Cold crisp days and bitter frosty nights are screaming for a warm rustic meal to comfort. If you ask the resident five-year-old what she wants for dinner, the answer will be roasted chicken 99% of the time. The other 1% of the time will certainly be something odd like swordfish sushi with pink sauce and sprinkles served in a boot. She’s a budding chef you know.
I’m glad she loves roasted chicken so much because it’s my “go-to” meal when I’m clueless as to what to cook for dinner. Roasting a whole chicken is the most delicious a chicken can ever taste. Not only is it delicious but cost effective and versatile. Just think, if you don’t devour the entire chicken in one meal you’ve got countless opportunities for leftovers.
This recipe is very simple but packs a lot of flavor with the smoked paprika. Make sure you use a smoked paprika and not a sweet for optimal flavor. While we’re talking about ingredients, I’m going to point out that in all my chicken roasting years my favorite chickens to purchase are pasture chickens. Pasture chickens are free-range antibiotic-free chickens that feed on the land and natural feed free of hormones. These birds won’t be giants but they yield the best flavor and tenderness.
Sweet smoky flavor, tender meat, and crispy skin, this mouth-watering meal is simple and rustic. Throw some cubed butternut squash and potatoes in the bottom of the pan and you have yourself a one-pot meal perfect for any night.
By the way, there are a few other roasted chicken recipes on in sock monkey slippers. Try a few of our favorites: Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Roasted Grapes, Sage and Garlic Roasted Chicken with Pomegranate and Black Pepper Glaze, or Simple Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Chicken. Cheers!
Smoked Paprika Roasted Chicken is an easy meal with lots of flavor. I use duck fat, a very healthy animal fat, for very crispy skin. Duck fat can be purchased at most specialty markets but if you don't have any, it can easily be repalced with butter.
- 1 4-to-5-pound chicken
- 3 sprigs fresh herbs like rosemary or oregano
- 3 tablespoons softened (room tempersture) duck fat or butter
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- With paper towels, pat dry the outside of the chicken. Sprinkle an additional pinch of salt and pepper in the cavity of the chicken and place sprigs of fresh herbs inside the cavity.
- Rub the duck fat or butter over the entire chicken. Evenly sprinkle the chicken with paprika, salt, and pepper and rub the seasonings into the duck fat. Truss or tie the legs together with cooking twine, optional. Place the chicken on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. If you wish to roast vegetables with the chicken, gently toss cubed vegetables like potatoes, winter squash, cauliflower, or even carrots in a little duck fat or olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the bottom of the roasting pan under the chicken but be careful not to overcrowd or the vegetables will not cook entirely.
- Place in the oven and roast for 1 hour and 25 minutes or until a cooking thermometer inserted into the thigh registers at 165°F and the juices run clear. Tent with foil and allow to rest 10 minutes before carving. Carve and serve.
by Meredith Steele