Cook it low and slow on the grill or in the slow cooker—or try oven-roasted, which is fast enough for a weeknight. There are tons of different methods for cooking a whole chicken. These are the top five no-fail recipes I keep on standby for dinner emergencies.
1. Oven-Roasted Chicken In this recipe, the whole chicken sits on top of a bed of potatoes and lemons. The potatoes soak up delicious flavors as the chicken roasts at a high temperature for a short amount of time, locking in juices and crisping up the skin.
Step 1. Cut potatoes into halves, or into quarters if larger; place cut side down in 10-inch cast iron skillet. Sprinkle potatoes with dash salt. Layer about 5 lemon slices over top.
Step 3. Roast at 425°F for about 1 hour 30 minutes or until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh reads 165°F. Let chicken rest about 15 minutes before carving.
2. Spatchcocked Chicken This fancy term essentially means you’ve split your chicken in half for quicker cooking, traditionally grilling. Our recipe has a five-ingredient marinade that lends extra flavor.
Step 1. Mix your marinade in a resalable plastic bag: ¼ cup lemon juice, ¼ cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons pepper, 6 cloves crushed garlic and 1 teaspoon salt. Marinate chicken in refrigerator 8 hours or overnight.
Step 2. Grill over medium heat, starting breast side up. Cook about 20 minutes before flipping, finishing for an additional 10 to 15 minutes longer or until brown and juice of chicken is clear when thickest piece is cut to bone.
3. Rotisserie Chicken Ain’t nobody got time for that, especially when the grocery store does it so well. Just pick one up on your way home from work.
4. Grilled Whole Chicken This low and slow grilling trick is great for a tender and juicy chicken without a lot of fuss. Best of all, you don’t have to babysit it, so you can get other stuff done while it cooks.
Step 1. Set up grill for indirect heat. With a charcoal grill, set up a drip pan with coals surrounding it. With a gas grill, simply preheat all burners but turn off one side during cooking.
Step 2. Mix desired seasoning; this recipe calls ½ cup chopped green onions, 2 tablespoons rosemary, 2 tablespoons parsley, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper and 1 clove chopped garlic. Season chicken with mixture, including a few teaspoons in the cavity.
Step 3. Cover and grill chicken, breast side up, over indirect, medium-high heat for an hour, or until an instant-read thermometer reaches 165°F.
5. Slow-Cooker Whole Chicken Assemble this chicken before you head out the door in the morning and let it cook in the slow cooker all day. Finish with a four-minute burst under the broiler for perfectly crispy skin.
Step 1. Place 1 sliced onion and 1 tablespoon chopped garlic in an even layer in your slow cooker (5- or 6-quart is best).