Classic Roast Chicken: A Recipe for All Seasons | Learn with Plated | Elana Karp | Skillshare

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Classic Roast Chicken: A Recipe for All Seasons | Learn with Plated

teacher avatar Elana Karp, Head Chef, Plated

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Prepping Your Chicken


    • 3.

      Cooking Your Chicken


    • 4.

      Adding Vegetables to Your Roast


    • 5.

      Seasonal Variation: Winter Vegetables


    • 6.

      Seasonal Variation: Fall Vegetables


    • 7.

      Seasonal Variation: Spring Vegetables


    • 8.

      Carving & Serving Your Chicken


    • 9.

      Wrapping Up


    • 10.

      Hungry for More?


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About This Class

Join Plated’s Head Chef Elana Karp for a thorough, informative 25-minute class on making the perfect one-pan roast chicken — and customize it to what's fresh in every season.

The secret of this recipe is that it's all in one pot, making your dinner prep smooth, fun, and tasty. You’ll learn

  • how to prep a whole chicken so it cooks evenly
  • a simple, foundational marinade to enhance all flavors
  • combine seasonal vegetables, cooked to perfection

Knowing how to roast a chicken is a classic skill that all cooks should master. This class gives you a simple, no-fail recipe for this delicious culinary essential: the roast chicken dinner.


Plated is about cooking from home. Sign up and get chef-designed recipes with precisely measured ingredients delivered to your door each week.

Check out more classes from Plated on Skillshare: Knife Skills: A Mini Class to Chop Like a Chef and The Perfect Grilled Cheese: A Mini Class to Master the Sandwich

Meet Your Teacher

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Elana Karp

Head Chef, Plated


Elana is the Head Chef at Plated and the co-author of the Plated cookbook. After completing Teach for America in New York City and earning her Masters degree in Childhood Education, she headed over to Paris to explore France's deep culinary history and tradition. On the way she earned a chef's degree from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris and developed her philosophy that cooking and eating are the best ways to bring people together.

Elana believes food should be easy to make, delicious to eat and is best enjoyed when shared. It leads to good conversation, exposes diners to new cultures, and makes great memories. She is thrilled to be part of the Plated culinary team and looks forward to sharing her meals with you!

