Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Lazy Girl's Roast Chicken ($3.58 each)

$3.58 each          76% savings          save $45.58 yearly

Roast chicken.

It's so misunderstood. The majority of people who contemplate preparing one seem to think of it as an intimidating, complex, scary undertaking that will require a week's worth of blood, sweat, and tears, fancy gadgets and professional trussing techniques.

I know. I was one of those people... till I finally "manned up" and did it 5 years ago.

It was one of the easiest culinary undertakings of my life.

Trust me on this one. All you really need is a bird, (...Without the neck or giblets, because who wants to mess with that gross-ness?) butter, and a few seasonings. Prep time = 5 minutes.

Ahem... (let me say that again in case you missed it)... FIVE MINUTES!!!

And, it's finger-lickin' good, which is always a plus.

AND it's cheaper than the "comes-in-a-BOX-sitting-on-a-warmer-all-day" chicken.

AND you get to control what goes on (and in) the chicken you are eating.

Roasting your own chicken is also super economical, and I'll tell you why:

1. You can serve part of it after it's finished roasting.
2. You can then remove the remaining meat for later use, and use the carcass to make a healthy stock.
3. You can then use the extra meat for chicken noodle soup (with your homemade stock), or chicken pot pie, or tacos, or burritos, or chicken salad, or any number of dishes requiring chicken.
4. You can go to your local grocery store and ask when they typically mark down their poultry. With that information, you can get to the store in time for some pretty sweet deals on some perfectly delicious birds. Exhibit A:

I scored two chickens for a great price! Plus, a 5-pound bird = 4 meals in my home. Pretty thrifty... just the way I like it.

Now, let me show you a little bit of what's going to happen during your FIVE MINUTES of prep time:


You are going to lay your chicken breast-side up in a roasting pan (or glass baking dish) and stuff several pats of butter underneath the skin of the chicken.


See those little pat of butter under the skin? They are going to make your chicken super-delcious.

Then, you are going take some spices, and rub them underneath the skin with the butter.


Finally, you are going to take more spices, rub them on the skin of the chicken, put the bird in the hot oven, then sit back and enjoy the smell of chicken roasting in your kitchen.

A 5-pound bird will take about 1 hour and 40 minutes to finish roasting.

But remember... prep time = FIVE MINUTES!!!

(Sorry about the photo quality below... I have exactly one lightbulb functioning in my kitchen right now, so if I take photos in the evening with no natural lighting from the sun, photos tend to be a little dark)

The end result: a perfectly delicious roasted chicken that beats out the chicken-in-a-box from the store. No blood. No sweat. No tears. No stress. No time consuming methodology.

Just easy-peasy goodness.


Roast Chicken
Printable Version

(Note: The thyme, minced onion, and garlic powder are optional. Those are the seasonings my family enjoys... you could use a multitude of seasonings or just stick with the butter salt and pepper.)

5 lb whole chicken (without the neck and giblets, and NOT frozen)
2 Tbsp butter (cut into 5-6 pats)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves (opt.)
1 tsp. dried minced onion (opt.)
1/2 tsp garlic powder (opt.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the salt, pepper, thyme, minced onion, and garlic powder in a bowl.

Rinse chicken inside and out with water, and pat dry with paper towels. Place the chicken (NOT frozen) breast-side up in a shallow roasting pan. A 9x13 baking dish could work.

Insert the butter pats underneath the skin of the chicken, distributing them evenly. Rub 2/3 of the seasoning mixture beneath the skin of the chicken breasts, distributing as evenly as possible. Rub the remaining spices over the skin of the chicken. (You may choose to rub butter over the skin of the chicken as well, if you enjoy eating the skin of the chicken.)

Roast, uncovered, for 20 minutes per pound (or until the juices run clear or a meat thermometer registers 180 degrees when inserted in the thickest part of the chicken). Oven cooking temperatures vary, so monitor the cooking time as needed.

