Chicken is most often roasted with the breasts facing up, which leaves the wing tips pointing straight up instead of tucked neatly under the bird. The wings are much smaller than any other part of the chicken, which means the tips are likely to burn long before the rest of the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. When the wings are tucked, it not only helps prevent burning, but also makes the presentation more attractive.
Season the whole chicken as desired. Brush olive oil all over the skin or rub softened butter over the chicken. Sprinkle with your choice of spices, such as salt and pepper or a poultry seasoning blend. Place the chicken in a roasting pan with the breasts facing up.
Turn the roasting pan so the neck and wings end is facing toward you. Pull a wing tip toward your body with your fingers, straightening the wing at its joint. Push the tips down toward the neck cavity and work surface.
Lift up on the front of the chicken slightly and slide the wing tip under the neck to hold it in place. The wings should bend back to their original shape at the joints, though they're now under the chicken and you can't see them.
- It's also common to tie the chicken legs together around the rear cavity of the chicken. You simply pull the ends of the legs together and slip butcher's twine around the ends to hold the legs in place.
- David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images