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1. Introduction: Hi. I'm Elana Karp, and I'm the head chef for Plated. We're a meal kit delivery company based out of New York but we deliver to the entire country, and we're here right now in the Plated test kitchen. This class is about mastering the art of roasting chicken. I'm going to show you how to prepare it, how to pick it in the store, how to cook it so that it's juicy and crispy all at the same time, and what vegetables to pair with it in different seasons. Roasting chicken can be a little scary. It's a big bird, not everyone knows how to do it. So I'm going to show you a few simple tips and tricks to make it really easy and foolproof. You've probably seen a chicken roasted on a roasting rack. Today, I'm actually going to show you how to roast it on top of vegetables, and there are few different vegetables that I prefer in each season. I'm going to show you how to pair them by season so that this recipe stays super fresh and delicious all year long and you never get sick of it. After this project, you will be a roast chicken pro, and you'll learn how to adapt this recipe seasonally, so that you can keep it fresh all year long. 2. Prepping Your Chicken: So here we have a whole chicken, it's about four or five pounds. This is enough to feed like three or four people. The reason you might pick a whole chicken and not just a breast or a thigh is because maybe in your household it's like mine where you have strict dark meat chicken eaters and strict white meat chicken eaters, and this way you satisfy everyone in one shot. It's also nice because when you're entertaining or serving dinner to people it's really beautiful to put a whole bird out on the table as opposed to a few different small pieces. So, it's really not as intimidating as it seems. When you go to the store, you can pick based on whatever dietary needs fit your lifestyle. I always opt for antibiotic-free, free-range, too, when I can get it, and if you can get it behind the butcher counter that's also great, too. These are the legs, the thigh and the drumstick. When they're rounded up like this, the chicken is facing upright. This is the breast meat and you can touch it and feel it. I'll show you on the other side, it's much firmer because there's not really meet there. These are the little wings. A couple of tips. So, when you buy your chicken at the grocery store, it always has a wishbone in it. The wishbone actually makes it very hard to carve the bird once you're done cooking it. So, if you can take the wishbone out before you cook it, you'll have a much easier time later on. You can also ask the butcher to do that if you're buying chicken somewhere where there is a butcher. So I'm going to start by taking that out and I'm just going to use a little paring knife, and you can feel it in here. There's the two little bones and I'm just going to cut two strips near that bone until I expose it. That's one half of it and there's the other half. So, now that I have the wishbone out, it's going to be really simple after I cook it. So now I'm going to flip it over and this is the backbone, and like I said, it's really flat and you can see the neck up here. The easiest way to roast chicken is actually to what's called spatchcock it. I'm going to show you a half spatchcock version, which is that we're going to cut out the backbone so that it lays flat, but we're going to leave the breastbone in because that can be tricky to remove. The reason that you do this and why it's so much easier is because if you've ever had chicken and the breast is really dried out and the thighs were undercooked, it's because someone left it whole and they didn't get the timing right. If you split it this way, everything sort of cooks more evenly and you're ensuring that you get perfectly cooked bird every time. So, you want some kitchen shears and you're just going to go right along the side of the backbone and just cut right through it. I'm going to turn it around to get from the other side. Just use a little muscle. Okay. So, you're going to discard that. It actually is going to make for really good soup or stocks. You can save it and use it to make a soup. It has a ton of flavor in here because there are a lot of bones. So now that the chicken is split, I'm going to flatten it with my hands and just push down with a little muscle until it will lie flat like that. Now it's ready for roasting because it's flat. Again, like I said, it's going to get even heat all over and it's going to cook much more evenly. One more tip before we get started is, if you want really crispy skin, you need to really let the chicken dry out. So when you buy it at the store, it comes in a bag usually. There's a lot of juice around it and its pretty wet when you take it out. So the first thing you want to do is pat it dry, with plenty of paper towel. If you're cooking immediately, that's sufficient, but if you're cooking it the next day or you have some time, you can pat it dry, put it on a plate or baking sheet and actually leave it uncovered in the refrigerator overnight. That will really let the skin dry out nicely and that's going to help it brown really beautifully. So now we're ready to season. So, I'm going to season it really generously with salt and pepper. Kosher salt is the way to go. It has big grains so you got a really nice even coating, and you want to take a full handed pinch and season from high above to get an even layer of it. Be generous with it, there's a lot of meat under here. So, don't be shy. Then some fresh black pepper. I like the coarse grind on mine but whatever floats your boat. Then I'm going to flip it and do the same on the other side. Really get it all over. Nice big pinch and season from high above. You know you've done it right when there's salt all over your board. Perfect. So now we're ready to cook. 3. Cooking Your Chicken: Okay, so now, we're going to cook the chicken. I have a pan that's heating over medium high and I'm going to add a thin layer of olive oil. I'm going to add the chicken skin side down because I want that to get really crispy. Make sure the whole thing fits nicely into the pan. I'm just going to let that cook until it gets golden brown. I'll know it's ready to flip when I see the edges become golden and it lifts really easily off of the pan. I want the skin to become beautifully golden and crisp, and so I wanted to have really direct heat applied to it in order for that to happen. So, that's why I'm starting in a pan on the stove top first. That's going to help the skin begin to crisp and then when I flip it, I'll put it in the oven and it'll