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Roasted Chicken Recipe

How to make succulent whole roasted chicken that’s bronzed, crispy, and full of flavor! I’m sharing my easy method for roasted chicken with butter, garlic, and herbs, perfect for weekend or weeknight dinners.

Whole Roast Chicken on a serving platter.

Perfect Whole Roasted Chicken Recipe

When it comes to cozy Sunday dinners, I love roasting chicken. Served with a side of veggies and mash, a Whole Roasted Chicken is like Thanksgiving Lite. If you’ve never cooked a whole chicken before, though, the prospect can be intimidating. But never fear, folks. With just a handful of ingredients, you can roast a chicken to bronzed, crisp, seasoned, and succulent perfection in the oven. My secret? Butter. Lots of it, with garlic and a few simple herbs. You’ll be blown away by your own culinary skills!

Why You’ll Love This Roasted Chicken Recipe

  • Fancy without trying. Sure, we love everyday recipes like oven baked chicken breasts. But a whole baked chicken, smothered in herbs and drenched in drippings? Total comfort food. And the best part is how little effort it takes.
  • Perfect for any occasion. Serve this juicy roasted chicken for your next family dinner, or carve it up as an alternative to your holiday turkey. 
  • Great for leftovers. A whole roast chicken is one of the most versatile recipes there is. Use leftovers in soups, salads, sandwiches, and more.

Recipe Ingredients

Here’s a short overview of what you’ll need to make this simple oven-roasted chicken. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card below the post for exact measurements.

  • Whole Chicken – I usually go for a 3-4 pound chicken. You can opt for a larger or smaller bird, but you may need to adjust the cooking time.
  • Butter
  • Garlic – You’ll rub freshly minced garlic over the chicken with melted butter. Save a handful of whole garlic cloves to stuff inside the chicken cavity. 
  • Salt
  • Dried Basil
  • Dried Thyme
  • Lemon Pepper Seasoning – I love the zesty flavor that comes with lemon pepper, but you can also use plain ol’ black pepper.
  • Lemon Slices and Fresh Rosemary – For stuffing the chicken, along with peeled garlic cloves.

How to Cook a Whole Chicken

So, what’s the secret to a perfect roasted chicken? Low and slow is the way to go. Let’s walk through how to prep and roast a chicken that cooks up browned, juicy, and flavorful, with a crispy crust.

  • Prep the chicken. Take the giblets out of the chicken’s cavity, and pat the outside of the chicken dry with a paper towel.
  • Season the chicken. Place the chicken onto a roasting pan with a rack. Rub the bird all over with melted butter and minced garlic. Follow this up with a seasoning blend of salt, basil, thyme, and lemon pepper. Make sure that you rub the seasoning into all the nooks and crannies.
  • Fill the cavity. Next, stuff the chicken cavity with lemon quarters, fresh rosemary sprigs, and garlic cloves. Don’t overfill the chicken, as this can lead to uneven cooking.
  • Truss the chicken. Use kitchen twine to tie the legs of the chicken together, and tuck the chicken wings under the body. Your whole chicken is set for roasting!
  • Roast. Place the prepared chicken into the oven at 450ºF. After 10 minutes, lower the temperature to 350ºF. Roast the chicken for another hour or so, until cooked through. Take the chicken out and baste in the leftover drippings before letting it rest for a bit, then carve and serve!

How Long to Roast a Chicken

The exact roasting time will depend on the size of your chicken as well as your oven. In general, a 3-4 pound chicken should roast for about 1 to 1 ½ hours at 350ºF. I recommend checking your chicken for doneness at the 1-hour mark. Chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 165ºF on an instant-read thermometer. You’ll notice that the skin will also be crisp and golden, and the juices will run clear.

Roast Chicken on a rack next to half a lemon and rosemary sprigs.

Tips for Roasting a Whole Chicken

Cooking a whole chicken isn’t hard, but a few key things can make all the difference. Here are my pro tips for a perfect roast chicken:

  • Take the chicken out of the fridge ahead of time. To ensure that your chicken cooks evenly, I recommend taking the bird out of the fridge about 30 minutes ahead of roasting. 
  • Save the giblets. Most whole chickens that you find in stores have a small packet of giblets tucked inside the chicken’s cavity. These are the “extras”: the heart, gizzard, liver, and another organ or two. You won’t need them for this recipe, but giblets are edible. You can use them to flavor recipes like soups and homemade chicken stock.
  • Get the chicken coated with butter. Fat equals flavor, people! The look we’re going for is “bronzed goddess”. So, make sure that you slather the chicken well with melted butter so that it cooks up juicy and golden. You can even get under the skin.
  • If you’re pressed for time, you can skip stuffing the chicken with aromatics (lemon, rosemary, garlic). This lets the hot air circulate inside the chicken so that it roasts more quickly.
  • Check the temperature. I’ve found that the best way to avoid overcooking a roast chicken is to check the internal temperature. Use a thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the meat, in this case, the breast, to check that the temperature is 165ºF.
  • Let the chicken rest after roasting. Make sure to baste the chicken and leave it to rest for about 15 minutes once it’s out of the oven. This allows all the juices inside the chicken to be redistributed.

Common Questions

Should you cover a chicken when roasting?

Not for this recipe. Roasting a whole chicken uncovered allows the skin to crisp up to a gorgeous golden brown. If you notice that your chicken is browning too fast, however, you can tent the pan with foil.

What temperature should I roast a chicken at?

I like to start off with a hot, quick roast at 450ºF, and then turn the oven down to 350ºF after 10 minutes to continue cooking until the chicken is done.

How do you keep a roasted chicken from drying out?

The key to succulent roasted chicken is salt! After patting the chicken dry, coating the outside and inside of the chicken with a generous seasoning of salt helps to keep the meat moist and full of flavor, while crisping up the chicken skin.

Close up of Whole Roast Chicken sliced with a carving knife.

What to Serve With Chicken

Name a better centerpiece for a meal than a golden whole roast chicken. So comforting! Here are some of my favorite side dishes:

More Ways to Use Roasted Chicken

Looking for more ways to use your roast chicken? There are so many ways to include tender chicken in all sorts of recipes. Try these ideas:

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

  • Fridge. Carve the chicken and transfer the meat to an airtight container. Refrigerate leftover chicken for up to 4 days. To reheat, warm the chicken in the microwave or in the oven at 350ºF until hot throughout. Leftover chicken is wonderful in soups, salads, sandwiches, and more.
  • Freezer. Roasted chicken freezes well. After the chicken is carved and completely cool, store the pieces airtight and freeze the chicken for up to 3-4 months. Defrost the chicken in the fridge overnight before reheating.

ENJOY!

More Easy Chicken Recipes

Whole Roast Chicken on a serving platter.

Roast Chicken Recipe

Katerina | Diethood
Make succulent whole roasted chicken that's bronzed, crispy, and full of flavor! This is a simple method for perfect roasted chicken with butter, garlic, and herbs.
4.92 from 45 votes
Servings : 4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Resting Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 3 to 4 pound whole broiler-fryer chicken
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning, or you can also use fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 450˚F.
  • Remove giblets from inside of the chicken’s cavity.
  • Thoroughly dry the chicken with paper towels.
  • Place chicken, breast side UP, on a rack set over a shallow roasting pan or jelly roll pan.
  • Brush the chicken with the melted butter.
  • Sprinkle or rub minced garlic all over the chicken.
  • In a small bowl, combine salt, basil, thyme, and lemon pepper; rub onto the chicken.
  • Add some salt to the inside of the cavity and fill the cavity with lemon slices, rosemary, and garlic cloves.
  • Tie the legs together with kitchen twine, and tuck the wings under the body of the chicken.
  • Roast, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 350˚F and continue to cook until done, about 1 more hour and 10 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165˚F.
  • Remove from oven and baste the chicken with the juices.
  • Let rest for about 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Notes

  • Cooking Temperature: You can roast a chicken at any temperature; however, in my opinion, it’s best to preheat the oven to 450˚F, roast the chicken for ten minutes at that temperature, and then reduce the oven temperature to 350˚F. In all my testing, I found this was the best method for crispy skin but tender and juicy meat.  
  • Instant Read Meat Thermometer: To avoid dry chicken, use this critical tool. Chicken is done cooking when the internal temperature registers at 165˚F.

Nutrition

Calories: 443 kcal | Carbohydrates: 5 g | Protein: 31 g | Fat: 33 g | Saturated Fat: 12 g | Cholesterol: 145 mg | Sodium: 627 mg | Potassium: 367 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 1 g | Vitamin A: 490 IU | Vitamin C: 18.6 mg | Calcium: 43 mg | Iron: 2.1 mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, American/Southern
Keyword: how to roast a chicken, roast chicken, whole roasted chicken
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85 comments on “Roasted Chicken Recipe”

  1. Avatar photo
    Deanette Russell

    I have an 8.3 pound chicken. How much more time would I need to allow for full cooking? Thank you!!

  2. 10/10 recommend! Wow! Flavor bomb. Put it over a deeper roasting pan and added parsnips, carrots and sliced onions on the bottom so they soaked up all the juices. Winner winner chicken dinner!!

      1. Avatar photo
        Cindy Mahoney Crawford

        Just made for Easter dinner. It was absolutely delicious! My family loved it! Thanks so much for the excellent recipe.

        1. Katerina - Diethood
          Katerina Petrovska

          That’s great to hear! I’m very happy everyone loved it! Thank you for chiming in! 🙂

  3. Me and my wife will have a dinner date tomorrow and this one will be an addition to our table. Thank you so much for sharing.

      1. Made a chicken roast for the first time ever and decided to use this recipe.. did not disappoint at all!😍 this is by far the best roast chicken I’ve ever had. So tender and juicy and full of flavour. Amazing

  4. Super yummy and juicy, I made this after I got over a nasty bout of a stomach bug, we didn’t even have any for left overs, which was such a same I was hoping to eat some for breakfast.

  5. Was looking gor a new recipe for baking a whole chicken and came across this five-star recipe. Am so glad I did as this was absolutely mouthwateringly delicious! This recipe deserves 10 stars. I had leftover herbs from a Rachel Ray recipe and I’m like this recipe is as good as her recipe. Move over Rachel!! Katerina is intown!

    1. Katerina - Diethood
      Katerina Petrovska

      Hi!
      There’s a couple things you can do to make a makeshift wire rack. One, roll up several pieces of foil into a ball and put them on the bottom of your pan, then set the chicken on top. You can also use a spare baking rack, or cooling rack, if you have one available. But, a rimmed sheet pan or a cast iron skillet will also work.

  6. This was amazing. Thank you so much for the recipe. No need to wait for room temp butter was my favorite part, everything was easy, and the chicken was a hit!!!

  7. Am a woman of few words and this chicken was and is out of this world😍😘😍😘the crowd went wild.thank you

  8. Avatar photo
    Becky Alcantar

    I look forward to making this chicken tomorrow night for dinner. My chicken is a big guy weighing in at 6 lbs. Would you happen to know how long it would take to cook or get to that internal temp of 165?

    1. Katerina - Diethood
      Katerina Petrovska

      Hi!
      Rule of thumb, per say, suggests that it takes chicken about 20 to 30 minutes per pound to cook. So, possibly 2 hours, but please use an Instant Read Thermometer to check for doneness. When temperature at the thigh registers at 165˚F, chicken is done.

    2. thank you so much for adding the WW points at the bottom! i was so happy to see them there. can’t wait to have this for dinner tonight!

      1. Katerina - Diethood
        Katerina Petrovska

        You are welcome! 😊 If you look on the sidebar of my site, right under “Recipe Key”, you will see the color-coded WW points – Blue, Green, Purple, and Freestyle; click on the one that you follow and it will give you a list of recipes with those points.

  9. Avatar photo
    Wood Boat Woman

    Wow. My truck driver husband is a hungry bear when he comes off the road. I made this chicken, put some cilantro and lemon with potatoes and carrots inside and in the pot, and he loves it. It’s one of his favorite meals now. He’s a picky eater. Thank you so much!!

    1. I made this for our dinner yesterday and my husband said and I quote “I think this is the best roast chicken you have ever made yet”
      I like to experiment on different recipes that’s why he said that.
      Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. ❤ I don’t have fresh lemon and fresh rosemary so I used onions and minced garlic to stuffed it and and I seasoned the insides with the same seasoning that I used to rub the chicken with.

  10. Wow!!! I made this last night for dinner using a 3.5 lb. organic chicken, it came out so moist, juicy & tasty! I was a little pressed for time so I condensed a few steps by combing the melted butter, garlic and herbs before rubbing it all on. I rubbed some under the skin and tucked a few lemon slices under there too. My oven did the job in 65 minutes total, came out perfect and the family loved it- thanks so much for sharing such a great & easy recipe 🙂

  11. This recipe is really good. I added 1/2 onion inside and Carrots and celery. It was really nice flavor and so juicy and tender.

  12. Hello! This is going to prob sound like a weird question but if I roast some sweet potatoes in the oven (in a different pan) while making this chicken will it change anything ? Will I need to keep the chicken in longer 😬

    1. Katerina - Diethood
      Katerina Petrovska

      Hi!
      You can put the potatoes in the same pan with the chicken, if you like, and if you have enough room. But, no, you won’t have to cook the chicken longer than suggested in the recipe.

  13. So you roast it at 450° for 10 mins then reduce heat to 350° and cook for another hour and ten to fifteen mins

  14. Hi making this delicious recipe it says in the recipe cook uncovered for first 10 minutes does this mean cover till cooked or leave uncovered for remaining time pls thanks j

  15. Can’t wait to use this recipe. Don’t forget to keep the bones and extra to use to make for your own homemade chicken broth for other future meals too! That way you are using up the entire chicken, bones and all 🙂

  16. I rarely comment on food blogs, but this recipe has been my go to fave for my chicken for the last 3 times. My husband offered to make the chicken this last time and I told him don’t touch it, my recipe is better than his!!!

  17. Yum yum yum! Super quick to prepare for a week night! It’s in the oven and my whole house smells delicious! Thanks for sharing!!

    1. I’ve never made a whole chicken before so I was nervous. This was so delicious! The kids have already asked me to make it again. Bonus: whole house smells great while it’s cooking!

      1. Perfect recipe.. I have a great herb garden , so I love recipes calling for rosemary, parsley, thyme etc.. I also added a bunch sprig of oregano inside the chicken. My 5 year old asked for seconds. Yay..

  18. Avatar photo
    Jacquelyn Hastert

    I love how much flavor is packed into this roasted chicken! It’s also so easy that this would work any night of the week.

  19. Avatar photo
    Jacque Hooper

    Love how easy this was to make and it lasted a few days too! Great recipe for busy weeknights and delicious too!

  20. Avatar photo
    Dorothy Reinhold

    Is there anything better than a roasted chicken? So good! This is going on the menu this week.

  21. What a jaw dropping recipe! Served this for dinner and it has instantly become a family favorite recipe in our home! Delicious!

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