As a child, one night a week we would have roasted chicken for dinner. The luscious aroma of a chicken roasting in the oven would greet you as soon you entered the house. It was often a time for the family to gather: my siblings and parents, my grandparents who lived a few blocks away, and sometimes even my aunts, uncle and cousins would join us. So, the smell and even the thought of a roasted chicken always brings back very fond memories. To this day, it is still one of my favorite meals and ironically it is also one of the simplest to make.
Yet, reading through the array of roasted chicken recipes can be quite confusing. How long and at what temperature should you cook the chicken? What spices should be used to enhance the flavors? At Spice For Life, we can make the latter decision easy because we offer a wide assortment of blends and rubs that will appeal to most palates.
There seems to be three main streams of thought on the best way to roast a chicken in the oven: the low heat method, the regular or standard way, and the high heat method. All ways use different approaches to keep the chicken moist and make the skin crisp. The low heat method slow cooks the chicken in a roasting pan uncovered for 3-4 hours (depending on the weight) at around 275 degrees. You want the internal temperature of the chicken to reach somewhere between 165 -180 degrees. The high heat method has you starting to roast the chicken uncovered in a roasting pan at 450 degrees for the first 10-15 minutes. Then you turn the oven down to 350 degrees and roast the chicken for 20 minutes per pound. Again, you want the internal temperature of the chicken to reach somewhere between 165 -180 degrees. The regular or standard method is the cooking technique we usually use at Spice For Life. We set the oven temperature to reach 350-375 degrees and then cook the chicken uncovered in a roasting pan for about 1 ½ hours. Again, making sure the desired internal temperature is reached. We have found this to be the fool-proof way that results in a scrumptious roasted chicken.
Now the fun comes in deciding what spices to use. The usual spices are just some salt, pepper, and maybe a little onion or garlic powder or paprika. But with the blends and rubs from Spice For Life, you can kick your dish up to a new level. There are 6 blends/rubs we recommend for roasting whole chickens, which come from various parts of the world: Smoky Molasses, Jamaican Jerk, Caribbean Turkey, Herbes de Provence, Honey Chipotle, and Spicy Poultry. Each has its own blend of unique well-balanced flavors; it just depends upon your mood.
Smoky Molasses Rub brings a Southern twist by adding a sweet and smoky mild heat flavor, which blends well with the chicken. Ingredients: granulated molasses, sugar, orange peel, smoked hickory salt, garlic, onion, chipotle, paprika, and red bell pepper.
Jamaican Jerk carries the memory of Caribbean cooking through its unique blend of the heat from chilis combined with the aromatic spices of allspice, cloves, and cinnamon. Jerk chicken is a very popular dish. Ingredients: allspice, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, onion, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, scotch bonnet, thyme, nutmeg, and chives.
Caribbean Turkey Seasoning adds some delicate tropical notes through its combination of citrus, seas salt, nutmeg and sugar. Ingredients: ginger, brown sugar, orange zest, sea salt, nutmeg and cloves.
Herbes de Provence is the classic French blend of fine herbs from Southern France with its delicate mixture of herbs and its signature ingredient of culinary lavender. Ingredients: basil, thyme, marjoram, chervil, rosemary, and lavender.
Honey Chipotle Rub is a Mexican influenced rub with a well-balanced combination of heat (but not too hot) and sweet (but not too sweet), thus making it an excellent rub for chicken. Ingredients: granulated honey, sea salt, onion, paprika, chipotle powder, oregano, marjoram, basil, sage, and rosemary.
Spicy Poultry Rub is a flavorful Southwestern style rub, which combines a little heat, with a little sweet, smokiness, and citrus. Ingredients: brown chipotle, cinnamon, brown sugar, orange peel, coriander, garlic, and black pepper.
Try our roasted chicken recipe (find it HERE) We use the Herbes de Provence blend in the recipe. However, any of the blends mentioned above can be substituted to enjoy the simple elegance of a roasted chicken!