Oven Baked Whole Chicken

Whether you are entertaining or just feeding your family a nice meal you may end up agonizing for hours over what to serve as an entrée. Chicken is always a good choice.

Oven baked whole chicken is an elegant dish that's easy to make. Most people like it.

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It can be stuffed with many variations of filling or packed with vegetables for the weight conscious. If you are in the mood for a bit spicier flavor you can use any of the barbecued chicken recipes to prepare your bird.

Inexpensive Yet Elegant Entree

Chicken can be prepared in a number of convenient ways so it fits your busy lifestyle. It can even be purchased already cooked at supermarkets or take-out restaurants.

But why would you want to pay extra for someone else to cook your bird when it is so easy to do yourself?

A whole bird will only cost a few dollars and can be ready for the table in less than two hours. When you serve an oven baked whole chicken your entire house will be swathed in its succulent aroma.

Let's look at a few ways to prepare an oven baked whole chicken.

Baked Chicken Temperature

Baked chicken temperature when finished should be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit inside the bird. Since chicken is a potential source of salmonella poisoning as well as other complicating problems you may want to assure it gets to 170 degrees. Allowing the bird to "rest" for 10 minutes before serving should allow the internal temperature to rise to 180 degrees because it continues cooking during this rest period.

If you don't have a meat thermometer you can visually check your bird by giving the leg a shake. It should move easily at the joint where it joins the body. Just because the bird is a nice golden brown does not mean it is cooked through.

This is especially true with larger roasters. You may want to cut the skin and meat at the leg joint where it meets the body. You'll see clear juice if it is done. If you see flowing, deep red blood in the meat roast it longer.

Most oven baked whole chickens are cooked in a 350-375 degree oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Because of the wide variation of roaster sizes no specific cooking time can be given. Use a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the bird's inner thigh making sure it is not in contact with the bone or visually check it as described above.

Oven Baked Whole Chicken

This recipe is for a bird without stuffing.

Such a recipe is necessary when cooking for a person with a wheat allergy or dieting to lose weight. Stuffing the bird with vegetables as described below is another alternative if faced with this situation.

*Rinse the chicken with cool water inside and out then pat dry with paper towels.
*Place the chicken in a roasting pan.
*Smear the chicken with butter and place a cover on the roasting pan.
*Bake in a 350-375 degree oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours as described above.
*Remove the cover during the last 20 minutes of cooking time to allow the skin to brown.

Barbequed Chicken Recipes

Barbequed chicken recipes use this same basic format (but leave the cover off the entire time). Baste the bird with your favorite barbeque sauce every 15 minutes until done.

Stuffed Oven Baked Whole Chicken

You can use any filling you like to stuff your bird. Or you can try this recipe.

*Place 3 eggs into a blender with a medium onion (skin removed), a medium apple (cored with seeds removed), and 3 sticks of celery.
*Add pepper to taste.
*Blend until liquefied.
*Pour over cubed whole grain bread that has dried overnight or in a 200-degree oven for one hour.
*Gently fold egg mixture into bread cubes.
*Gently stuff the cavity of the chicken with the filling.
*DO NOT compress the bread cubes!

Cook as described above allowing additional cooking time for the stuffing to cook thoroughly.

You can also stuff your bird with a variety of vegetables such as peeled and cubed potatoes, onion, carrots, turnips, or rutabaga seasoned with melted butter, pepper, seasoned salt, oregano, or thyme to taste. Cook as described above.

You now have a few oven baked whole chicken recipes to get you started. Once you have prepared a bird or two you will begin to form your own ideas about what you prefer in your own recipes.

Good cheap food can be transformed into good health foods with the help of a fine recipe.

Oven Baked Whole Chicken

Dale Heil, D.C.