I have this great stoneware chicken roaster that I got at a yard sale for $5 and a chicken that weighs 4 lb. 4 oz. I’ve used the roaster before for all sorts of meat but I always have to keep checking it with a thermometer because I have no roasting chart for this or any covered stoneware roaster.
As it turns out there is no difference in the roasting times in or out of my covered stoneware roaster. I took my chicken out of the freezer last night, got a friend to stop at the grocery store a get me a few lemons (and a gallon of skim milk) and looked at a few recipes online. There are many for roast chicken but not a lot for stoneware roasted chicken. I checked the website for the manufacturer and nothing. They don’t even have the roaster listed. They did have a nice “Sicilian pizza stone” that I would love to get for $39.99 but being on disability I will have to hold out for a birthday or another yard sale. I decided I would document this particular roast chicken just because I don’t want to follow the one recipe I found that uses a covered roaster but takes several hours. This is late April in Florida. Get Real!! Who wants their oven on for that long. Maybe the other cook lives up north or it was winter. I prefer to cook a little hotter and not as long. I went to the garden, carrying my oxygen tank, pushed my sticky window closed so the AC will work better and ripped out a handful of thyme because I forgot to bring my shears out with me. I had set a stick of butter out earlier and it was as soft as butter (almost melted).
I put the butter in a small bowl, added a very small palm full of salt, about 17 twists of the pepper mill and the zest of two lemons and set aside. Sliced a head of garlic in half and quartered the lemons. Since poultry can have bacteria I did as much as I could before I got it on my hands. I rinsed inside and out and patted dry the bird. Butter won’t stick to wet skin. I salted and peppered the inside (as best I could) and I stuffed the cavity with the thyme, lemons and garlic. Tucked back the wings, tied the legs together rubbed the butter all over the skin. I think a whole stick was overkill, but too late.
I’m going with 350 degrees. I recently got an oven thermometer and discovered that my oven needs an extra 5 min to reach temp and 15 degrees higher than the knob says. This info has made a big difference with my baking and just to be accurate I have started to make the adjustments whenever I used the oven, but I forgot this time. At 1 hour, I removed it, measured the temperature in the thigh near the bone. It was 145 degrees.
I left the lid off, started basting every 15 min. and by 1 hour 30 min total cooking time, it was up to 167 degrees. I pulled it out, put the lid back on cocked so steam wouldn’t build up but the heat would stay in. It turned out to be just barely under at one spot in the breast. If I had adjusted the temp it would have been close to perfect. That turned out to be what is recommended for roasting any chicken in any pan (20 min per pound). So it stays very moist and browns better if you just leave the lid on. I was pretty hungry and am still new to this so the picture was a little late. You could taste all the ingredients stuffed in the cavity and I used the leftovers for chicken enchiladas. I made a home made green enchilada sauce that was so good I could have just eaten it with a spoon.