Frugal Gourmet: Spicy Rapid Roast Chicken

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frugalgourmetThis is a great recipe from AllRecipes for those of us who don’t have a lot of time to cook but still want to enjoy tasty, economical meals that our family and friends will rave about. It’s also a simple mix of herbs and spices that most of us already have on hand, so it doesn’t require expensive trips to the grocery store to stock up the pantry before you cook.

When I first attempted this recipe, I followed it as written, but I quickly realized that there’s a bit of room for interpretation. Here are a few of the tricks I’ve added to ensure that your chicken will be phenomenal on the first try:

Spices: Instead of sprinkling onto the chicken, I opted to rub them underneath the skin. I don’t eat the skin, so I was happy to still have tons of flavor after I removed it because I had made this easy change. I’d also recommend doubling the suggested amounts.

Marinate: You might want to consider marinating the chicken overnight. This will help it stay moist during cooking and spread more flavor to all parts of the chicken.


Temperature: There were multiple suggestions in the recipe’s comment section that noted the high cooking temperature. While I had success with keeping it at the recommended temperatures, I read that some people’s kitchen filled with smoke. You can avoid this by keeping an adequate amount of moisture in the bird—you may even need to baste it a bit as it cooks. Another option would be to decrease the temperature and increase the cooking time.

Serving Suggestion: I added a bunch of diced root vegetables (parsnips, carrots, and beets) to the pan when there was about 45 minutes of cooking time left. This meant that when the chicken was done, the entire meal was done, which made the entire meal much more efficient.

To keep your costs down, you might want to forego the free range or organic chickens if you don’t have a strict preference. With the regular bird costing a mere $4 and the organic version being at least triple that, it all comes down to what you prefer to eat. I did opt for the organic version, but I was also able to get enough chicken for three solid meals for myself. Do the math and think about your personal shopping rules to decide which is best for you.

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Jen is the owner of The Happy Homeowner, where she writes about living a healthy, balanced life one cent at a time. Previously, she paid off $14K in credit card debt in less than a year and hasn’t looked back since. Follow along on Twitter with her financial, fitness and travel adventures @bthhomeowner!