Juicy Whole Baked Chicken
Updated: Nov 19
This is another family favorite. We started buying several whole chickens from a local farmer twice a year a while back, and ever since then I’ve dreamed of making deliciously juicy chicken. I’ve tried a lot of recipes, methods, and using different pots, but none of them worked for me. This past summer I did a bit of research and the result was this recipe. I finally produced a chicken all of us look forward to eating: the flavors really go well together, it isn’t tough to chew, and it’s pretty simple to make, although it’s not a set it and forget it recipe…
Whole Baked Chicken
2 celery stalks
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic (minced)
2 tablespoons butter or ghee (divided)
salt to taste plus 1 teaspoon added to basting water
pepper to taste
4-6 pounds whole chicken (defrosted)
1/2 cup filtered water
Preheat oven to 350*.
In a small pot, place 1 tablespoon of butter/ghee and turn on medium heat allowing the butter to melt.
Mince the garlic and finely chop the celery, carrots, mushrooms and onion.
Toss the veggies in the pot with the melted butter.
Add salt and pepper to taste and cook until the vegetables are tender and fragrant. Remove from heat.
In a dutch oven, place a roasting insert* on the bottom of the pot.
Place your chicken, breast side up, on top of roasting insert, remove any gizzards, neck or liver that may be stuffed inside the chicken*.
Using the remaining tablespoon of butter/ghee, rub the inside of the chicken between the skin and the meat. To do this, find the small flap of loose skin at the opening of the bottom of the bird and pull the top (skin) portion creating a pocket where you can use your hands to coat the muscle meat with butter.
Stuff the inside of the chicken cavity with the cooked veggies.
Pull the small flap of loose skin at the bottom of the bird to cover the opening and secure it with toothpicks or bamboo skewers.
Measure 1 cup of filtered water and add 1 teaspoon of salt to the water, stir to dissolve. Pour this water on the bottom of the dutch oven.
Secure the lid and place in the oven.
Set a timer for 1 hour, at which time I baste the chicken in the salt water and drippings from the bottom of the dutch oven. I try to get my baster underneath the skin if I can to make sure I get all of the juices to the meat. Secure the lid each time.
Repeat the previous step and check the chicken with a thermometer. If the chicken isn’t fully cooked at 2 hours, I set a timer for every 20 minutes, basting and checking the meat with a thermometer until fully cooked.*
When the chicken is fully cooked (175*-180*), remove the dutch oven and allow the chicken to rest (with the lid on) for about 10 minutes and then serve.
Don’t forget to save the bones for bone broth!
*I use the stainless-steel insert that came with my instant pot.
*You can save the neck and gizzards to use in making gravy, and save the liver to make your own liver powder.
*Because this chicken is stuffed, it will need about 30 minutes extra on the cooking time. So, I start checking the thermometer (looking for 175*-180*) around 2 hours for a 4-6 pound chicken. Typical cooking time for this size of bird is about 2 hours and 20 minutes at 350*.
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