flipping the bird

Flipping a Roasting Chicken

If you like to make roasted chicken as much as I do, here’s a handy tip for how to flip mid- that bird (get it? flip the bird? ha! crickets….) mid-roast quickly, efficiently, and best of all – easily! That way you get nicely browned top and bottom of the chicken.

No more two wooden spoon/spatula acrobatics, which in my opinion make the whole procedure cumbersome. Simply, take your sturdy tongs (if you don’t own a pair yet, you simply must get one – you’ll wonder how you’ve lived without one for so long), insert one end into the cavity of the chicken, clamp down with the other and lift the bird up, flipping it on the other side. Voila! It’s done. Put the bird back in the oven and enjoy the rest of the waiting time sipping a glass of wine, preparing a salad, or reading your favorite book.


  • Whitney

    I giggled a little at your joke.

    What brand are your tongs? The ones I have always pinch my hands because the metal seam on the side isn’t great. So annoying!

  • Radish

    Whitney – I have a terribly cheesy sense of humor. I just linked to the tongs I like (above) and here too! Hope this helps.

  • Luba

    Brilliant! Wouldn’t you know, I was just doing the two wooden spoons acrobatics when making roast chicken two nights ago. You have transformed a fairly simple delicious meal into a totally simple one! Now, any tips on not having your chicken skin stick to the pan? I usually roast mine in an AllClad skillet. I heat the pan on the stovetop first and try to sear the skin a bit, but inevitably it still sticks…

  • Radish

    Luba – actually yes – best way to make it is in a cast iron. You heat the cast iron on the stove for 5 minutes until it gets hot, then plop the bird on top so it sizzles. You want to get it nice and hot so the sizzling sears the skin and that way it won’t stick. Does that help?

  • molly

    Somehow, I never began roasting chickens until this winter. I am so hooked. And yes, tongs are the bomb for flipping. (And yes, I smiled wide when I read the header :)

  • Janice Harper

    The tongs are a great idea, but most tongs on the market are worse than useless. I recently bought a pair of Oneida, and they are so far quite good. The ones you have pictured with the silicone grippers are the best because they make flipping something so heavy much less prone to disaster.

    To avoid the need to flip altogether I spent about $80 on a countertop rotisserie (available on Amazon) and it’s gotten more use than our toaster. I highly recommend it, but stuffed birds, my favorite, must be roasted. So thanks for the tong tip!

  • Radish

    Janice – my favorite tongs are referenced in one of my comments above. They’re made by OXO and they’re fantastic.

  • Radish

    Ellie – I don’t stuff my birds, particularly tiny little chickens, but yes, stuffed would be tricky.

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