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Roast Chicken Dinner

You can find all kinds of wonderful ways to do roast chicken on different cooking sites. There are recipes that call for spreads to be put under the skin, savory bastes, ideas on how to add flavor etc and I know they are very good. The only problem I have with most that I’ve seen is that they don’t give you enough roasting time. The reason being (I think) is that you don’t want the meat to dry out. I have found, however that if you roast the chicken on its tummy (breast down) it does not dry out and it tastes better. My recipe is very basic, but it gives you a good start if you’ve never roasted a chicken, and you’ll find it surprisingly flavorful too. This is one of my favorite meals.

What you will need:

  • a roasting chicken (3 lbs is average)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pepper
  • Lawry's seasoning salt
  • a roasting pan ( I like the black, speckled ones best)


  1. Spray roasting pan with Cooking Spray
  2. Wash  chicken and remove any extra fat.
  3. Season inside and outside with salt, pepper and some Lawry’s seasoning salt.
  4. Place, breast down, in roaster and roast with lid OFF for 1/2 hour at 375 F. Turn down temp to 325 F or 350F and continue roasting with lid ON for another 1 – 1/2 hours, during which time you can also add vegetables such as: potatoes, yams and/or carrots. (broccoli only needs about the last 20 minutes) Sprinkle vegetables with a little salt and pepper.
  5. Remove chicken from pan, using a large lifter, place on cutting board. If you’re also roasting vegetables, transfer them to a serving dish (I like to use an oven safe dish so that I can keep these warm in the oven while making the gravy etc. (turn oven down to 200 F)

Easy Gravy:

  1. Place roasting pan on stove-top element. Mix 2 tablespoons flour and 1 cup water well in a small sealed container. Add to hot gravy drippings in roasting pan, cooking and stirring continuously, until done. To thicken add more flour water mix, to thin add more water.

How to serve or cut up the chicken:

You can serve it whole (family style) or carved.
To carve a small chicken like this you are pretty well just removing the skin and bones.

  • Lay the chicken on a cutting board on its tummy. 
  • Remove wings and legs. Cut through each leg at joint to separate into drumsticks and thigh.
  • Remove any small parts of meat on the back and then discard the bones. 
  • Turn over and take the breast meat off the bone and slice. If the chicken is well done it will all come off very easily.
  • Drizzle with a small amount of gravy and serve or put back in 200 F oven (covered) to keep warm. 

Tip: If you plan to do a larger roasting chicken for company, count ½ hour/lb for roasting. Plan to have it ready 30 min. before serving time so you can make gravy etc. while it rests. This way you’re not trying to do five different things at once when your company walks in.


  1. How timely Anneliese...especially as many will do a roast chicken this year instead of a more expensive turkey. Personally, I like chicken better than turkey....this is a yummy post complete with very good tips. I had no idea about the 'tummydown' bit...good idea..I will try it next time.

  2. Yummy looking beets too. How come no one serves those anymore...I love them. Care to post a recipe on beets?

  3. Thank you for posting this Anneliese. I agree that so often the suggested time in the cookbooks seems way off. . and your suggestion is perfect and it is wonderful to have basic how to's in this blog. The dinner looks very scrumptious I might add.

  4. Trish, it's not beets . . . my seving wouldn't be that big if it were . . . do you want to guess what it is? (Very Dutch/German)

  5. Oh no...yikes...let me reach way back to my roots....hmmm...boiled red cabbage?

  6. Red Cabbage is right, but it's not boiled. I will post it sometime soon too. (nothing like having a converstaion right here .. . )

  7. I love Roast chicken. Ever since having it at my friend Betti's many years ago, my favourite way of roasting chicken includes Annis seed. I sprinkle the inside of the chicken with, I don't know - about 1/2- 1 tsp annis seed and salt. I believe it's a Mennonite tradition to pair chicken and the flavour of annis. Thanks for posting this basic cooking method.

  8. That chicken does look so yummy....but tell me more about that red cabbage!! That looks wonderful! I always love to eat it in German restaurants, but have no idea how to fix it.

  9. That's our supper today! I put the chicken in the oven and when I checked our cooking blog..there was a recipe for roast chicken!!
    A good post Anneliese..I think nothing of roasting a chicken but when my daughter has asked how I do it..well then I realize that we need to share these recipes with our daughters and others who may not know how. And even 'seasoned cooks' like new ideas!

  10. that looks so good! If only my husband would actually eat it.

  11. Aunt Lisa, this looks SO yummy!! Your presentation is perfect. Great tips for us young cooks too :) I've roasted chicken before, but never done it with the breast-side down. On your photo, it looks like the breast-side is facing up?!? Am I interpreting this wrong...or did you flip it over after??


  12. Hi Bonnie,
    If you look again I think you'll see that the breast is facing down.
    You'll find that the white meat is juicier becasue it sits in the juices that come once you close the lid on the roaster. Thanks for your comment. Hope we get to see you next month!

  13. Many years ago, my mother was a cook in a restaurant and she was in charge of all the turkeys at Thanksgiving. She always roasted the turkeys with the breast down and carried this tradition home with her. Love the rot kraut. Do you just add vinegar and sugar like I do? Apples also?

  14. Great post Anneliese, I just made a chicken dinner yesterday for lunch. I will surely try the breast down next time. I will be waiting for the red cabbage recipe.

  15. hey we had roast chicken for the family on sunday and did the bird tummy down as well.
    i love love love rote kohl (red cabbage) do post that as well.
    i have also made roast chicken stuffed with a whole lemon and a whole head of garlic then put bacon on the breast as it roast. that was good too...really good, but this sunday it was good old fashioned traditional roast chicken with roasted potatoes and carrots waiting for us when we got home from church! lecker.

  16. Wonderful tips, Anneliese! I also pair roast chicken with anise seed...something I learned from my mother-in-law. The red cabbage looks great as well!

    Now I'm off to look for some decent roasting chickens! Any suggestions? I'm not thinking of the little ones available at the grocery store...but nice, hefty ones like we used to grow for our own use.

  17. Anneleise,

    Rode Kool! Could you post your recipe for the red cabbage. My Opa used to make this for us and I've tried but haven't found a recipe that even comes close. Looks so good!

    What did I ever do before MGCC?

  18. Roast chicken is the BEST! What a great recipe!

  19. I love this recipe! Tried and True! Thank You!

  20. I haven't tried this recipe YET! But I did try the breast down method you suggested for making this chicken and found it very nice. Very juicy!

    Thank you for the helpful tip.

  21. Just made this for dinner, my husband loved it as did I and my daughter. our new Favorite chicken dish, I made it with carrots, potatoes and onions.
    Love your site
    Thank you
    I am also Mennonite but never learned all these great recipes Thanks to your site I am now!


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