This Roasted Chicken Recipe is a simple recipe, as comfortable as a cozy family dinner as it is at impressing guests. Mostly hands off, this easy, one pan chicken is an essential recipe you need to know.
I love roasting chicken on a Sunday evening when the weather starts to cool down. Although this isn’t a quick recipe, it is mostly hands off once the initial prep is done, making it perfect for a quiet day at home.
Tips for a perfect roasted chicken
- If you buy the chicken the day you plan to roast it, know that most grocery store chickens are often partly frozen. They may appear thawed, but will be frozen in the center. This can cause the chicken to cook unevenly and have parts that are undercooked. I prefer to buy my chicken a day or two before I plan to roast it, then allow it to fully thaw in the fridge.
- Allow the chicken to sit at room temperature for an hour before cooking. This is another way to make sure you get an evenly cooked chicken and don’t end up with parts that are raw.
- Before preparing this chicken, make sure there is nothing in the cavity. Sometimes there will be a package of giblets, or something to soak up liquid. You don’t want to bake those things! Remove anything from the cavity before starting to prepare the chicken.
- Pat the outside of the chicken dry with paper towels – dry skin = crisp skin.
Trussing the chicken
Trussing the chicken is tying it up with kitchen twine so that it cooks more evenly and it looks prettier. Once you get the hang of it, trussing is super easy, and will make you feel like a kitchen rock star. It is also a good skill to have when cooking a turkey. For an example, see my video on how to truss a turkey – it is the exact same method as trussing a chicken.
What temperature should I roast a chicken?
In this recipe we roast the whole chicken at 425 degrees F for about 90 minutes. This will help crisp up the skin and the vegetables and still give you a juicy chicken.
- Yukon Gold Potatoes – these have the best flavor and texture
- Onion – I like to use a sweet onion, but any kind will do
- Carrots – these roast up like candy
- Parsnips – these are optional, but I love the sweet, earthy flavor they add
- garlic – you can just use whole garlic cloves with the skin on. They will pop right out of the skin after roasting, and you can spread them on bread like butter
One way to make sure you get browned, caramelized vegetables is to turn them so that the flat sides are against the bottom of the pan.
Helpful Tools for Roasted Chicken
Roasting Pan – a good roasting pan is a great tool to have in the kitchen. I like THIS ONE it because it is multi-clad (great at evenly heating), has a flat surface on the bottom and is NOT nonstick. It is so good at browning and caramelizing the vegetables. If you don’t have one yet, you can make do with a large baking dish, a Dutch oven or even a large cast iron skillet.
Instant Read Thermometer – I consider this another kitchen essential because it is the best and most accurate way to know if the meat is done. I use thermapen, but there are lots of inexpensive options out there
More Recipes you will love
- 1 whole chicken 4-5 pounds
- 4 Yukon gold potatoes quartered
- 4 carrots peeled and chopped into 2 inch chunks (set aside 2-3 small pieces)
- 3 parsnips peeled and chopped into 1 inch chunks. optional
- 1 large onion sliced into wedges (set aside 2-3 small pieces)
- 8 or more garlic cloves not peeled
- 1 large bunch of fresh thyme set aside 20 sprigs
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- kosher salt
- fresh ground pepper
- About an hour before cooking, take the chicken out of the fridge and set on the counter to allow to come to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F
- Place chopped vegetables in the bottom of a roasting pan with about 20 sprigs of thyme. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat the vegetables with oil. Arrange in a single layer on the bottom of the roasting pan. Turn each piece so that the cut side of all the pieces are facing down (this will help them to get nicely brown and caramelized.)
- Place roasting rack on top of vegetables (if you don’t have a roasting rack, you can put the chicken directly on top of the vegetables). Place chicken on roasting rack (be sure all giblets are removed from the inside of the chicken. Also check the neck cavity – sometimes they hide them in there).
- Liberally season the cavity of the chicken with salt and pepper. Insert a few small pieces of onion and carrot into the cavity, along with the rest of the thyme sprigs.
- Tuck the wings under the chicken and use kitchen twine to truss the chicken.
- Brush melted butter all over the outside of the chicken, then liberally season with kosher salt and pepper. This is what is going to get the skin nice and crispy, so don’t be stingy with the salt.
- Transfer roasting pan to oven and roast chicken for about 90 minutes, or until juices run clear and a thermometer reads 165°F when inserted into thigh.
- Allow to sit for 20 minutes before cutting. Cut chicken and serve with roasted vegetables.
Adapted from Ina Garten’s Perfect Roast Chicken
This post was originally published November 2nd, 2015. It was updated with new pictures and text on August 17th, 2022.
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Can I substitute fresh thyme with dried thyme?
Hi! I’m sure that would be fine. I would just decrease the amount as dried thyme is more potent. Usually you would use 1 tsp of dried to 1 Tablespoon of fresh.
Can confirm, this chicken is absolutely delicious! The cooking time is perfect, and the results are so tender and flavorful. It might have helped that I used an organic chicken, but I really think the recipe itself is just perfect. Even my picky son, who is really not a fan of most meat, said, “Mom, this chicken is really good.” Now THAT is a win. 🙂
Yay, so glad he liked it! And thanks for the gorgeous photos, Monica!
Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry says
It’s funny you mentioned moving to portland after a toxic relationship because I am too thinking about making the leap and moving there. It’s only 2 hours away from Seattle but I think it would be good to get some space and forge a new path. Any who, roasted chicken is my savior on those weeks when my food budget is scarily low.
Nicole – I can honestly say that it was the best decision I ever made. The most important part was choosing to stop being in a situation that was making me miserable and start doing what I wanted to do. I had wanted to move to Portland for years, so that was one of them. But also I needed to get physically away from the situation. It was only a 2 hour drive for me as well (I moved from Eugene) but the change of location was necessary. Once I decided to start making choices that made me happy, so many things fell into place. It was also really stressful and scary, but it was so worth it. Also, funny that you are thinking of moving from Seattle to Portland, because my husband and I moved from Portland to Seattle earlier this year (for his job). I miss Portland like crazy, it is my favorite city. I wish you the best of luck on your new path – it might be difficult sometimes, but just remember that you know that is best for yourself. <3
Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor says
Roasted chicken is one of my favorite classic meals! I love making this meal during the fall and winter because it’s so warm and comforting. I’ll definitely have to try this recipe next time!
It has definitely turned to comfort food weather around here! Thank you so much Ashley!
My Dish is Bomb says
“nothing says “I have my shit together” like a clean kitchen and a chicken roasting in the oven” — Hahaha! So true. I’ve never roasted a chicken, always thought it was daunting but you make it look so easy! Definitely going to try since it seems a little more economical. Now to get a roasting pan…
Haha, thank you Katy! I think I waited 30 years to roast a chicken because I thought it was going to be difficult – and I was shocked when it wasn’t. Also, I promise that you will fall in love with your roasting pan and never be able to live without it.
Kelly - Life Made Sweeter says
So glad 2011 was full of great changes 🙂 Your roasted chicken with veggies looks perfect – so flavorful and delicious!
Thank you so much Kelly!
Mr Briar says
Can we nestle in a few heads of garlic next time? Those caramelized cloves are pure gold!
My thoughts exactly dear 🙂
Entertaining and endearing blog with doable delicious recipe ideas! ??
Thank you so much! <3
Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet says
When I worked at a bakery baked in college, one of my favorite things was drizzling the savory pastries with olive oil, cracked pepper and fresh thyme. There’s something so wholesome and therapeutic about picking the thyme off the branches. It’s so simple and so delicious, like this recipe! Happy Monday dear!
Yum, savory pastries, sounds so good! I agree, I find that removing the thyme leaves from the branches is almost like meditating! Thank you, Lauren, and Happy Monday to you too!
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says
Lol, Meghan! This post made me giggle. I’m glad 2011 was such a great year for you (and I’m super thrilled you aren’t in that toxic relationship anymore)! I’m not sure what year I became a grown ass woman… hmmm. I’m too old, my brain won’t let me think that far back. lol. However, I can roast a chicken! I love love love yours, girlie! Your roasted chicken with veggies just looks scrumptious! Super easy and super elegant, exactly how I like my roasted chicken! SO DELISH! Cheers, girlfriend- to being a grown ass woman. <3
Haha, thank you Cheyanne! I was a little nervous that it might be a little TMI, so glad it was entertaining 🙂 Sometimes being a grown ass woman can be a challenge, but I feel like if we can roast a chicken and make good relationship choices then we are good! Cheers to you Lady!
I shouldn’t be reading this hungry!! Now I want the whole roasted chicken dinner NOW! Looks so good! I just finished roasting a butternut squash & was getting ready to prepare brown rice…well, now thanks to your tantalizing recipe, Mr. Jones will be sharing your recipe with me tonight!
You seem to have made some great choices in your 30th year! Very encouraging story~❤️
Thank you! Butternut squash also sounds good 🙂