Roasted Island Chicken: Recipes for the Whole Bird

by Betsy Carnie


  • Whole chicken(s)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted (per bird)
  • 2 good size whole, peeled carrots (per bird)
  • Instant read meat thermometer (preferably with alarm and satellite probe)
Roasted Island Chicken: Recipes for the Whole Bird

Elizabeth Cecil

Roasted Island Chicken. Save all bones and skin for Stock.

Instead of a traditional wire rack to raise the chickens up off of the roasting dish, I like to use carrots, sliced lengthwise. On the bottom of the roasting pan, lay down the halves, four for each bird, cut side down. The carrots get cooked under the chickens in the drippings until they are soft, caramelized, and luscious. So instead of scrubbing your wire rack clean after roasting a chicken, just sprinkle it with your favorite salt and eat it up.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Give the bird a quick rinse with cold water.

Trim necks away with a knife or poultry shears and reserve for richly flavoring stock. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter per bird. Brush melted butter on the skin and then set the bird on the carrot-roasting rack, breast side down. I like to roast chicken with the thigh side up. Because the thighs are juicier and are better cooked to a higher temperature than the breasts, I find this method keeps the breast from getting dry, which it is prone to do, if you roast the bird breast-up. Set the timer for 45 minutes.

45 minutes into the roasting, take the bird out of the oven and flip it over so that the breast side is up. Turn the oven up to 425°F. Brush the breast side with any remaining melted butter and insert the satellite probe of a meat thermometer with an alarm into the thickest part of the thigh. Set the alarm for 175°F.

When the thickest part of the thigh registers 175°F and the skin is nicely browned, remove the bird from the oven and allow it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

One chicken serves 4 to 6.