Whether it’s fried and served after church on Sunday or baked into a creamy casserole on busy weeknights, chicken is a fixture in many traditional dishes that comprise the South’s recipe canon. One basic dish that Southerners should have in their repertoire is a classic roasted chicken.
Leave it to the beloved Barefoot Contessa to create one of our favorite chicken recipes of all time: Perfect Roast Chicken. There’s something particularly comforting about sitting down to a dinner of classic roasted chicken—and it’s made all the more comforting knowing that this no-fail recipe is Ina Garten approved. It’s a versatile dish that feeds a crowd and can be served with sides like fresh vegetables, seasoned potatoes, or creamy mac and cheese. Any leftovers can be shredded into chicken salad and packed in your lunch box for the next day.
Ina’s Perfect Roast Chicken is a recipe we’re adding to our weeknight rotation. It’s easy and accessible enough for even beginner-level cooks to perfect. Many of the required ingredients are pantry staples, and the only tools you’ll need are kitchen twine and a roasting pan. The chicken requires a good bit of time in the oven (1 hour to 1 hour, 30 minutes), but you can set a timer and prepare the rest of the meal in the meantime. But the result—tender, juicy meat with a crisp skin—is totally worth the wait.
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A fun fact about the Barefoot Contessa’s Perfect Roasted Chicken? It’s rumored that Prince Harry proposed to Meghan Markle while they were preparing this dish. “Engagement chicken,” as it has been nicknamed, is one of Markle’s favorite recipes, and she’s even brought it to dinner parties in the past.
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Even Southerners can treat family and friends to a royal-worthy dinner of roasted chicken, so delicious you’ll want to make it again and again.