Nothing surpasses the flavor, aroma and presentation of a beautifully roasted chicken or beef tenderloin. Roasting is a time-honored way to oven-cook large, tender cuts of meat as well as whole turkeys, chicken, fish and even vegetables. Roasting is a simple technique to learn, and the results are delicious: meats with flavorful, browned exteriors complemented by perfectly cooked, juicy and tender interiors.
Roasting uses indirect dry heat with a wide-open pan to allow air to circulate freely around the food. The secret is in the oven temperature and cooking time – both need to be right to get the best results. Always preheat your oven before you begin to cook. Susie Reading, Executive Chef at the Calphalon Culinary Center, recommends starting on a higher heat to sear the exterior, then reducing heat 50°F after food is browned initially.
Recommended starting temperatures are 425°F for a small tenderloin, 400°F for average size chickens, 375°F for a medium-size roast, and 350°F for heavier, bone-in roasts or large birds.
To determine doneness, use an instant-read meat thermometer. The USDA recommends the following minimal internal temperatures: 145°F for beef, lamb, pork and veal; and 165°F for turkey, chicken and other game birds. Large roasts or birds will continue to cook internally after being taken out of the oven, so experts recommend taking your food out of the oven when the thermometer temperature reads 5-10°F below your desired temperature. Measure temperature by placing the thermometer in the center of the roast, or between the breast and thigh of a bird, for best results.
Ready to roast? We’ll take you through it, step by step.
Roasted Whole Chicken
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 400°F. Assemble your ingredients, which can include your choice of salt, pepper, fresh herbs, lemon zest, lemon juice, vegetable oil and softened butter.
Step 2: Mix some of the herbs and lemon zest into butter. Loosen the skin on the chicken breast and place the butter mixture underneath.
Step 3: Rub the chicken with vegetable oil until coated, then sprinkle with remaining herb mixture. Rub herbs into chicken to help release flavor, then season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with lemon juice as desired. To prevent the wing tips from burning, tuck them underneath the chicken or truss with kitchen twine.
Step 4: Choose your roasting pan, preferably one with a nonstick rack. The Calphalon AccuCore 16” Roaster and the Unison 16” Roaster with Sear Nonstick are both great choices.
Step 5: Place a meat thermometer between the joints in the thigh, and place the chicken in the roast pan fitted with a nonstick rack. Place the pan in the preheated oven, and roast for 15 minutes.
Step 6: After 15 minutes, lower temperature to 350°F, then baste the chicken with juices from the bottom of the roasting pan. Repeat basting every 15 minutes, noting the temperature on the meat thermometer when you open the oven.
Step 7:When the meat thermometer reads 160°F, remove the chicken from the oven. Let the chicken rest on the rack for at least 20 minutes before carving.
Step 8: After chicken has rested, it’s ready to carve and serve.