still get enough heat that it continues to brown, but that initial sort of golden phase will happen in the pan. So, while the skin is browning, I'm going to prepare a sauce that I'll pour over when I flip it and it's just going to get great flavor. It's really, really simple. So, I'm going to add some chopped garlic. I don't want to chop it too finely because I don't want it to burn in the oven and it's going to be in there for a little while. I have some rosemary here and white wine. It's going to add great flavor. I'm going to just whisk in a bit of olive oil to make this a really nice sauce. This is a really basic sauce. It goes great on any kind of chicken you're making. It's garlic, rosemary, white wine, and olive oil. Super simple, you probably have everything in your fridge already. Great marinade. Let's peek on this quickly. It's getting really beautiful, but it's still not releasing easily from the pan, which lets me know that it's not ready to flip yet. Okay, it's starting to come off really nice and easy, so I'm going to flip it. Beautiful golden brown. So, now that I've flipped it, I'm just going to pour the sauce over it. Make sure I really get it everywhere. Smells really good and now I'm going to move it into the oven. Now that my chicken is in the oven, I'm going to roast it at 450 degrees for about 30 minutes. That will depend a little bit on the size of the chicken that you got. A way to check if it's done is to slice just between the thigh and the breast. If the juice that comes out is clear, you know that the chicken is finished cooking. If it's still a little bit pink, put it back in the oven for another five minutes. So, now that our chicken's done, I know it's done because the meat is starting to pull away from the bone a little bit over here and when I cut in over between the thigh and the breast, the juices ran clear, so it's good to go. I'm going to let it rest a little before I carve it. Now, I'm going to show you how to make some seasonal versions to turn this into a full one-pan dinner. 4. Adding Vegetables to Your Roast: In the last lesson, I taught you how to prepare and roast a chicken, and now I'm going to show you how to add vegetables to it to make it into a really simple one-pan meal. It's all going to happen in the same pan, most of the technique is exactly the same. We're just adding some great vegetables for really good flavor and nutrition. I'm going to take the chicken out. It's about halfway through where we were in the last lesson. I'm just going to transfer it to this plate. You can see the skin is really beautiful and golden. So for summer, we're using zucchini and summer squash. So I'm just going to add it here, right to where the chicken was. I just want to get it,a little bit coated in the oil that was in the pan from the chicken. Then, generally, you want to pick vegetables that are good for roasting because this is going to get roasted underneath the chicken. It's actually also doing double duty and acting as a roasting rack for the chicken. So, it's perfect, an edible roasting rack. So I'm going to return the chicken to the pan. Now skin side up. I'm going to pour the same marinade that I used before over the chicken and the vegetables, and this, like I said before, this marinade is great. It goes with everything, especially roasted vegetables and chicken. So, now that this is ready to go, I'm just going to pop it in the oven for the same amount of time, 450 degrees for about 30 minutes. So now that our chicken with vegetables is done, I'm going to take the chicken carefully and transfer it to the board. You can see that the vegetables have gotten really nice and soft. They've wade off a bunch of their own juices, which has made a bit of a more liquidy sauce than in the plain chicken. So, that's totally fine. You can either leave it as is, it's still really delicious, or you can take the vegetables out and just reduce the sauce a little bit on the stove so it gets thick again, and we're just going to carve the chicken and serve the vegetables underneath it. 5. Seasonal Variation: Winter Vegetables: So, we just prepared the summer version of this dish and the great thing about this recipe is you can really keep it new and exciting all year long. It works with vegetables from every different season, and it's such a simple one pan dish that it's something you want to make all the time. So, this is our winter version. I'm using parsnips and carrots. So, these are root vegetables. In general, you just want to use vegetables that are good for roasting because they're going to roast underneath the chicken for about 30 minutes and they need to be able to stand up to that. You wouldn't want to use a delicate leafy green because it might work too much. You could use kale or potatoes, winter squashes would be great, onions would be really good in this. So, I'm just going to show you. We're going to cut it up. The size, you don't want it to be too big because again, they're only going to roast for 30 minutes, but you do want to make sure that all the pieces you cut are about the same size. If it's a vegetable that really takes a long time to cook, you'll just want to cook it in the pan under the chicken for a couple of minutes before you put the chicken back and put everything in the oven to give it a head start before it starts cooking in the oven. So, I'm going to cut these into about half inch pieces. Again, I just want it to be nice and even. I'm not really a fan of peeling vegetables I hate it. It's really tedious and annoying. So, as long as you wash root vegetables carefully, you don't have to worry about peeling them. So, I didn't peel the parsnip and I'm not going to peel the carrot and I'm not going to peel the potato that I make later. So, yeah, I'm just going to keep cutting these into about the same size. Don't stress about it too much. I'm just going to trim off the top where the stems were. Parsnips are really great because they have a starchy texture to them and they're sweet like carrots, but hardy like potatoes. They're really really delicious. One of my favorite winter vegetables, and you can usually find them at the market in the winter. Here we just got some rainbow carrots. They add beautiful color, but if you can only find orange carrots, that's fine too. These, because they're smaller than the parsnips, I'm just slicing them. So, again, the size is consistent. Nice purple ones. Sometimes when carrots or parsnips has this weird shape where they're really thick at the top and really thin at the bottom, I'll separate those two parts so that I can just slice the thin part and have the thicker one. I can't say enough how important it is that everything is the same size. If you cut really tiny pieces and really huge pieces, the tiny ones will burn and the big ones will not cook, and no one wants to bite into a raw parsnip or a burnt one. Perfect. So, now we're ready to roast. 