Whole Roasted Chicken

Whole Roasted Chicken

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  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 springs of thyme
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, cut in half
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Season the cavity of the chicken, liberally, with salt and pepper. Stuff the thyme, rosemary, lemon, and garlic into the cavity of the chicken. Truss the chicken. Season the skin of the chicken with salt and pepper.

Place the chicken in the oven for 1 hour. Check to see if a thermometer, when inserted into the thigh, reads 160 degrees. If it does not read 160 degrees, place the chicken back in the oven and check again every 10 minutes until it is ready. If the thermometer does read 160 degrees, pull the chicken out and allow it to rest for at least 20 minutes before carving it.

Serve the chicken family-style with your favorite side dishes. Any leftover meat is great for chicken sandwiches.

Nutritional Facts


Calories Per Serving336

Folate equivalent (total)12µg3%

Riboflavin (B2)0.2mg11.4%

Recipe Summary

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup finely diced carrots
  • 1/3 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/3 cup finely diced celery
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, savory or mixed herbs, or 2 fresh thyme or savory sprigs
  • One 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Parsley stems
  • Celery leaves
  • Six 1/8-inch-thick lemon slices
  • 1/2 cup sliced onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock or broth

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a skillet. Add the diced carrots, onion and celery and cook over moderate heat until softened. Stir in the herbs.

Wash the chicken rapidly inside and out with hot water and pat thoroughly dry. For easier carving, cut out and discard the wishbone. Pull the neck skin up over the breast and secure it to the back with a toothpick. Salt and pepper the cavity and spoon in the cooked vegetables, a handful of parsley stems and celery leaves and the lemon slices. Massage the chicken all over with 1 tablespoon of the butter, then truss it. Alternatively, tie the ends of the drumsticks together and tuck the wings under the body.

Choose a flameproof roasting pan that is about 1 inch larger than the chicken. Salt the chicken all over and set it breast up on a rack in the pan. (Thoroughly wash all surfaces and utensils that have been in contact with the raw chicken.)

Roast the chicken in the oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, as follows:At 15 minutes Brush the chicken with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter. Scatter the sliced onion and carrot all around. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.At 45 minutes Brush the lemon juice over the chicken. If necessary, add 1/2 cup of water to the vegetables to prevent burning.At 60 minutes Baste with the pan juices. Test for doneness: The drumsticks should move easily in their sockets their flesh should feel somewhat soft. If not, continue roasting, basting and testing every 7 to 8 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees.

Spear the chicken through the shoulders lift to drain if the last of the juices run clear yellow, the chicken is done. Let rest on a carving board for 15 minutes discard the string.

Spoon all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the juices in the pan. Add the stock and boil until lightly syrupy, 5 minutes. Strain you will have just enough to bathe each serving with a fragrant spoonful.

Easy Whole Roasted Chicken

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Every cook swears by one method or recipe for roasting a chicken, but tricky techniques, fussy brines, and fancy rubs aside, only two things matter: crispy skin and juicy, flavorful meat. This basic method gives you both without any special pans or weird ingredients. Just rub the bird with oil, salt, and pepper, add a few aromatics, roast for a few minutes on high heat, then finish on low—no trussing with kitchen twine, no basting, and no roasting pan required (if you don’t have one, you can use a skillet, Dutch oven, or baking sheet instead). Use any leftover meat in a Chicken Salad Sandwich, or use the carcass and roasted vegetables to make Chicken Stock (or slow cooker chicken stock if you want an even easier way).

Game plan: If you have the time and want crispier skin, salt the chicken the night before and refrigerate it uncovered (this is known as dry brining). Let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before roasting. See more tips and tricks for perfect roasted chicken, including Molly Ringwald’s recipe.

What to buy

Calphalon Classic Hard Anodized 16-Inch Roasting Pan with Nonstick Rack , $68.67 on Amazon

Perfect for roasting everything from prime rib to turkey to smaller chickens, the durable hard-anodized surface of this pan sears, browns, caramelizes and deglazes beautifully, and the nonstick rack is dishwasher-safe.

Roast Chicken

Zest two of the lemons. Strip the leaves off of one of the rosemary sprigs and chop it up finely.

In a bowl, combine softened butter, lemon zest, rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste.

Line a baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil and lay the patted-dry chicken on the foil, breast side up.

Use your fingers to smear the butter mixture all over the chicken, under the skin, and inside the cavity. Cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice of one lemon all over the chicken. Place the six lemon halves (if they'll fit!) and the three remaining rosemary leaves into the cavity of the bird.

Place the chicken into the oven and roast it for 1 hour, 15 minutes or until done. Skin should be deep golden brown and juices should be sizzling.

Carve/cut up to your heart's content and dig in!

There&rsquos nothing simpler than roast chicken.

And there are few things more delicious.

