Roasting a whole chicken is an economical and simple way to prepare this classic Sunday-supper treat. Pan-roasting any meat usually results in a greasy pan with caked-on food that needs copious amounts of scrubbing. Oven-roasting bags made from heat-resistant nylon not only mean minimal post-meal cleanup, but the bag traps the moisture during the cooking process, ensuring that your chicken comes out flavorful and juicy.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove any giblets or other surprises from the chicken’s cavities. Rinse the chicken thoroughly, inside and out, under cold, running water, and pat it dry with paper towels. Brush the outside of the chicken with melted butter or olive oil, and season it to taste with salt and pepper.
Open the oven-roasting bag and add 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour. Close the bag and shake it to coat the inside of the bag with the flour. The flour will blend with the juices to create gravy and will also prevent the bag from bursting during the cooking process.
Place the chicken in the bag and then into a roasting pan. Close the bag securely with the ties that came with the bag or kitchen twine.Cut six 1/2-inch slits in the top of the bag so that steam can escape, and tuck any loose ends of the bag into the roasting pan.
Cook the chicken for 1 to 1-1/14 hours for a 3-1/2 to 4 pound chicken, or 1-1/14 to 1-1/2 hours for a 5 to 7 pound chicken.
Remove the roasting pan from the oven. Cut the bag from the top rather than the sides so that the juices do not run out, and lift the chicken out of the bag. Place it onto a cutting board or serving platter and allow it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir the juices in the bag until they are smooth, and pour into a small bowl or gravy boat.
Slice the chicken into thin slices and serve with the residual juices.