~ Savings ~

Cost Breakdown:
Twin bag whole chickens - $6.35 = $3.175/chicken = $3.175
1 lb butter - $2.50 = $0.078/T = $0.156
26 oz. salt - $0.44 = 122.75 tsp = $0.003/tsp = $0.0015
8 oz. black pepper - $3.84 = $37.75 tsp = $0.102/tsp = $0.026
0.62 oz. dried thyme - $4.98 = 19 tsp = $0.262/tsp = $0.131
8.25 oz. dried minced onion - $5.82 = 95 tsp = $0.061/tsp = $0.061
12.25 oz. garlic powder - $6.48 = 95 tsp = $0.068/tsp = $0.034
Total Recipe Cost - $3.58
Cost per Pound - $0.72

The Contender:
Kroger's Wholesome Home Roasted Chicken (2 lb.) - $5.99
Cost per Pound - $3.00

Savings: 76%

"Over a year" scenario:
Make 4 Roast Chickens = $14.32
Buy 10 Wholesome Home Roasted Chickens (2 lb.) = $59.90

*Money Saved = $45.58


  1. I make this in the crock pot too. I put a few foiled wrapped potatoes on the top and cook for 6-8 hours on low. Love making roast chicken at home.

    1. Roast chicken at home is the best! Thanks for sharing your crockpot tip. :)

  2. I like to roast 2 at once. Then we have pre-cooked chicken for dinners all week. thanks for the tip about putting butter under the skin. I've never done that before.

    1. Leslie! It's so fun to see your name on here. :) If you end up trying the butter under the skin, I'd love it if you let me know how it goes. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. OOOh we love roast chicken..almost feel sorry for the bird that goes in our oven..the smell drives the tots potty and hubby is a literal animal..our son devours it like its going to go out of fashion...
    My gran always put a knob of butter under the skin when i was i do it now..makes it so moist and tasty..
    take care

  4. Great recipe! Found something similar for our Thanksgiving turkey last year! Have done it several time with turkey and chickens! Guests commented it was the best turkey they'd ever eaten. :)

    1. Glad you like it! Sometimes the easiest route is the best one. :)

  5. Thank you for much for your blog. I am addicted! You have it so well thought out and organized. I am excited by the recipes and thank you for the money saving tips. I appreciate everything about this site.

    1. Wow! Thank you for your kind words. :) I'm so glad this site is helpful to you. Thanks for telling me! The whole reason I created this site was to help people, so your feedback is just perfect! Glad to have you here!

  6. This was the first real dish I've ever attempted to make and thanks to you and your blog it was absolutely delicious and I was immensely satisfied with the dish I was able to prepare! Also I'm not sure if you take requests, but I really like turkey so maybe perhaps one day you could do a simple recipe for that as well? As a male in his twenties with absolutely no cooking experience your directions are clear and simple. Thank you! Looking forward to a turkey recipe!

    1. Hooray for men in the kitchen! It might take a while, but I'll plan on a turkey post in the future. :)

    2. I know this an old comment, but I am making a turkey the exact same way right now. I just increased the butter and seasonings by 50% for the extra poundage. I cannot tell you how delicious it smells! I am a woman who was not taught to cook (mom was a feminist) growing up. Now I have a family of five to feed and the recipes here a great, simple, delicious, and easy. Perfect for learning on one's own! :) Husband is so happy!

  7. I just discovered your blog, and I am so happy to see someone who cooks in the same way I do! I grew up on a farm and many of my family recipes (which I make A LOT are nearly identical to yours!). Thank you so much for sharing such wonderful ideas :-)

    Another great use for left over chicken is to shred it and use it to make chicken Alfredo roll ups....just take lasagna noodles and on each spread out some Alfredo sauce, shredded chicken and some mozzarella cheese....then roll them up! Place all the rolls in a baking pan with more cheese on top and bake at 350 for about 20-30min :-)

    1. Yay for farm girls! :) The chicken alfredo roll-ups sound yummy. I'll have to try it out sometime.

    2. Oh my, the chicken alfredo rolls ups sound so yum!! Thank you 'needs coffee to live'.

  8. I love roasting a whole chicken for an easy yet impressive meal. Just a little note, typically when roasting a chicken you should put it breast side down in the pot to make it even tastier. The breast meat can dry out rather quickly and this ensures that it stays moist and cooks evenly. Of course, when you're preparing it and serving it, it's breast side up, but simply flipping it down before sticking in the oven can make a big difference.

  9. Thank you so much for your easy to follow recipes! I'm trying to learn to make real food (things that don't start in boxes or cans) and this came out fantastic!

  10. THANK YOU! We made this last week and it was HEAVENLY! The only change I made (since we eat the skin) is to rub softened butter on the outside and sprinkle with salt. Yum. I'm roasting an 8-lb. turkey breast right now with the same seasonings, just increased by 50%. The aroma!!! Worth turning on the oven in August! :) Your recipes are fantastic! Thank again!


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