4 Foolproof Ways to Season and Serve a Roast Chicken
Roasting a perfect chicken is one of those cooking techniques that pays dividends. It’s crowd-pleasing and crowd-feeding. It leaves you with the added bonus of bones to make stock (which can in turn serve as the nourishing base of many other homemade meals). Our favorite, most reliable method is to slowly roast at a low temperature. The results are always super tender and juicy, and it’s the closest thing to a rotisserie-style chicken you can make at home in your oven.
Once you’ve got the roasting down, you can really have fun deciding how to season it. We love a dry rub, but sometimes we want the saucy, glaze-y, lacquered finish only a marinade can provide. So here are four ways to do roast chicken: The method stays the same; only the marinades and accoutrements change. The Miso Ginger Roast Chicken is warming with just enough fermented-umami funk. The Mediterranean chicken is worth making for the herby, schmaltzy roasted fennel alone. The richness of the Peruvian-inspired take on pollo a la brasa is foiled by the bright and tangy pickled red onions. And the sweet and sticky lemongrass chicken over jasmine rice might be the most comforting meal ever.
After you’ve made all four: Keep riffing. You’ve mastered the technique—now you can’t go wrong.
We’re very into the combination of miso and ginger and use it every chance we get. In this dish, it’s paired with sake, which adds some bright acidity. We went for Japanese turnips, but Japanese sweet potatoes, carrots, or regular turnips would be delicious, too.
The epitome of a cozy roast chicken dinner: It’s herby and garlicky, finished with bright lemon and served with baguette (you’ll want to sop it all up). And the carrots, fennel, and onions slowly roast alongside the chicken, becoming caramelized in the rendered chicken fat. It’s the best.
This dish—a riff on pollo a la brasa—is our ode to Peruvian food, a dynamic, flavorful cuisine that we don’t think gets enough attention. The marinade is an example of the diverse ingredients used to create the unique flavor profiles of a Peruvian kitchen. The beer, tamari, and garlic are essential, but the star is the aji panca paste. It’s a traditional Peruvian chili paste that you can find in a Latin market or online. In a pinch you could sub with rehydrated pasilla or ancho chilis, but the fruity-smoky flavor of aji panca makes it worth tracking down.
We were inspired to create this recipe while eating one of our favorite Thai takeout dishes, gai yang. The combination of sweet and sticky marinated chicken, aromatic jasmine rice, cool cucumber salad, and spicy sambal oelek gives you all the tastes, textures, and temperatures in one meal. And using a rice cooker makes it easier to get dinner on the table.