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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