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Festival Foods

Cooking Instructions Print Version

For additional cooking instructions, please see the chef's tips and the USDA cooking recommendations.

1. Oven

Type of heat

Bake or broil. A whole chicken can be baked several different ways ranging from simple to elegant in its presentation. Choosing the method that works best for you will depend on how much time you have. A whole chicken will cook faster if it is thawed, but a frozen chicken can be cooked safely also. If you plan to stuff your chicken before baking, it should be completely defrosted before stuffing.   

Settings and timing

Whole stuffed chickens are roasted in the same way as a holiday turkey. Place the chicken in the roasting pan and rub the skin with olive oil or butter. Roast the chicken in a preheated 350°F oven for 1-1/2 to 3 hours depending on the size of the chicken. The chicken is done when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads 165°F. If the chicken is stuffed, the stuffing should read 165°F as well.

Bake a whole chicken in an oven roasting bag, which will cook the chicken to perfection and leave you little to clean up after the meal. Season the chicken the way you like and then insert the chicken in the bag, placing several pats of butter on the breast or brush with oil. Close the bag and cut several 1/2-inch slits in the top. Place the bag in a shallow baking pan and then cook in a 350°F oven for 1 to 2 hours or until your thermometer reads 165°F.

2. Crock Pot 

Settings and timing

Spray the inside of a slow cooker, such as a crock pot, with nonstick spray. Then place the whole chicken, stuffed or unstuffed, into the cooker. Season if desired. Turn the cooker on and let the chicken bake for 4 to 6 hours on low. Check the temperature after 4 hours to determine how much more time, if any, is needed to reach 165°F. You can also surround the chicken with vegetables, such as potatoes and carrots, and have a complete meal.



USDA Cooking Recommendations

Safe cooking recommendations from the United States Department of Agriculture

Please note: Colors referenced below refer to pop-up timers. Pop-up timers are available at the service meat counter in the Meat Department or ask one of our meat and seafood experts.

Yellow to Medium Rare: 138°F - Beef only

Red to Medium: 144°F - Beef only

Green to Medium Well: 157°F - Pork and Beef

Blue to Well Done: 168°F - Pork, Beef, Poultry