You don’t need to have a giant roasting pan on hand to properly cook a chicken at home. We’ve scoured the market for some of the best products out there; these are our favorites.
Credit: Emile Henry
This ceramic, two-quart baking dish made in France from high-fired Burgundian clay has been in production since 1850. That is no surprise to us, as it can be used for a multitude of dishes, from gratins and casseroles to baking fish — or roasting chicken. It is also the kind of pan that Mindy Fox, author of “A Bird in the Oven and Then Some,” prefers most when roasting birds (and, having tested over 100 recipes for her cookbook, we trust her judgment). Its 13-by-8 ½-inch shape fits a 4-pound bird just right, ensuring that the juices stay with the bird and the skin is able to crisp all around. The dish is also durable, as it can go from freezer to oven (and then to the table) and is chip, crack, and scratch-resistant. And, at $50, it’s easy on the wallet, too.
For those who like to brown the exterior of their chicken first in a hot fry pan, the way many culinary schools instruct, nothing beats this durable stainless-steel pan from All-Clad. Available exclusively at Williams-Sonoma, the innovative five-layer d5 series delivers ensures even heat for consistent results. We like the stick handle, which makes moving the bird to and from the oven easy, and the sloped sides that don’t drip chicken fat all over the counter when we’re draining the pan. Plus, it’s another versatile pan that can be used for sautéing vegetables, searing meat, and making other stove-to-oven baked dishes like Dutch baby pancakes. $109.95 for a 10-inch pan.
For a more unusual technique when roasting chicken, turn the bird upside down onto the large center spike on Staub’s unique vertical roaster. Roasting a bird vertically may seem unusual, but cooks agree that the meat is juicy and tender, as the juices run down the bird to the breast, often the one part of the bird that dries out when it’s roasted conventionally. As all sides of the bird are exposed during roasting, the skin browns evenly, turning perfectly crispy all around. The cast-iron piece is covered with multiple coats of enamel for durability and rust-resistance, and is pretty enough to bring to the table. It’s also oven safe up to 500 degrees, and can be used on the stovetop. $100.