You can use this basic recipe and change it up however you like: different herbs, different citrus fruits, different seasonings. You can even have a different attitude and see how that affects the flavor of the meat!

Just kidding. But you can change what you&rsquore wearing each time. That&rsquos always a fun variation.

The Cast of Characters: A whole chicken, butter, lemons, rosemary, and salt and pepper.

And the will to make roast chicken.

Throw the buttah into a bowl. Make sure it&rsquos nice and soft.

Zest up at least two of the lemons&hellip

And throw the zest into the bowl with the butter.

My question of the day: Where would the world be without lemon zest? I can&rsquot imagine it. I don&rsquot want to imagine it. So I won&rsquot imagine it.

I&rsquom so glad we had this talk.

Strip off a bunch of rosemary leaves&hellip

And chop them really finely.

Finer than this. I was in a hurry to eat.

Throw the rosemary into the bowl, too.

Add some salt and pepper (I didn&rsquot do this. Don&rsquot be like me.)

Line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy aluminum foil and plop the chicken right in the middle. You can truss it if you want. But that&rsquos not how we do things around here. You can also do pieces, which I do with great frequency, which is another way of saying &ldquoI do that a lot.&rdquo

In other news: Whole chickens crack me up. I don&rsquot know why.

And I don&rsquot want to know why.

Throw the butter mixture on the top&hellip

And smear it all over the bird.

Be sure to get in all the crevices.

Now, cut the lemons in half&hellip

Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the top&hellip

Then stuff as many lemon halves as you can into the&hellipcavity.

Next, wedge two or three of the rosemary sprigs in there too.

I&rsquod just like to take this opportunity to say that lemon and rosemary are so pretty together.

Then give the chicken one final schmear&hellip

And roast it in the oven for about an hour and fifteen minutes to an hour-and-a-half. Ish. I do 400 degrees on convection, so if you&rsquore using a standard oven you could do 425 or so. Basically, you want it cooked through, skin a deep golden brown, juices sizzling in the bottom of the pan&hellipbut still moist in the middle.

After you take it out of the oven, cover it loosely with foil and let it sit for 10 minutes or so.

And by all means do not take photos of the perfectly roasted chicken coming out of the oven. That would be way too helpful and instructive.

Next, remove the legs, thighs, and breast. And wings.

And again, by all means, when you do this do not take photos of the process.

I need some ginkgo biloba.

And yum! Roast chicken! Nothing like it in the world.

Serve it on a plate with a wedge salad and a lemon half.

Back to carving, you probably don&rsquot want to learn how to perfectly carve a chicken from me. I do it differently every time. Sometimes I just hack off pieces of chicken until there&rsquos nothing left but the carcass. Sometimes I carve it meticulously and surprise myself by doing a somewhat decent job.

Sometimes I do this. (This is a different roast turkey recipe I made the same day. Will post soon.)

And sometimes I just rip off the leg and eat it in the kitchen before dinner is served.

Whole Roasted Chicken

Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 5-6 lbs. large Kosher chicken
  • 1/2 large lemon
  • 3-4 cloves garlic peeled
  • 6 sprigs parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2+ tbsp. oil
  • 2 large carrots, peeled cut in thirds optional
  • 1 large sweet onion cut into quarters optional
  • Butchers string


…The Backstory continues: Well, this recipe is one of those must-have recipes in any Jewish cook’s arsenal. This is your Shabbat roasted chicken, your company’s coming roasted chicken, or your go-to roasted chicken. This is the chicken from where your chicken stock comes. It’s the base of your soup, your chicken salad (if there are leftovers), and whatever else you decide to do with it. You can even make Chicken Marsala out of this (okay, so it’s not so Jewish. But it’s delicious. So sue me.)

This, my friends, is your classic roast chicken. I promise: follow the recipe and you can’t screw it up.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 whole chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds), rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Tie chicken legs together with kitchen twine (tuck wings under chicken, if desired, for a neater presentation). Place chicken on a rack set in a roasting pan (or on a rimmed baking sheet).

Rub chicken all over with butter season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees when inserted in the thickest part of a thigh (avoiding bone), 45 to 50 minutes. Serve, or let cool before refrigerating, up to 3 days, covered.

What to Serve with Air Fryer Chicken

If I&rsquom cooking a full-sized whole chicken then my air fryer is close to capacity and I can&rsquot also air fry vegetables at the same time, so I have to cook them in batches.

I usually toss in some vegetables to pre-cook for 5 or 10 minutes before cooking the chicken. Then remove them to a bowl and cover with foil until the chicken is done roasting. You can then pop the veg back in to the air fryer to finish cooking while the chicken rests for 10 minutes or so.

Pin this air fryer whole chicken recipe to save it for later!

Spatchcock Roast Chicken


  • ▢ 1 whole (3 to 5 pound) roaster chicken
  • ▢ 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter softened
  • ▢ 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ▢ 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • ▢ Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ▢ 6 cloves garlic unpeeled
  • ▢ 1 lemon cut in half
  • ▢ 1 cup dry white wine


Show Nutrition

Recipe Testers' Reviews

Patty Fabian

Winner, winner… this spatchcock roast chicken recipe did produce an incredibly moist, juicy, and flavorful chicken! Obviously, the buttery-garlic-infused wine and lemon broth the chicken roasted in were big factors, as well as the flavor-packed herbs tucked under the skin. In this case, I used fresh chopped Italian parsley and lemon thyme, my all-time favorites with chicken. I drizzled the remaining lemon juice over the chicken and let it rest while I finished up my side dishes of a quick stuffing and steamed green beans. You will end up with a lot of wonderful tasting pan broth with this dish that you can drizzle over when serving, sop up with crusty bread, or save to add a great pop of flavor to another dish where chicken stock is used.

This was an incredibly easy recipe to follow and spatchcocking the chicken really does allow it to roast more quickly and evenly throughout. I’ll definitely be making this dish again.

Ilda Costa-Sarnicki

I have all sorts of thumbs up for this spatchcock roast chicken. I did start with an amazing bird. A big bird. 3 kg of organic free-range bird. Let me tell you, the meat on this chicken was tender and flavorful but the spatchcock process required a bit of teamwork. These free-roaming gals are tough to crack.

Once butterflied, the process was seamless. There’s something so satisfying about massaging chicken skin with butter. I used my parsley and thyme butter mostly under the skin as my chicken was a bit bigger than the recommended size for this recipe. The outside of the skin was pretty much a vehicle for cleaning the butter off my hands.

The timings and temperature were fairly accurate. Both the breast and thigh meat were cooked to perfection and remained juicy. I had left my second half of the lemon in the roasting pan. It had already roasted for 30 minutes when I realized it was meant for drizzling fresh at the end. For comparison, I squeezed the juice of the roasted lemon on half the roasted chicken and fresh lemon on the second half. Both juices wakened up the chicken flavor but I actually preferred the cooked lemon juice flavor. It just lent a more rounded and interesting depth of flavor. As for the seasoning, I used a total of 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. From this I removed one teaspoon which I mixed with the butter and herbs for under the chicken skin. The remaining salt was mixed with 1 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper and sprinkled all over the chicken before roasting. No adjustments were required at the end.

The recipe didn’t mention a sauce. This chicken didn’t really need a sauce but I definitely had some really delicious stuff in the pan. I separated the fat from the pan juices, reduced the remaining elixir, and served this on the side. I also drizzled the sauce over my steamed and sautéed long beans with slices of elephant garlic. A fluffy potato mash with just chicken broth and thyme was another perfect addition to the meal. As I used Sauvignon Blanc as my wine in the sauce, we also accompanied this meal with a glass of this slightly acidic and crisp wine which brought out the herby flavors in this perfect roast chicken. Cheers!

Rosemary Wynn

This spatchcock roast chicken really might be the perfect roast chicken recipe. The prep was easy and the result was a flavorful moist chicken. I even removed the skin on my portion and the result was still a super juicy flavorful chicken.


If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


In the first paragraph the author states that the backbone and sternum are removed yet in the directions, removing the sternum isn’t mentioned.

I’ve never heard of removing the sternum. I also like to eat the cartilage. Grilled over charcoal with a savory tare, it is called nankotsu and is one of the many types of yakitori in traditional Japanese cuisine.

Thanks, Bkhuna. You’re correct. In this recipe, only the backbone is removed and the breastbone is simply cracked so the chicken can lie flat. Although it isn’t as common, some people do choose to remove the breastbone as well when spatchcocking. The advantage to this is that the chicken truly lies flat, however, the method generally works very well with the breastbone left in and it lets you enjoy the cartilage if you choose to.

    1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better.
    2. Salt and pepper the cavity, then truss the bird. Trussing is not difficult, and if you roast chicken often, it's a good technique to feel comfortable with. When you truss a bird, the wings and legs stay close to the body the ends of the drumsticks cover the top of the breast and keep it from drying out. Trussing helps the chicken to cook evenly, and it also makes for a more beautiful roasted bird.
    3. Now, salt the chicken—I like to rain the salt over the bird so that it has a nice uniform coating that will result in a crisp, salty, flavorful skin (about 1 tablespoon). When it's cooked, you should still be able to make out the salt baked onto the crisp skin. Season to taste with pepper.
    4. Place the chicken in a sauté pan or roasting pan and, when the oven is up to temperature, put the chicken in the oven. I leave it alone—I don't baste it, I don't add butter you can if you wish, but I feel this creates steam, which I don't want. Roast it until it's done, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove it from the oven and add the thyme, if using, to the pan. Baste the chicken with the juices and thyme and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board.
    5. Remove the twine. Separate the middle wing joint and eat that immediately. Remove the legs and thighs. I like to take off the backbone and eat one of the oysters, the two succulent morsels of meat embedded here, and give the other to the person I'm cooking with. But I take the chicken butt for myself. I could never understand why my brothers always fought over that triangular tip—until one day I got the crispy, juicy fat myself. These are the cook's rewards. Cut the breast down the middle and serve it on the bone, with one wing joint still attached to each. The preparation is not meant to be superelegant. Slather the meat with fresh butter. Serve with mustard on the side and, if you wish, a simple green salad. You'll start using a knife and fork, but finish with your fingers, because it's so good.

