Copy Desk Cook-off: Chicken Dinner

I find that every bout of cooking is best preceded and accompanied by a bout of drinking. What you’re drinking depends on what you’re cooking, but I prefer wine or whiskey.

In this case we’re cooking a whole roast chicken, a simple, go-to meal that satisfies, especially in the winter months. My drink recommendations are either a Pinot Noir or a Bourbon.

While cooking a whole roast chicken sounds time consuming, the preparation is simple and the payoff (in the form of leftovers and soup ingredients) will allow you to save time on future meals for the week.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. You can start drinking now.

While your oven’s heating up, prepare the chicken by salting thoroughly on all sides. This ensures a crisp browning of the skin. You can also add pepper and thyme, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Place the salted chicken into a large oven-safe pan. You can also chop up garlic, onions and yams, toss them together with some olive oil and salt and nestle the potatoes alongside the chicken.

Leave the chicken and potatoes in the oven for an hour and a half.

This part is important: once the chicken’s out of the oven let it sit in the pan covered with aluminum foil for 15 minutes. The chicken will reabsorb some of the moisture released into the pan while roasting and you’ll end up with a juicier, better tasting meal.


You can use the leftover chicken over the next week in omelettes, sandwiches, or on its own. At the end of the week, don’t toss the carcass. Boil it in some salted water and you have the basic stock you need for chicken soup.