What do I love most about roasting whole chicken? It’s easy, takes very little time to prepare, makes several meal’s worth (I always cook two at a time), the cooked meat freezes really well for future meals, it’s a fairly cheap meat (even free-range and pastured chickens can be found relatively inexpensively), you get to save the bones for bone broth, and it’s delicious! Is it okay to have seven favorite things?
Where do you buy fully pastured chicken? Both US Wellness Meats sells it and GrassFed Traditions sells it (both for similar prices). You can also buy free-range chicken at Trader Joe’s (for only $2.50/lb) and many other grocery stores and specialty food stores (like Whole Foods).
This particular seasoning for roast chicken is amazing—especially if you want to make gravy with the pan juices! I know that making pan gravy can be daunting for many, but it really isn’t that hard and it’s so worth the effort with this chicken! It takes a little practice to eyeball how much thickener you need, when it’s as thick as you like it, how to handle clumps—but the great part is that gravy is good stuff even if it’s too thin, too thick, or slightly lumpy.
To make pan gravy, place the roasting pan (without the cooked chickens or rack on top) onto a large element on the stove. Turn to medium-high heat (or slightly hotter) and bring the juices to a simmer (if it’s more of a boil, turn down the heat a little). Meanwhile, mix about ¼ cup of arrowroot powder or kuzu starch (my favorite two paleo-friendly starches for making gravy) with about ¼ cup cold water (to dissolve it, this helps with the clumps). Pour the starchy water into the pan while whisking like crazy with a wire whisk. Keep whisking until the gravy has thickened (takes 3-4 minutes). If it’s not thick enough for you (this depends in large part on how much juices you have in your pan), repeat with more arrowroot powder or kuzu starch (if it’s close, just try 2 Tbsp). If you end up with some starch lumps, simply pour your gravy through a strainer before serving. If your gravy ends up too thick, thin it out with a little hot water. Just don’t try to make gravy for the first time at the same time as you are minding other pots on the stovetop.
- 2 4-5lb whole chickens
- 2 Tbsp lard, extra virgin coconut oil, or unsalted butter (I used lard)
- 2 Tbsp brown or Dijon-style mustard (check ingredients)
- 1 ½ Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary (measure after chopping, or use 1 Tbsp dried)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Remove chickens from packaging, pat dry with paper towels, remove any giblets (save these for making bone broth!) and place on your roasting pan, using the rack insert that comes with the pan.
- Melt lard or coconut oil and mix with Dijon and rosemary. Baste the entire surface of both chickens with the mustard sauce (I just use my hands).
- Roast chickens for 20 minutes per pound (or until a meat thermometer reads at least 165F—it’s standard to cook until breast meat reads 180F).
- Make pan gravy with the juices if desired. Carve and serve!