    Reprinted from Bouchon, by Thomas Keller, Copyright © 2004, published by Artisan.

    How to Cook a Whole Chicken

    This is our Test Kitchen&aposs tried-and-true method on how to bake a whole chicken. Then you can make a roast chicken dinner in five easy steps, with five (or fewer!) ingredients.

    Step 1: Prepare the Chicken

    Preheat the oven to 375ଏ. Make sure to note how much your bird weighs, as this determines how long to roast a chicken in the oven. Set the chicken in a shallow roasting pan ($13, Target), breast side up. Tie the drumsticks together with cooking twine ($5, Williams Sonoma) so the chicken keeps its shape and to ensure even cooking without overdrying the limbs. Since the wings are small and will cook the fastest if they&aposre sticking out, tuck the wing tips under the bird so they don&apost burn.

    Test Kitchen Tip: Sometimes gizzards or other internal organs are stuffed in the cavity of the chicken remove this packet before cooking and discard or save for another use.

    Why You Should Never Rinse Your Chicken

    In the past, recipes recommended rinsing pieces of chicken or turkey (or the entire bird&aposs cavity) with water and patting it dry with paper towels. The U.S. Department of Agriculture changed its stance on this practice. Research shows rinsing poultry can spread bacteria by splashing contaminated water onto the surrounding areas. If any moisture is present on your bird when you remove it from the packaging, simply pat it dry with paper towels, and throw away the paper towels immediately.

    Step 2: Season the Chicken

    While the oven is preheating, brush the chicken with olive oil or butter and season with salt, pepper, and (if desired) crushed dried herbs, such as thyme or oregano. Try the lemon-herb or spice rub variations in our roast chicken recipe.

    Test Kitchen Tip: Always wash your hands, countertops, and utensils in hot, soapy water between each step of food preparation. Bacteria on raw poultry, meat, or fish can contaminate other food that is exposed to the same surfaces.

    Step 3: Cook Chicken in the Oven

    Place the chicken in the roasting pan in the preheated oven. Cooking times vary by weight. Cut the string and cover with foil to prevent overbrowning after 1 hour.

    How long to roast a chicken at 375ଏ:

    • 2½- to 3-pound chicken: Roast 1 to 1¼ hours
    • 3½- to 4-pound chicken: Roast 1¼ to 1½ hours
    • 4½- to 5-pound chicken: Roast 1¾ to 2 hours

    Make it a Meal: Cut 1 lb. red potatoes, 3 carrots, 1 medium peeled turnip, and 1 medium onion into 1-inch chunks. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper toss to coat. Arrange vegetables around chicken in the pan for the last 45 to 50 minutes or roasting your chicken, stirring occasionally.

    Step 4: Make Sure the Chicken Is Done

    The chicken is done cooking when the juices run clear, the chicken is no longer pink, and the drumsticks move easily in their sockets. However, don’t rely on these tests alone. Always check the doneness of roast chicken by inserting a meat thermometer ($15, Target) into the thickest part of the thigh. It should read 170ଏ. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), all poultry is safe to eat at 165ଏ, but our Test Kitchen found thigh meat was a better texture when cooked to 170ଏ. For an accurate read, insert the oven-going thermometer in the thigh before you start roasting (it stays in the whole time).

    Step 5: Let It Stand

    Before serving, allow the whole roasted chicken to stand, covered with foil, for 15 minutes. This will help the juices redistribute throughout the bird for moist, tender meat. Carve and serve. If you have leftover baked chicken, store cooked chicken in an airtight container ($9, Bed Bath & Beyond) in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Freeze it if you&aposll be using it later than that.

    Test Kitchen Tip: Rather than cooking the whole chicken, if you want to make roasted chicken breast or roast other bone-in chicken pieces, we also have a great guide on how to bake chicken. Then you&aposll know how to bake chicken breast in the oven and how long to roast chicken legs.

    Now that you know how to roast a chicken, you can get creative with your new seasonings as much as you want. For inspiration, try our delicious roasted chicken recipes such as orange-sage or fiery lemon. All you&aposll have left is to figure out what side dishes you&aposll serve with it.