A complete guide to achieve such perfect tender, juicy, super delicious and amazingly good looking roasted whole chicken.
This Thanksgiving I will trade a big, giant turkey for a medium size chicken. And it must be this dry-brine perfect roasted whole chicken glazed with sweet and spicy BBQ sauce.
When it comes to roasted chicken, the simpler the method, the better it will turn out. That is why the dry-brine method is a perfect pick for this roasting recipe.
What is dry-brine?
Dry-brine, or rubs, is a spice mixture that contains at least two basic ingredients: salt and pepper. It not only helps to tenderize the meat but also to make the meat taste super delicious and look undoubtedly amazing.
You can go wild and crazy with dry-brine mixture as much as you want. It can be simple with only salt and pepper, or it can be over complicated with thousands of secret ingredients.
Ultimately, the flavor of the dry-brine brings to the table is much more than just plain salty. At the end of the day it comes down to “How do you want it to taste” while building the dry-brine/rub mixture.
Since I will glaze this roasted whole chicken with the amazing sweet and spicy BBQ sauce, I try not to go over complicated with the rub.
Ingredients in this roasted chicken rub
This basic rub only includes a short list of common and easy to find ingredients. Every rub should always start with a base of salt and pepper.
The goal of this chicken rub is to complement a nice roasted chicken at the end of the process. So any add-on spices should be an appropriate amount just enough to taste.
Salt – I only use Kosher salt in all of my recipes. I like it because it easier to control than regular table salt. As a rule of thumb, the thicker the meat, the more salt you’ll need in the rub.
- In this recipe, I only used 1.5 teaspoon salt for a regular commercial kitchen which weights about 2.5lb. So always trust your instinct if you’re using smaller, bigger or different breed of chicken.
Ground black pepper – I used finely ground black pepper but this can be changed based on everybody’s personal references. If you want a lot of texture of pepper appeared on the skin of the chicken, you can always opt out for coarse black pepper.
Smoked salt – This ingredient is completely optional. I like to sprinkle a little amount of smoked salt on the surface of chicken to bring out the smoky taste without the use of the real smoker.
- If you don’t use smoked salt, just add the same amount on top of regular Kosher salt called for.
Garlic powder – I love garlic and I would love to use it everywhere as much as possible. Just don’t use fresh garlic as it won’t work for dry rub.
- Fresh garlic is too strong and will over power other ingredients. Not to mention it is easily to burn.
Ground mustard seed – I used ground mustard to add a tangy heat to my roasted chicken without over power the rest of the ingredients. You can switch it out for onion powder if it is not available to you.
How can I know when roasted chicken is done?
The most common method is using an instant-read thermometer. Insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken, usually the thigh, and away from any bones. The chicken should be done cooking when its internal temperature reaches 165F – 170F.
For this recipe, the chicken should not spend more than an hour in the oven.
What if I want to use wet-brine method for this perfect roasted whole chicken?
You definitely can.
This dry-brine oven roasted BBQ chicken is a perfect alternative to a whole giant turkey for this Thanksgiving dinner. However, you can also use a wet-brine method to perfect this chicken.
Just reduce the amount of brining by third in this roasted whole turkey recipe, then you have a perfect mixture to proceed with marinade process.
Perfect Roasted Whole Chicken With BBQ Sauce
- Instant read thermometer
- 1 whole chicken about 2.5lb
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- ¼ tsp smoked salt add the same amount of Kosher salt if don't use smoked salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp ground mustard or onion powder
Sweet and Spicy BBQ sauce
- 1 c ketchup
- ½ c water
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 3 tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp Kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
For BBQ Sauce
- In a sauce pan, combine all ingredients and warm gently over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Do not bring the mixture to boil. Only warm enough for all ingredients dissolve completely.
- Once everything is incorporated, remove the pan from the heat. Let the sauce cool down to room temperature.
- Transfer the sauce to an air-tight container. It can be kept up to a month in refrigerator.
Dry brine the chicken
- Pat dry the chicken with paper towel. Sprinkle dry-rub mixture all over the chicken, include its cavity and the back.
- Transfer the chicken to a clean pan, tuck the wing tips behind the shoulders, tie the legs using cooking twine if necessary.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let the chicken tenderize and absorb the dry-rub for at least 1 day (maximum 2 days) in the fridge.
Oven-roast the chicken
- Pre-heat the oven to 450F
- Take the chicken out of the fridge and let it cool down at room temperature for 15 minutes before roasting.
- Line a baking pan with heavy duty aluminum foil, place the chicken in the pan, breast side up.
- Place the chicken on the center rack of the oven and roast for 30 minutes.
- Turn the oven temperature to 460F.
- Take the chicken out and carefully flip it over using plastic or wooden spatulas.
- Return the upside down chicken to the oven and continue to roast for 10 minutes.
- After that, take the chicken out and brush an even layer of BBQ sauce all over the back of the chicken.
- Flip the chicken back to breast side up.
- Continue to cook for 5 minutes, then brush another layer of BBQ sauce on the breast side.
- Cook for another 5 minutes. The chicken should be done cooking at this time.
- Take the chicken out of oven, let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then serve.
- For this recipe, the chicken should not spend more than an hour in the oven. The internal part of chicken should reach 165F – 170F when it is done cooking.
- This roasted whole chicken can be served with: sandwich, sautéed bell pepper, mixed salad, and BBQ sauce on the side.