When life is too busy to handle and you can’t remember the last time your kid spoke more than two words to you, it’s time to gather everyone around the table. Reconnect with your family with this juicy and flavourful paprika roast chicken. It’s easier to make than you might think!
GATHERING AROUND THE TABLE
I get it. It’s hard to round up everyone in the family to sit down to a good, hearty meal. When I was a kid, my mom was running the show by herself as a self-employed hair salon owner. She tried her best to make sure we gathered around the table, but some nights I would make Kraft Dinner for my brothers and we’d watch trash on T.V.
Some families are busy running around to-and-fro to the next extra curricular activity. Others don’t even know how to talk to each other. Every so often, I’ll go out to eat and my heart twinges with sadness for the family that’s glued to mobile devices.
With this hyper-connected world that disconnects us, it’s more important than ever to carve out time to gather around the table. Today we’re going to do it with a roasted paprika chicken dinner.
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THE MEMORIES OF CHICKENS PAST
Nothing says Sunday dinner quite like a roasted chicken.
It was a staple of my childhood; my mother would buy a nice chicken, season it, and then pop it in the oven. The skin crisps up, and roast chicken aromas permeate the house.
Come dinner time, the bird is carved and the siblings battle over who gets white or dark meat. We all want drumsticks and wings, you see.
We bless the food and we eat, and when the meal is at an end, there’s a final battle for the wishbone and a tug-of-war match. I remain convinced to this day that these brittle fowl bones are responsible for fulfilling at least some children’s wishes.
In a perfect world, my brothers and I would have stayed behind to help clean the kitchen, but that’s not what happened. I would have made a lame excuse about needing to do homework, and my brothers would have ran off to play video games.
Meanwhile, my mother would be left with setting the kitchen back to order and picking the cooled carcass for any leftover meat. We might have chicken salad sandwiches with the leftovers, or hot chicken sandwiches the following night.
As for what remains with the mostly-bare bones, they always got set aside for a soup or a stock. Three meals, one chicken.
MAKE IT YOUR OWN
All of this to say, roast chicken helped to create many childhood memories through intimate family dinners. It’s still a meal that holds a special place in my heart, and today, I will show you how to make a paprika roast chicken, which is inspired by my mother’s paprika roast chicken.
Please keep in mind that the recipe reflects my personal preferences and should only be considered a guideline; if you swear by your spice blend, or if you have a favourite herb, use it!
The same techniques will also apply to other fowl, such as turkey and goose, albeit, longer cooking times. Duck, while similar, has some important differences, but we will cover duck in a different post.
SOURCING YOUR CHICKEN
First, we will need the most important ingredient for roast chicken: the chicken itself. Getting a chicken should not be a problem, your local grocery store should have quite a few in the poultry section of their meat fridge.
If you keep your eyes peeled, you can get some great bargains on whole chickens to stock your freezer with. While I can seldom resist a good sale, I like to support local enterprises where possible, and poultry is no exception. I’m lucky enough to have access to local, grain-fed, no-hormone chicken, but any chicken will do. Bonus points if you raise your own!
PREPPING YOUR POULTRY FOR PAPRIKA ROAST CHICKEN
Once you have your chicken, begin by checking its cavity; sometimes, it will contain a bag of organs. I do not find those particularly appetizing, but they are great if you’re making chicken stock or a gravy. If you’re planning on making a sauce, reserve them, otherwise, I’m sure your dog will be thrilled to have a special treat! I know I’m not selling giblets very well, but there’s actually a few things you can do with them. If you’re interested in learning more, The Spruce does a pretty good job covering giblets.
Once you clear the cavity, salt the chicken! Be sure to salt your bird inside and out.
Let your salted chicken rest for a few hours, so that the salt can work its magic. If you’re unable to salt the bird in advance, try to do it an hour before roasting. For best results, the chicken should sit at room temperature an hour before being seasoned and transferred to the oven.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH YOUR PAPRIKA ROAST CHICKEN
Since you’re making a meal out of this paprika roast chicken, you’ll want some sides to fill the plate. Here are some side dish ideas:
Peel some carrots, onions, and root vegetables to roast in the pan with your chicken.
Bacon Parmesan Brussels Sprouts Skillet
in the oven with your roast chicken.
Switch things up by amping up the typical dish of mashed potatoes with this Creamy Celery Root and Potato Purée.
Fire up the skillet and make these crispy potatoes.
If you're planning this meal out in advance, roast some beets the day before and make this gorgeous
Roasted Beet Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVERS
Presuming that your family doesn’t demolish the entirety of a roast chicken in a single meal, you may wonder what to do with the leftovers. The carcass can be turned into a homemade stock, and with that, you can make a mean chicken noodle soup. Other things you can do with the leftover meat include:
Chicken salad wraps.
Hot chicken sandwiches.
Tequila lime quesadillas
Toss them into a pasta or a casserole.
Make a chicken pot pie.
Use it as a pizza topping.
Sneak it into a stir fry.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
What’s your favourite meal that you make to gather your family around the table? Are there any meals that spark nostalgia that your parents used to put on the table for those intimate family dinners? I hope you’ll let me know in the comments below!
SHOP THIS POST
PAPRIKA ROAST CHICKEN INGREDIENTS
1 whole chicken
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 tsp black peppercorns, crushed
2 tbsp melted butter or coconut oil
fresh ground pepper
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cups water
5 carrots, peeled
1 onion, peeled and sliced into wedges
PAPRIKA ROAST CHICKEN INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel.
Stuff the cavity with the cracked peppercorns, crushed garlic and herbs.
Brush or rub the skin with butter or oil.
Season with fresh ground pepper and paprika.
Pour water into the bottom of the roasting pan.
Arrange carrots and onion around the chicken.
Roast the chicken for 30 minutes.
Baste the chicken and reduce the oven temperature to 400ºF. Return to the oven for another 30 minutes.
Baste the chicken and add additional water to the bottom of the roasting pan if needed. Return to the oven for 20 minutes.
Check the internal temperature by sticking a thermometer into the thickest part of the inner thigh. When it reads 165ºF or 74ºC, it's ready!
Remove the chicken, carrots and onions from the pan and serve!
PRINTABLE PAPRIKA ROAST CHICKEN RECIPE CARD
Paprika Roast Chicken
- Roasting Pan
- 1 whole chicken
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1/4 tsp black peppercorns crushed
- 2 tbsp melted butter or coconut oil
- fresh ground pepper
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 cups water
- 5 carrots peeled
- 1 onion peeled and sliced into wedges
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
- Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel.
- Stuff the cavity with the cracked peppercorns, crushed garlic and herbs.
- Brush or rub the skin with butter or oil.
- Season with fresh ground pepper and paprika.
- Pour water into the bottom of the roasting pan.
- Arrange carrots and onion around the chicken.
- Roast the chicken for 30 minutes.
- Baste the chicken and reduce the oven temperature to 400ºF. Return to the oven for another 30 minutes.
- Baste the chicken and add additional water to the bottom of the roasting pan if needed. Return to the oven for 20 minutes.
- Check the internal temperature by sticking a thermometer into the thickest part of the inner thigh. When it reads 165ºF or 74ºC, it’s ready!
- Remove the chicken, carrots and onions from the pan and serve!
- Salt the chicken in advance, including the cavity. Ideally, the salt should work its magic on the chicken overnight or for 24-hours.
- If you’re unable to salt the chicken in advance, salt it an hour before roasting and let it sit at room temperature.
- If possible, remove the chicken from the fridge an hour before roasting.
PIN IT FOR LATER:
Love and gratitude,