Simple Succulent Roast Chicken Recipe

Say hello to our go-to oven-roasted chicken recipe. This easy method for roasting a whole chicken guarantees perfectly roast chicken with golden brown skin and juicy, tender meat.

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Easy Whole Roasted Chicken Recipe Video


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I feel warm and fuzzy when I smell chicken roasting in the oven. It makes me think of home and my Mom. Our easy recipe for a roasted whole chicken results in the most delicious, tender meat.

I’m a big fan of roasting chicken. It’s a perfect chicken dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy. You can also use the leftovers for other dishes later in the week. I love using the bones to make bone broth and almost always make this easy chicken salad with the leftover meat for lunches the next day.

Whole roasted chicken with golden brown skin

Key ingredients for roasted chicken

  • Whole chicken: I like roasting chickens that are around 5 pounds. No worries if your chicken is smaller — your roasting time will be a bit less. For roasting turkey, see our garlic herb roast turkey!
  • Salt & pepper: Be generous with your salt and pepper for the best roast chicken, and season outside of the chicken and inside the cavity.
  • Onion & water: For the juiciest meat, roast your chicken on a bed of sliced onion and water (or chicken broth). We can also turn the juices left at the bottom of the baking into a delicious gravy!
  • Optional aromatics: For even more flavor, stuff the cavity of your chicken with lemon wedges, a head of garlic cut in half, and fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary.

How to roast a whole chicken

Roasting a chicken is easy. Use any oven-safe pan when roasting chicken — a roasting pan with a rack, a large baking dish, a rimmed baking sheet, or an oven-safe skillet, like a cast iron pan, all work.

  1. Pat chicken dry and generously season inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff cavity with aromatics (optional).
  2. Place the chicken, breast-side facing up, on a bed of sliced onions and a splash of water.
  3. Roast in a 425° F (218° C) oven for 45 minutes to 1 ½ hours, depending on size. The chicken is done when an internal thermometer inserted into the meatiest part of the thigh reads 165° F (74° C).
  4. Rest, slice, and serve.

⭐️ For more roasted chicken recipes, see our quick and easy pan roasted chicken breasts or this butterflied whole roast chicken.

Best oven temperature for roasting chicken

  • For tender, fall-off-the-bone meat and soft skin, roast whole chicken at 325° F (162° C) for 1 ½ to 2 hours, depending on the weight.
  • For firm, juicy meat and crisp, golden-brown skin, roast whole chicken 425° F (218° C) oven for 45 minutes to 1 ½ hours, depending on size.

The best temperature for roasting chicken depends on what you are looking for. Higher oven temperatures help with more crispy, golden-brown skin, while lower oven temperatures result in softer, fall-off-the-bone meat. We roasted the chicken in our photos in a baking dish at 425° F and love the golden brown skin.

How to tell when roast chicken is done

Roast chicken is ready to come out of the oven when an internal thermometer inserted into the meatiest part of the thigh reads 165° F (74° C). As a visual check, slice between the leg and thigh. The chicken is done if the juices run clear.

How to get crispy skin

For roasted chicken with crispy skin, before roasting in the oven, refrigerate the seasoned chicken, uncovered, overnight in the fridge. The night in the fridge dries out the skin and helps it to crisp in the oven the next day.

How to serve roasted chicken

With vegetables: For a classic roast chicken dinner serve with mashed potatoes or roasted potatoes and gravy. For extra veggies, I love sautéed cabbage, quick sautéed green beans, garlicky roasted Brussels sprouts, and these honey roasted carrots.

Turn it into a salad: Shred it and serve it with your favorite salads. I love this homemade Caesar salad or Greek salad. You can also turn it into a salad, like this creamy chicken salad.

Stir it into soup: Cube or shred it and stir it into our chicken noodle soup, chicken and vegetable soup, or this simple vegetable soup.

Make a quick lunch: One of my favorite ways to eat roasted chicken is with a slice of crusty bread, homemade hummus, crisp cucumbers, and a drizzle of tahini sauce.

Simple Whole Roasted Chicken

Easy Juicy Roasted Chicken

  • PREP
  • COOK

Roasted chicken is the ultimate chicken dinner. Our method for roasting a whole chicken is easy and adaptable to what you love. We use a high temperature when roasting a chicken. The higher temperature (425° F) guarantees crispy, golden-brown skin and firm, juicy meat. If you prefer roasted chicken with much softer, fall-off-the-bone meat, roast at 325° F.

Makes approximately 4 servings

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You Will Need

1 whole chicken, 5 to 6 pounds, patted dry

Salt and fresh ground pepper

1 onion, sliced

1/2 cup (120ml) water or chicken broth

1 lemon, quartered, optional

1 whole head garlic, halved crosswise, optional

Small bunch fresh herbs, such as thyme, rosemary and sage, optional


    1Generously season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. For the crispiest chicken skin, refrigerate the chicken uncovered for at least an hour and up to overnight (optional).

    2Heat oven to 425 °F (218 °C). Scatter the sliced onions over the bottom of a baking dish or oven-safe skillet. Pour in water or broth.

    3Place the chicken, breast-side up, on top of the onions.

    4If using them, stuff the cavity with lemon wedges, halved garlic, and herbs. Use kitchen twine to tie the legs together. (If you don’t have twine, leave the legs as they are.)

    5Roast the chicken for 1 hour. Then, roast for another 20 to 30 minutes, occasionally opening the oven to spoon rendered fat at the bottom of the pan over the chicken.

    6Roast chicken is done when an internal thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165° F (74° C) 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

  • Make gravy: The pan juices left in the bottom of the dish after roasting are delicious when used to make gravy. Here’s our easy gravy recipe to walk you through it.
  • Nutrition Facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values.

Nutrition Per Serving
46 g
5 g
Dietary Fiber
1 g
Total Sugars
1 g
Total Fat
14 g
Saturated Fat
4 g
170 mg


Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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