I grew up when every Sunday at 1 p.m. I'd hear the words "dinner is ready," either a home, the grandparents, or some other relative's home.
Next to roast beef, roast chicken with mashed potatoes was often the menu. I see chickens on sale now days already roasted in the deli section of grocery stores for around $5 to $6, which is handy, but they're usually no more than 2 to 3 pounds in size.
For the same price, a 4 to 5 pound chicken can be bought, roasted at home in under 2 hours, with plenty of leftovers for more meals, including chicken soup, chicken salad, pot pies and more.....
Whole chickens seem to go on sale sales near or under a dollar a pound every 4 to 6 weeks, so that's the time to stock up on a few. I wait until they are under 80 cents a pound. It couldn't be easier: season, put in the oven, and go about enjoying other activities while the chicken cooks, browns and crisps up. My family likes a golden crispy skin.
3-5 lb. roasting chicken
3 tsps. minced garlic
2 to 3 Tabs. of mixed rub seasoning of choice (Montreal, Old Bay etc.)
2 tsp. of thyme
1 to 2 tsp. paprika
salt and pepper
4, 1/4 inch slices of onion
oil or butter to rub all over chicken
Optional: several lemon wedges
Preheat oven to 425.
Rinse chicken inside and out with water, and pat dry. Sprinkle inside with salt and pepper. Stuff with lemon wedges.
Tuck wings under and tie legs together. Brush with butter or oil. Lift breast skin and rub garlic under skin. Sprinkle and rub remaining seasonings all over surface of chicken.
Place onion slices flat on bottom of roasting pan and place chicken on top of them.
Roast uncovered a 425 for an hour, then turn oven down to 350 to finish for about another half to one hour depending on size.
Internal temperature probe inserted near thick part of thigh should register 180 degrees, with juices running clear. Before carving, cover with foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
Gravy can be made with the drippings, juices, and onions. If not making gravy, deglaze the pan and save for making soup.
Serves to 4-6
Estimated cost of 5# chicken $4.00 or less; cost per serving $1.00 or less.