these are both worthy goals, I'm unconvinced that boiling is the solution — mainly because it's just not going to help much.
Boiling creates very moist heat, as opposed to dry heat like roasting. Ideally, you want to keep moisture inside the chicken during roasting, but if you were going to give it a helping hand, you'd be better off bringing the chicken beforehand. Brining adds moisture directly to the meat, rather than surrounding it with liquid.
Additionally, a boiled chicken will not brown or crisp up nearly as well as one roasted from dry (although you can certainly turn the skin into cracklings after the fact).
What goes good with roast chicken?
A roast chicken is a wonderful thing. It's simple yet so incredibly versatile. You can eat it with your hands or cut it into pieces and serve it on a platter. You can season it or go overboard with herbs and spices. You can cook it with the skin on to keep the meat moist and juicy or remove the skin for less fat and fewer calories.
Here are some ideas for what to pair with roast chicken:
- Roast potatoes
- Mashed potatoes
- Rice pilaf
- Sweet potato casserole
- Bread salad
- Roasted vegetables
- Green beans with almonds
Serving options with Roasted Chicken
Chicken can be served with almost anything, but some of the most popular side dishes are potatoes (in some form), rice, pasta, salad, and steamed or sauteed vegetables.
Chicken also tastes good with a wide range of sauces and gravies.
Also, consider the method of cooking. Some common techniques are roasting, grilling (especially BBQ), breading and frying, boiling in soup or broth, boiling or steaming whole then cutting into pieces for stir-fry or salad, or stir-frying cubes in an Asian style dish. Each of these methods has its own set of appropriate side dishes.
A few easy suggestions:
- Roasted chicken with mashed or roasted potatoes and green peas
- Grilled chicken kebabs with rice pilaf, cucumber-yoghurt sauce and pita bread
- Breaded and fried chicken strips with corn on the cob and coleslaw
Wine pairings with chicken
The easiest answer is that you should drink whatever you like. If you want white wine with chicken, then go for it!
- That said some general guidelines help in the selection process. The most important approach is to consider the sauce on the chicken. A rich, creamy sauce calls for white wine, while a tomato-based sauce begs red.
- Grilled chicken pairs well with a light-bodied red like Beaujolais or Pinot Noir and these wines have fruity flavours that complement rather than overwhelm the delicate flavour of grilled chicken.
- If the chicken is fried, stick with dry white wines like Sauvignon Blanc and Vouvray. Light-bodied reds also work well but avoid oaky Chardonnays and tannic Cabernet Sauvignons because they clash with fried foods.
Roasted chicken stuffed with garlic and rosemary
Chicken is one of the most versatile ingredients in your kitchen. Because it's so versatile, it can be delicious whether you're going for a savoury dish like a roast chicken stuffed with garlic and rosemary or a sweet dish like a honey-glazed chicken with apricots and lavender.
Both dishes have unique flavours that can serve as the foundation for an amazing meal. However, while they're similar in composition — a protein and a vegetable along with some herbs or spices — they differ in what herbs are used and how they're used to create the final dish.
For example, French cuisine often uses rosemary and garlic to create savoury dishes like roasted chicken. The herb infuses the dish during the cooking process, giving it both flavour and aroma, while the garlic adds another layer of flavour complexity.
Popularity of Roasted Chicken
Roasted chicken is one of the most popular dishes in France, known as poulet roti. It is found on just about every bistro menu and is eaten at home often too. However, the most common accompaniment to the bird has roasted potatoes or another vegetable.
In France, you can find packages of chicken pieces in a roasting pan with a packet of herbs (or without) and instructions for cooking, ready to pop into the oven.
Sauces for French roasted chicken
The French have perfected their roasted chicken and no wonder. With its crispy skin and tender meat, it's a dish that has stood the test of time, one that's as simple to make as it is delicious. But if you ask me, the real beauty of this recipe isn't the chicken itself — it's all the sauces you can make with the tasty leftovers.
Many sauces, ranging from the classic to the exotic, can give a whole new flavour to your roasted French chicken. Some of the most popular sauces are:
- Mustard Sauce
- Butter Sauce
- Cranberry Sauce
- Orange and Lemon Sauce
- Apricot Sauce
- White Wine and Cream sauce
So French roasted chicken is delicious option for any meal and you must have to try this at least once!