chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, sage, rosemary and/or thyme
extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground pepper
4- to 5-pound whole chickens, giblets removed
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly coat a large roasting pan with cooking spray.
- Mix herbs, garlic, oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl to form a paste. Rub the herb mixture all over the chickens, under the skin and over the breast and thigh meat. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Place the chickens in the prepared pan, breast-side up, preferably not touching each other.
- Roast the chickens for 45 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees and continue roasting until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, without touching the bone, registers 165°F, 45 minutes to 1 hour more. (Be sure to check the temperature of each chicken. One might be done before the other.) Transfer to a clean cutting board; let rest for 10 minutes before removing the string and carving (see How To).
How To Carve a Turkey or Chicken: After the bird is roasted, let it rest for up to 30 minutes before carving. Then, follow these easy step-by-step instructions.
1. Place the roasted bird on a cutting board. Hold it steady with a carving fork and cut through the skin between the leg and body using a large sharp carving knife.
2. Cut through the hip joint, removing the entire leg from the body. Repeat with the other leg.
3. Place a leg skin-side down and cut through the joint between the drumstick and thigh. Repeat with the other leg. (For turkey, slice the meat away from the bone of the thigh and slice the thigh meat thinly. Hold the drumstick and slice the meat off parallel to the bone.)
4. To remove the breast meat, make a horizontal cut near the base.
5. Then, hold near the breastbone with the carving fork. Use a boning knife to make a cut along one side of the breast down to the horizontal cut you made at the base of the body. Repeat with the second breast half on the other side of the breastbone.
6. Cut the breast meat into slices, if desired.
7. Bend a wing away from the body and use a knife to remove the wing piece. Repeat with the other wing. Cut off the wingtips, if desired.
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