6. Seasonal Variation: Fall Vegetables: So our fall variation is brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes. Brussel sprouts are like everyone's favorite fall piece of produce. You could also do cauliflower or butternut squash or really anything you find that you could roast at the market, you can throw in here. So for the brussel sprouts, I'm just going to have them through the root. The root helps them stay together, so you don't really want to cut it off. If it has a really big root like this one, I might trim it and throw that away, and just cut through this. But I really want to leave it intact, so that they stay nice and halved. I'm going to roast them cut-side down, so they get a nice crust and caramelization on them. Caramelization happens when you have direct contact with heat. So, the flat part cooking on the pan will get nice and brown and really delicious. Because they're sweet potatoes in this and they take a little bit longer to cook than the brussel sprouts, I'm going to actually put them in the pan a couple of minutes before. Let them soften a bit. Then add the brussel sprouts, and then put the chicken back in. So you just pay attention to what you're working with and tweak the recipe accordingly. So, you can cook the sweet potato for about three to five minutes before you add the brussel sprouts just to give it a bit of a head start. But I'm going to cut them pretty small so that they don't need a ton of time. Again, they're going to cook under the chicken, so you don't have to worry too much. If the worst case scenario, you took the chicken out and the vegetables weren't done, you could just throw the vegetables back in the oven because the chicken should rest for a couple of minutes before you carve it anyway. So, this is kind of a recipe that you cannot mess up which is nice, and you can really make it whatever you want. If you hate sweet potato, don't put it in. I'm just using that same sauce that I poured over the simple roast chicken, and it's going to aggregate flavor to the vegetables. You could even use that sauce with just vegetables, even if you weren't making chicken. It's just very simple, easy to make and very, very flavorful. So there you go. I'm ready to roast for fall. 7. Seasonal Variation: Spring Vegetables: Now, we're going to do spring. The beautiful thing about spring produce is, it's really green and bright. These are three vegetables that I really like to fill with roast chicken. Again, you can pick what you want. If you want to add peas and radishes, or new potatoes, or really anything that's in season in spring, go for it. Just again, vary the time based on how long you would normally cook that thing. I have asparagus here. I'm just going to trim it by snapping where it snaps. This part you get rid of, and this part you save, and I'm just going to cut it into one inch pieces, so that it fits nicely in the bottom of the pan, and then I have some fennel. I already removed the fronds which are the leafy tops. Now, I'm going to cut it in half through the root, and I want to just get rid of the core because it doesn't taste very good. Just going to cut right into that. The leek rolled away from me. This is going to be discarded. Same for this one. With fennel, you want it to really cook down. Biting into raw fennel is not delicious unless it's very, very thinly sliced, and since I don't have a mandoline out right now, I'm going to slice it. Not super thin, so I don't want to put big chunks in because I really do want this to cook down quite a bit. I'm just going to thinly slice it because 30 minutes for this amount of fennel is a good amount of time. So, just really thin, as thin as you can. Then, for the leeks, leeks can be really dirty. Th ey grow in the ground, and they have all these layers inside them that hold onto dirt. So, you want to cut them in half lengthwise. You can even see some of the dirt in here. You can see that it's brown. What you want to do is thinly slice it or prepare it however you're going to. Again, with leeks, they're like what I said about fennel, you really want them to cook down, so I'm going to thinly slice it. Then, I'm going to just put it in a bowl of cold water, and the dirt from all those layers will fall to the bottom, and that's it. We're ready for our spring chicken. 8. Carving & Serving Your Chicken: So, now that our chicken is done, I'm going to show you how to carve it up. So, I'm going to just carefully remove it from the pan, and I'm going to take off the legs first. So, I'm going to use my knife to cut in where the skin poles. Once I get through that skin part, the leg will sort of just like lift right off because that's how you know it's cooked through. So, there you have one leg. Again, through the skin, you just want to take your time when you're doing this because you want the skin to stay intact. There's the other piece. So, now for the breast. So, we took out the wishbone to make this part easier, and you're going to see how much easier it is. So, you're just going to really gently cut in down the middle, and you still have a breastbone in here. So, what you want to do is swipe down on a diagonal, so you get the chicken off the breastbone. You just want to carefully make a little slices until the breast comes right off. It's really hot, so be careful. You'll pull at the wing joint here, and cut right through it, right through the middle, so you're not actually breaking into any bone. Then, you have your breaths right there, and you can slice it if you want, or you can leave it whole. Then, the same thing's going to happen on the other side. This is a bone right here, so we're just going to cut down the other side of it, and then go in on a diagonal, and slice until you get to that wing joint again. Twist it back, and then just go right in between the joint. Now, you can put the legs and the breasts onto your plate. You can pour your beautiful, delicious garlicky pan juice over the top. If you don't want to get the skin soggy, you can pour it around. It seems so tasty. There you go, you have your roast chicken. 9. Wrapping Up: This is the finished summer version of our one-pan roast chicken dinner. I hope you'll take the techniques that you learned here today and make your own versions, whatever the season, whatever ingredients you really like to make your own one-pan roast chicken dish. 10. Hungry for More?: