How To Roast A Chicken

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Roasting a chicken is simpler than you might think. With these tips, you’ll be able to roast a chicken with crispy skin and juicy, flavorful meat.

This is exactly the chicken I’ve been wanting to make for a while now. If you’re a friend of mine on Instagram, you’ve already heard about my extreme excitement with this chicken. I just might have danced around the kitchen for a few moments after I tasted the first bite.

How To Roast A Chicken recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

I’ve tried my hand at cooking whole chickens repeatedly over the past few years. I tried everything from simple sauces to complicated sauces, spice rubs with long ingredient lists, specific instructions for when and how to flip the bird mid-process.

Not only was I over-complicating the heck out of a simple roast chicken, I was stressing myself out! I was using multiple pots, racks and tools and all I needed in the end was a baking sheet.

How To Roast A Chicken

I finally decided to stop looking for the perfect roast chicken recipe and simply try a method that has proven reliable for roasting other meats. A basic combination of spices and oil is all this herb-rubbed pork roast requires and it gets rave reviews every time I make it.

Why shouldn’t that work with a roast chicken? I used a mixture of fresh rosemary and dried thyme, because that was what I had on hand. I often use sage or herbs de Provence with my chicken marinades, so those would likely be great in the mix as well.

For busier days, this Slow Cooker Whole Chicken is fantastic as well. It’s incredibly simple. The chicken goes into the slow cooker with just a few minutes’ effort.

I like to serve roast chicken with Slow Cooker Creamed Corn or this Cheesy Corn Casserole. These Crock Pot Baked Potatoes are an effortless side dish that works with any dinner.

Trussing: Take it or leave it. If the legs are sticking out too much, you can pull them together a little bit using kitchen twine. (I ignore them, if they aren’t sticking out very much.) Pulling them together prevents them from over-browning and/or cooking too quickly. Trussing is done mostly for aesthetic reasons, so it’s up to you.

Cooking times: When I’m cooking meats in the oven, I usually take them out of the refrigerator up to an hour before I’m going to cook them. This way the meat isn’t super cold going into the oven. It will cook a little faster and the times are more predictable.

When the bird is deeply golden brown and the skin starts to look crispy, it is done. You’re looking for 165 degrees in the meaty part of the thigh. Remove from the oven and let the chicken rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.

If you cut into the bird straight from the oven, the juices won’t have a chance to distribute fully through the meat and they will drain out onto the cutting board.

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How To Roast A Chicken

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Servings: 4 -5 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1 whole chicken about 3 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons dried or fresh herbs of your choice chopped small (I used rosemary and thyme)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 small lemon halved
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled and smashed

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and move the oven rack to the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with foil. Combine the herbs, salt, pepper and oil in a small dish and stir to combine. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. Set the dry chicken on the prepared baking sheet. Use your hands to rub the oil and spice mixture all over the bird. Place the chicken on the foil, breast side up. Insert the lemon halves and the garlic into the cavity of the chicken.
  • Roast for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. If your chicken went into the oven still pretty cold from the refrigerator, it will probably take another 15 minutes or so. (For every pound over 3 pounds, you'll need an additional 15-20 minutes cooking time.)
  • When the bird is deeply golden brown and the skin starts to look crispy, it is done. You're looking for 165 degrees in the meaty part of the thigh. Remove from the oven and let the chicken rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. If you cut into it earlier, the juices won't have a chance to distribute fully through the meat and they will drain out onto the cutting board. Enjoy!

Notes

For what it's worth, I cooked this chicken without trussing. I only tied the legs after it was cooked, in the interest of a more traditional picture.
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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Anonymous says

    This is pretty much how I make it, but I use softened butter instead of oil…..My family cant wait to get the skin off and eat it….Delish!

  2. Lisa @ The Meaning of Me says

    Just had to tell you how terrific this was. In my entire life, I've never roasted a chicken – we are a family of non-dark meat eaters so we always stick to a breast. But since I've been making my own chicken broth it seems silly not to get the whole chicken and use that to make the stock. We used the Herbs de Provence because I had the end of a jar and it was just the right amounts. This worked just the way you said and it could not have been more simple or more delicious – thanks! Now I'm off to make the stock and start some soup!

  3. Anne Reesor says

    Excellent advice! I must tell you of a convenience I use. I roast the chicken in a stainless steel frypan, then rest the roast on a plate, add some water or wine or cream or stock to the drippings in the pan and heat on the stovetop. Thickened with a slurry (flour and water combined), I have a gravy that is ready while the roast rests. Any juices that do not go back into the roast are added to the pan, and simmered for a couple of minutes, to make sure they are well cooked.

    • Mary says

      Most of the birds I buy are around 3 pounds. I'll make a note of that in the recipe. Thanks! You'll need an additional 15-20 minutes for every pound over that.