This fail-proof method of making oven-roasted whole chicken yourself is easy enough for a novice cook, but delicious enough to serve for holidays and entertaining! This recipe is easy comfort food and can be used in many chicken recipes.
Oven Roasted Chicken
Don’t get me wrong, I love to grab a rotisserie chicken from the store when I’m in a pinch. But what if I told you that making your own was so much better and just as easy?
All you need is a whole chicken and a few staple ingredients you probably already have on hand.
Why is this recipe better than anyone else’s? It’s incredibly easy to make! It’s such great comfort food and so delicious in other recipes.
It’s easier than you think to have a perfect roasted chicken with a crisp skin.
Why you’ll love this simple roast chicken
Not only is this recipe simple enough for weeknight dinners, but it’s nice enough for both guests and a holiday meal.
You’ll love this recipe, for a few reasons:
- This oven-roasted chicken is super simple to make!
- Roasted chicken is so comforting and cozy.
- You can eat the chicken straight off the bone or use it in other recipes.
- It’s made entirely with simple ingredients found at your local grocery store.
Whole Roasted Chicken Recipe Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to make this whole chicken at home:
- young chicken: I like to use a 5-6 lb chicken for this recipe. You’ll want to remove the giblets before cooking. They’re often stored in a small bag in the cavity of the chicken.
- unsalted butter: You can use salted butter but cut down on the added salt to accommodate. You could also substitute olive oil or avocado oil in a pinch.
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- dried thyme: You can use fresh thyme instead of dried.
- dried rosemary: Similarly, fresh rosemary works too.
- coarse kosher salt: Coarse sea salt is a fine substitute.
- black pepper: Freshly ground has the best flavor.
Roasted Chicken Seasoning
Season roast chicken with a dry rub made of garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, dried rosemary, salt, and pepper.
Fresh herbs like thyme and rosemary can be used instead of dried if you like.
Brush the chicken with melted butter and sprinkle the seasoning over top.
Roasted Whole Chicken Variations
If you want to play with flavors for this chicken, you can use different spice blends, seasonings, or rubs.
- Greek whole chicken: Use homemade Greek seasoning. Add it to pitas or salads.
- Fajita whole chicken: Rub it with fajita seasoning. Great for tacos and burritos!
- Italian whole chicken: Season the chicken with Italian seasoning. It’s perfect for pasta and pizza.
How to Roast a Whole Chicken
Roasting a whole chicken is much, much easier than you’d think:
- Get started by preheating the oven to 450°F.
- Place the chicken in a Dutch oven, roasting pan, or deep skillet. A cast iron skillet works great for this. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and discard the paper towels.
- In a small bowl, stir together the butter, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, dried rosemary, salt and pepper.
- Brush the chicken with melted butter and sprinkle the herb mixture all over the chicken over top of the skin and underneath. This creates a perfectly crispy skin on the chicken.
- Bake the chicken in the oven for 40 minutes. With a turkey baster or basting brush, baste the chicken with the pan drippings and bake for 30 minutes more. You want to ensure the internal temperature reads 155°F to 160°F at the thickest part of the breast. You can use an instant-read thermometer to check for this.
- Once it has reached temperature, remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing.
How long to roast a whole chicken
A 5-6 lb whole chicken must cook for about an hour. Halfway through, baste the chicken all over with the juices in the bottom of the pan.
Remove the chicken when it reaches an internal temperature of 155°F to 160°F at the thickest part of the breast with a meat thermometer.
Once the chicken is out of the oven, let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing.
Roast Chicken Temperature when done
A whole chicken is ready when the internal temperature is 155°F to 160°F at the thickest part of the breast. This can be checked with an instant read thermometer.
The chicken will continue to cook after you remove it from the oven as it rests. It should rest for about 15 minutes after being removed from the oven so that the juices can settle and the breasts can continue cooking.
Whole Roasted Chicken Recipe Tips
The best knife to cut a whole chicken is a boning knife.
Save the pan juices to make gravy. It’s oh-so-good on mashed potatoes!
Be sure to use a meat thermometer to keep tabs on the chicken temperature. This is the best way to have perfect roast chicken.
I only baste the chicken once throughout the cooking process so that the skin of the chicken gets nice and golden brown. I also don’t cover it with aluminum foil so that the skin has the chance to get nice and crispy while keeping a juicy meat.
Cooking this at 450ºF may feel like a high temperature, but it’s what will help keep that outside nice and crispy without overcooking the breast meat.
You can add a bright touch of flavor by adding in some lemon zest to your seasonings.
Letting the chicken rest after cooking is important to make sure the juices redistribute. You can transfer it to a cutting board while it rests.
While some recipes call for trussing the legs with kitchen twine or kitchen string, I don’t find it necessary.
Save the leftovers and bones to make homemade chicken stock!
I don’t stuff the chicken with anything because it affects the cooking time. Heat isn’t able to circulate into the cavity.
Rather than covering it in butter and herbs, you can also make herb butter by mixing the two and then covering the chicken. Feel free to do whichever is easiest for you!
Our Favorite Sides with Roast Chicken
Roast chicken is delicious with tons of great side dishes.
- Potatoes: Try it with boursin mashed potatoes or potato skins.
- Vegetables: Any veggie goes with chicken, like brown sugar roasted carrots or oven-roasted broccoli.
- Casseroles: A casserole is perfect to go with chicken. Try it with green bean casserole or smoked mac & cheese.
- Bread: Bread instantly upgrades a meal to feel fancy! We love cornbread or garlic bread, depending on the theme of the meal.
Storing leftover Oven Roasted Whole Chicken
Once the chicken has completely cooled to room temperature, refrigerate it within 2 hours. Store leftover chicken in a food-safe, airtight container in the refrigerator. It’s important that it’s in a sealed container.
The USDA recommends using cooked chicken within three to four days.
Best way to reheat Oven Roasted Chicken
Reheat the entire chicken on a rimmed baking sheet or baking dish at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or 400°F for 15 minutes. Let it rest for five minutes before serving.
Can roasted Whole Chicken be frozen?
Roasted chicken can be frozen. Once cooked, let it cool completely. Carve the chicken and individually wrap the wings, thighs, legs and breasts. Place in a freezer-safe container and freeze.
More Chicken Recipes
- Smoked Chicken Wings
- Beer Can Chicken
- Sweet Honey Garlic Chicken
- Ranch Chicken
- Baked Panko Chicken Breasts
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Whole Roasted Chicken Recipe
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- To a small bowl, combine the butter, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, dried rosemary, salt, and pepper.
- Brush the butter and herb mix all over the chicken on top of the skin and underneath.
- Bake the chicken in the oven for 40 minutes. Baste the chicken with the pan juice and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 155°-160°F at the thickest part of the breast.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.