We’ve all been there: the day got busy, your meal plan fell through, you’re driving home hungry, and as you pass the grocery store you think to yourself, “I’ll just grab a rotisserie chicken.” Walk in the house with an already cooked chicken, slap a few sides on the table, and voila! Dinner.
While no one is questioning the convenience of buying a rotisserie chicken, we were curious: how does it stack up against a homemade roasted chicken? It was time for a Showdown!
Our results were overwhelming. In both taste and texture, the home-roasted chicken won hands down. Even my son who said he voted for rotisserie chicken for taste said, “But I like them both the same when dipped in barbecue sauce.” Ah, the discerning taste of a four year old. With a rotisserie chicken, you are paying for the convenience, but your taste suffers greatly with that convenience. You’re buying a chicken that was roasted, then sat on warmers until you bought it, then traveled in your car, then sat on your counter or was reheated while you got your sides ready. You could be eating it an hour after it finished cooking. The chicken you roast in your kitchen rests for 5 minutes after cooking and then it’s ready to go!
So yes, roasting a chicken at home requires more time. But really, it only takes about an hour. That means it’s even doable for a weeknight dinner. And the taste difference makes it worth it. Save the store-bought rotisserie for those emergency last-second dinners, and take the time to roast your own when you can!
What you need:
- 1 whole chicken, 3-4 lbs (I use the same method for roasting Chicken parts)
- 1/2 c. kosher salt
- cold water to cover the chicken
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 T. unsalted butter
- stock pot
- cutting board and knife
- roasting pan
Time: 2-6 hours brining, 45-60 minutes roasting
Freezeable: Technically, yes, but if I were cooking chicken just to freeze it I would use a different method (probably just a slow cooker)
Serves: 6-8 adults
Multiplying the recipe: I would roast two chickens separately.
To brine: Place the chicken in a stock pot. Pour salt over the chicken and cover with water. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but could even be overnight.
To roast a whole chicken: Preheat oven to 450F. Drain chicken. Quarter the lemons and stuff them in the cavity of the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Put butter in the roasting pan and place it in the oven to heat the pan and melt the butter. Once the butter is melted (1-2 minutes), add the chicken to the pan, breast side up. Roast for 45 minutes, or until meat thermometer reads 155-165F. Juices should be clear. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board to rest for 5 minutes before carving and serving.
To roast chicken parts: Preheat oven to 450F. Drain chicken. Quarter the lemons and set aside. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Put butter in the roasting pan and place it in the oven to heat the pan and melt the butter. Once the butter is melted (1-2 minutes), add the chicken to the pan, breast side up. Place lemons around the chicken. Roast for 15 minutes. Turn the chicken over and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes. Turn the chicken over (now skin side up again) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for another 5-15 minutes, or until meat thermometer reads 155-165F. Juices should be clear. If you like, squeeze the hot lemons over the cooked chicken.