On a tour of my freezer, I found two whole frozen organic chickens.  I always buy organic chickens for many reasons, I don’t like hormones and antibiotics added to my food and I really don’t want to think of chickens shoved inhumanely into cages, while they are alive (I’m still dealing with the guilt of eating them after they aren’t). I’m at that point where I know that I need to use the food I have before buying anything more.  I decided to take one of them and try a recipe that I found on Epicurious for a crispy skinned, baked chicken that didn’t require anything except the chicken and some spices.  You can always add a sauce but on my constant battle to drop another 5 pounds, I decided to go with the straight scoop.  By adding some veggies or a salad, I have dinner for a few nights.

Usually using dried herbs is totally against my grain but in this case, you want to keep as little moisture in the oven as possible in order to allow the chicken to crisp and adding dried herbs to the cavity allows their flavor to bake through the bird.  This recipe gives you an amazingly moist chicken with a dangerously, delicious, crispy skin.  I don’t usually eat the skin on a chicken but in this case, I found myself sneaking pieces of this crunchy golden treat.  Not great for my diet but I’ll just take the dog for a little run later.

Here’s another hint, make sure you open the vent because I forgot to and wound up with a smoke filled kitchen.  The good news is that in case of a fire, my dog will apparently save my life.  The bad news is that he refused to come back inside the house for an hour and stayed at the back door whining for me to come out.  For my part, I opened all the windows and handed him a treat for being my “hero”!  I had hoped that in the case of an emergency, he would also go in and rescue the cat, however, I think that the poor kitty is on his own.

Another key to this bird is to truss it.  People seem to fear trussing a bird but it’s actually really easy and you can find videos about how to do it all over the net.  I usually just make sure that the wings are tied close to the body and the legs are tied together but there is more than one way to do it.  In the pictures, I used reddish twine so that you can see how I did it.  OK so I’m out of kitchen twine and this worked just as well, just make sure that there are no toxic dyes in whatever you decide to use.

Crispy Baked Chicken
Recipe type: meat, poultry
Author: Epicurious, Thomas Keller-interpreted by Margo-A Saucy Cook
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 1 hour 15 mins
Total time: 1 hour 25 mins
Serves: 4-6
A delicious crispy skin, and moist tender meat, makes this chicken dish a winner.
  • 1 2-3 lb chicken
  • 1 Tbs flour
  • 1 Tbs dried thyme
  • 1 Tbs smoked paprika
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Remove all giblets and rinse the chicken inside and out. Use paper towel to dry the chicken both inside and out (I like to wrap it in paper towel and let it sit for a minute or two). The drier, the better.
  3. Mix flour, thyme, paprika and some salt and pepper and rub the inside of the cavity with the mixture. Liberally sprinkle salt (about 1 Tbs) all over the outside of the bird.
  4. Truss the chicken and bake in a roasting pan for between 60 minutes and an hour and 15 minutes depending on the size of the bird and your oven. No need to do anything else until the bird is cooked.
  5. Remove the chicken and bast with the pan juices. Allow it to rest for 15 minutes and serve immediately.

Chicken wrapped in paper towel

Trussed bird


When the bird is turned over in order to baste it with the pan juices


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