1 whole chicken
1 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper
Heat the oven to 400 °F.
Remove the giblets and neck from the chicken. Keep them for stock later. Rub the entire bird with butter, then sprinkle it with salt and pepper.
Smash the garlic cloves with the side of your knife and slice the lemon in half. Stuff the garlic and lemon into the chicken’s body cavity.
Place the chicken in a roasting pan or an oven-proof skillet. Let it cook for 1 hour. If you have a meat thermometer, check to make sure the chicken is at 165 °F, the temperature when chicken is completely safe to eat. But 1 hour should be long enough to fully cook it.
Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before you carve it to make sure you don’t lose any of the tasty juices.
After you’ve carved away all the meat, make chicken stock from the carcass. Simmer it for several hours in a pot full of water along with scrap vegetables like the ends of onions and carrots, plus a generous helping of salt.
A whole chicken is usually less expensive than buying single pieces like breasts or thighs—plus you can make stock later from the bones and any meat too difficult to get off. The leftovers can be used in sandwiches, tacos, over a salad, or tossed with sauce and mixed into pasta. This is a base recipe: add spices to the butter or sprinkle over the surface of the chicken to change up the flavor in any way you like.
Recipe reprinted from Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day, courtesy Leanne Brown.