Roasted chicken looks elaborate when arranged on a serving platter at the dinner table, but it is rather basic in terms of preparation and cooking. A 9 lb. chicken is ideal when cooking for large groups of people as it should yield between 10 to 12 servings. The main goal when roasting is to get a moist piece of meat with a browned exterior. To accomplish this the chicken should be brined ahead of time to enhance the flavor and basted throughout the cooking process.
Things You'll Need
Mix a brine solution of 1/2 cup salt and one gallon of water. Remove your chicken from the packaging. Take the giblet bag from the chicken cavity. Put the chicken in a large container with the brine solution. Put the container in the refrigerator and allow it to soak in the brine solution for 1 to 6 hours. If you bought a Kosher chicken you will not need to brine as Kosher chicken is brined during production.
Empty the brine from the container. Rinse your chicken off under a steady stream of cold water. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel.
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Place your 9 lb. chicken in a roasting pan on a roasting rack.
Season your chicken breast before you put it in the oven. The herbs, spices and ingredients you use to season you chicken are a matter of preference. To season the chicken, simply rub the seasonings on the chicken, or stuff them in the cavity and under the skin.
Roast the chicken in the oven uncovered for three hours, or 20 minutes per pound. Every 20 minutes remove the chicken from the oven and close the oven door to maintain the temperature. Baste the chicken with the drippings from the bottom of the pan. Keep an eye on the skin. If it starts to look to brown or dry, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.
Check the temperature of your chicken by inserting a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh. The temperature should be a minimum of 165 F in order to be safe for consumption. Other signs of doneness include juices running clear when a skewer is inserted in the thigh and the drumstick moving freely when you wiggle it.
References and ResourcesAll Recipes: Roasting Chicken
Help With Cooking: Guide to preparing and roasting a whole chicken including roasting times
"Good Housekeeping Step by Step Cookbook"; Susan Westmoreland; 2008