This roasted chicken recipe is amazing! The meat comes out incredibly tender and juicy. Keep reading to find out how to roast a whole chicken to perfection.
Watch the Video
Related: We love these easy lemon chicken thighs!
Roasted Chicken Recipe Ingredients
The moment I smell chicken roasting away in the oven, I feel warm and fuzzy inside. It makes me think of home and my Mom. Our roasted chicken recipe is simple and results in succulent, tender meat. These are the ingredients you’ll need to prepare it:
- Whole chicken — The weight will vary Depending on where you buy your chicken. For our recipe, we call for a 5 to 6-pound chicken, which is quite large. The recipe will still work for smaller chickens (3 ½ pounds). The bake time will be slightly less. For turkey, see our garlic herb roast turkey!
- Salt and pepper — we need to season our chicken well for flavorful meat. I am careful to season the outside of the chicken, as well as inside the cavity.
- Chicken broth or water — A little broth or water at the bottom of the roasting pan helps to keep our chicken meat juicy and tender.
- Aromatics – We roast chicken on top of sliced onions and stuff the cavity with fresh garlic, lemon, and fresh herbs for extra flavor.
Find the full recipe with measurements below.
How to Roast a Whole Chicken
The best oven temperature to use: For incredibly tender, fall-off-the-bone meat and soft skin, roast between 300 and 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 ½ to 2 hours, depending on the weight. For firmer meat and crisp skin, roast the chicken at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes to 1 ½ hours, depending on the weight. We generally prefer crispier skin, so we use the higher oven temperature.
What pan to use: You will need a pan to roast the chicken in — a roasting pan with a rack, a large baking dish, a rimmed baking sheet, or an oven-safe pan will all work. We used a baking dish in our photos, and for this butterflied roasted chicken, we use a baking sheet.
How to season whole chicken for roasting: We like to keep things simple when it comes to seasoning. We lightly dust the entire chicken plus the cavity with salt and fresh ground pepper. Then we stuff it with a whole garlic head cut in half and a lemon cut into quarters. Finally, we roast our chicken on top of onions.
Tip for extra crispy skin: If you have the time, refrigerate the seasoned chicken, uncovered, for an hour or overnight, which is dry brines the chicken and keeps the skin extra crisp and the meat extra juicy when baked.
How to tell when roasted chicken is cooked: We love having our instant-read thermometer handy. This way, we can accurately check the doneness of the chicken — you want it to read 165 degrees Fahrenheit when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh. If you do not have a thermometer, don’t worry; another good test is to slice between the leg and thigh. If the juices run clear, you should be good.
For a quicker chicken recipe, try our pan-roasted chicken breasts. We brown the chicken in a skillet, and then move it to the oven to finish roasting.
What to Serve with Roasted Chicken
- Our Favorite Oven Roasted Vegetables — See how to roast vegetables in the oven, so they are tender on the inside and caramelized on the outside. Easy, no-fuss and adaptable recipe based on what you have in your kitchen.
- Quick and Easy Gravy — Serve this silky smooth gravy next to the chicken. The gravy takes less than 10 minutes and works wonders with the pan drippings in this recipe!
- Seriously Good Mushroom Stuffing — The stuffing is savory and soft in the middle, and perfectly crisp on top. It is naturally vegan and you can make it in advance.
- Coconut Oil Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pecans — Sweet potatoes are a staple in our kitchen and can be found roasted or baked and on our plates many days of the week. Coconut oil works so well with the caramelized sweet potatoes. Pure maple syrup adds a little sweetness, and a little cinnamon adds spice.
- Our Favorite Potato Salad Recipe — Such an easy potato salad recipe. We love this stuff! We would be happy to hover over a bowl of it any day. It has few extras thrown in, too.
Easy Juicy Roasted Chicken
This is our best whole roasted chicken recipe! You can roast a chicken at almost any temperature. It all depends on what you are looking for. For extremely tender, fall-off-the-bone meat, roast between 300 and 350 degrees Fahrenheit. For firmer meat with crisp skin, roast chicken at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. We love crispy skin, so we choose the higher temperature.
Watch Us Make the Recipe
You Will Need
1 (5 to 6 pound) whole chicken, patted dry
Salt and fresh ground pepper
1 onion, sliced
1/2 cup chicken broth or water
1 lemon, quartered
1 whole head garlic, halved crosswise
Small bunch fresh herbs, such as thyme, rosemary and sage
1Generously season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. If you have time, refrigerate the chicken uncovered for at least an hour and up to overnight.
2Heat oven to 425° Fahrenheit (218° C). Scatter the onions over the bottom of a roasting pan and pour in broth (or water).
3Place the chicken, breast-side up, on top of the onions. Stuff the cavity with the halved garlic, lemon wedges, and herbs. Use kitchen twine to tie the legs together. (If you don’t have twine, leave the legs as they are.)
4Roast the chicken for 1 hour. Then, roast for another 20 to 30 minutes, occasionally opening the oven to spoon pan juices over the chicken.
5Roast chicken is done cooking when an internal thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165° Fahrenheit or when the chicken juices run clear when you cut between a leg and a thigh. Depending on the size of your chicken, the total roasting time may vary.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Depending on where you buy your chicken, the weight will vary. For our recipe, we call for a 5 to 6 pound chicken, which is quite large. That said, the recipe will still work for smaller chickens (3 1/2 pounds). The bake time will just be slightly less.
- If you have the time, refrigerate the seasoned chicken uncovered for an hour and up to overnight. This is dry brining the chicken, which will help the skin become extra crisp and the meat extra juicy.
- Nutrition Facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values.
Recipe updated, originally posted September 2009. Since posting this in 2009, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne