How long it really takes to roast the perfect chicken

As we move deeper into the holidays, the pressure ramps up as we devise our perfect festive feast menus. When it comes to creating a traditional meal, many opt to roast a turkey for the special occasion. According to Slate, this tradition gained traction after Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol popularized having the fowl for Christmas dinner, but as time went on, beef roasts and other poultry took center stage. If the thought of cooking another turkey gives you Thanksgiving flashbacks, a roast chicken can serve up similar festive flavors, without requiring the same level of high-maintenance attention our favorite turkey roasts take. 

While roasting a chicken may not compare to the intense preparation of turkey, it can still prove challenging for many home cooks. According to Bon Appétit, many of us forget to generously season the bird, we forget to let the roasted bird rest and most importantly, we choose the wrong roasting method for our bird. The two roasting methods we should be using are either hot and fast or low and slow. If you crave juicy, rotisserie-style skin with fall-apart meat, you need to cook the bird at a low temperature for several hours, but if you crave crispy, crackling, skin, a quick, high temperature roast can get you where you need to go. While these cook times and temperatures provide the general rules for roasting chicken, the devil's in the details.

The perfect chicken for the perfect roasting temperature

According to the New York Times, the high-heat and low-heat methods of roasting have very specific temperatures and cook times — the low and slow method requires that you cook the bird between 300 and 350 degrees for 1.5 or 2 hours, depending on how cooked you like your chicken. While you can quickly roast the bird between 375 and 500 degrees anywhere from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. Just make sure to check that the internal temperature of the bird has reached 165 degrees, or else you risk eating raw chicken.

Don't assume that you can't speed up this process while maintaining the perfect textures. According to the Chicken Farmers of Canada, you can spatchcock a chicken to bring out the perfect crispy texture, while dramatically reducing the cook time of the bird. To spatchcock a chicken for roasting, use kitchen shears to cut through the chicken's ribs and remove the spine, spreading the bird flat on your roasting pan (via Natasha's Kitchen). After seasoning your poultry, you can pop the bird in an oven preheated to 425 degrees for 45 minutes for the ultimate crispy chicken roast. No matter how you like your roast chicken, knowing the right roasting time can really make your cooking shine this year. Next time you need to brave the kitchen to impress the family, have no fear as you can conquer any chicken with these roasting times.