We don’t eat much in the way of hunks of meat anymore. Roasts are a rare treat around here. But I have found that making a simple roast chicken works well with many of the side dishes that I love to serve with pot roast or other beef roasts. Plus with prices right around one dollar a pound it’s definitely a budget friendly eat. In my area whole chickens seem to range from $.95 per pound to $1.05 per pound and go on sale frequently for even less. The chicken I cooked for this recipe was only $.69 a pound which was a steal. Too bad the store only had two.
I kept the seasonings in this chicken basic so any leftovers could be used in a variety of dishes. I used Julia Child’s technique for roasting which easy 45 minutes + 7 minutes for every pound. My six and half pound chicken took about 1 hour and 40 minutes because it was a bit chilly going in. You’ll want to make sure you have a meat thermometer to be sure that the meat cooked thoroughly.
I served this chicken with sour cream and chive mashed potatoes and spicy creamed corn. Other side dishes this would go well with are garlic and herb smashed potatoes, mushroom and Parmesan orzo, scalloped potatoes, butter garlic green beans, tangy green beans with bacon, and squash dressing.
My family usually gets two meals from the simple roast chicken. Once with the fancy sides and the second meal features the meat in a soup or a casserole. If you’re feeding more than four people I would definitely cook two chickens to ensure everyone gets full and you have enough for leftover shredded chicken. If I’m feeling particularly ambitious and fugal and we have enough freezer space I’ll even make homemade chicken stock from the bones.
1 hr, 10 Prep Time
1 hr, 35 Cook Time
2 hr, 45 Total Time
- 1 Whole Chicken. I recommend one in the 5-7 pound range
- 1 onion peeled and halved
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon dried parsley or 1/4 cup fresh minced parsley
- 3 Tablespoons oil
- One hour before you are ready to cook set the chicken and the butter on the counter.
- Remove anything that is in the cavity of the chicken
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- In a small bowl combine the softened butter, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and parsley. Spread underneath the skin on the breast and thigh.
- Place the onion in the cavity and tie drumsticks together using kitchen twine.
- Tuck wings under the chicken.
- Place chicken breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan.
- Brush or rub the oil over the chicken.
- Place in hot oven and cook for 15 minutes to brown the skin.
- Reduce heat to 350 and cook for 30 minute plus 7 minutes per pound. For example a 5 pound chicken would take about 65 minutes once you reduce the heat.
- Five minutes before the time is up check the temperature of the thigh meat with an instant read thermometer. If it is in the 165 -170 range remove the chicken. If not cook until it reaches that temperature.
- Let rest 20 minutes before carving.
Looking for more Budget Friendly Eats?
This post is part of the budget friendly eats series. You can find inexpensive recipes and my best tricks to keep your grocery budget under control by visiting all the posts in the series.