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Perfect Roast Chicken

Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Servings 4 servings

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How to make the perfect Roast Chicken, with a simple seasoning, golden crispy skin, and tender juicy chicken! See the step by step recipe video down in the recipe card.

overhead image of roast chicken in grey baking dish
Table of Contents
  1. Tips for making a perfect Roast Chicken:
  2. How long to roast a chicken?
  3. Should I rinse my chicken?
  4. Should I cover my chicken while it roasts?
  5. What to do with leftover Roast Chicken:
  6. Don’t throw away that carcass!
  7. What to serve with this easy Roast Chicken:
  8. Perfect Roast Chicken Recipe

Happy January!

Today I’m kicking off a brand new extension of Six Ingredient Suppers, which I’m calling Six Ingredient Staples.

On the first Monday of each month, I’m sharing a new staple recipe, and every Monday after that I’ll be sharing a new way to use it!

My first 6 Ingredient Staple is this Perfect Roast Chicken.

I don’t know if there’s a more perfect comfort food than this easy whole Roasted Chicken. While we love this Crockpot Whole Chicken and this Instant Pot Whole Chicken for quick, hands-off dinners, a Roast Chicken complete with golden skin is always a showstopper.

While cooking a whole chicken in the slow cooker or Instant Pot can ensure perfectly juicy meat, those methods are a little lacking in presentation.

Nothing gets quite as many ooos and ahhs around here as pulling a roast chicken out of the oven.

close up image of whole chicken in roasting pan

I’ve been busy perfecting my Roast Chicken recipe for several months now, and I can finally say it is just right.

Incredibly flavorful, tender and juicy, with all of that crispy, golden appeal.

Here are a few more tips to make sure you see success!

Tips for making a perfect Roast Chicken:

  • Truss your chicken: tie up the legs and wings if you have some kitchen string (or tie up the legs and tuck the wings under the chicken), as this ensures that the smaller pieces stay close to the body, cook evenly, and don’t dry out.
  • Season well. I mean really well. A good amount of salt ensures a crispy and flavorful roast chicken. If you are unsure about the amount of sodium, it’s always easier to reduce from the start and season more later.
  • Let it rest: letting any meat rest before slicing is incredibly important. This ensures the juices are redistributed through the chicken and don’t run out when you cut into it. Cover with foil and let rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing.

How long to roast a chicken?

The important thing to note when cooking a large piece of meat is that the internal temperature is more important than what the recipe has down for cook time.

A roast chicken will require about 20-25 minutes per pound at 425 degrees F.

Lots of people roast chickens at a lower oven temperature, but I’ve found that 425 (not on convection) results in a perfectly crispy and juicy chicken.

overhead image of whole roast chicken on white platter

Should I rinse my chicken?

I am firmly in the No Rinse camp, and for good reason.

Rinsing poultry can spread bacteria by splashing droplets through the kitchen, and, no, it doesn’t make it safer to eat or rinse away bacteria.

Cooking chicken thoroughly is the only way to ensure it is safe to eat, so if you are worried, invest in a good meat thermometer and use it religiously.

If you’re still having doubts, check out this article by The Food Network.

Should I cover my chicken while it roasts?

I always recommend roasting chicken uncovered.

The reason we roast is because we want that juicy interior and a crispy skin, and the best way to do that is season well and roast uncovered in a hot oven.

If your chicken skin is getting too dark before the rest of the chicken is cooked through, you can always cover lightly with foil for the remainder of the cook time.

breast of roast chicken being sliced

What to do with leftover Roast Chicken:

We love having a stash of leftover roast chicken in the fridge because there are so many uses for it! Here are a few of our favorites:

Don’t throw away that carcass!

That leftover chicken carcass is like gold in our house! There is so much flavor to be had simply by simmering it with a few vegetables and spices.

Next week I’ll be sharing how to make Homemade Chicken Stock — I swear it has healing powers!

What to serve with this easy Roast Chicken:

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Perfect Roast Chicken

5 from 6 votes
How to make the perfect Roast Chicken, with a simple seasoning, golden crispy skin, and tender juicy chicken!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 4 servings
Calories 455cal

Ingredients

  • 3-4 lb whole chicken
  • 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt (you can reduce if you are sensitive to sodium or your chicken is smaller)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Remove the giblets and neck from the inside of the chicken if they are there.
  • Combine melted butter with salt, paprika, garlic powder and pepper.
  • Use an upside down tablespoon (see video for a visual) to loosen the skin from the chicken breast and drumsticks as best you can.
  • Pour some of the melted butter under the skin onto the breasts and drumsticks and use the tablespoon to spread it around. Spread the rest of it onto the outside of the chicken on top of the skin (I do breast side only, as the underside of the chicken will be seasoned as it cooks)
  • Tie the legs tight to the body and tug the wings underneath (or you can tie the wings to the body as well).
  • Roast, uncovered, for 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken (for a 3.5 lb chicken, I roast exactly 1 hour 10 minutes), until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part (inner thigh near the breast but away from the bone), reads at least 165 degrees F. If your chicken is darkening quickly, you can tent with tin foil to prevent further browning.
  • Remove from the oven and let rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Notes

*You can easily make gravy by straining the chicken juices into a small pot and thickening with a corn starch and water slurry over medium-high heat.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 455cal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 153mg | Sodium: 1279mg | Potassium: 309mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 706IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 2mg
Keywords roast chicken, roasted chicken

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Comments

  1. deb donnelly says

    Making this today ,I have on my oven setting convection roast ,I love it, but think I will set temp 25 degrees less being convection cooks faster.
    TY for for another great recipe.

  2. Voon Siong Lee says

    Just tried the recipe for dinner. Excellent! All my family members loved it. The flavor is just nice and meat so tender. I tied the legs and wings and the roasting came out perfect without the need to tent any part.

  3. Tamara says

    This was very easy, fast and very tasty. I’m from the old school and couldn’t believe that a four pound chicken could be roasted so fast . As a result I kept it in the oven a bit too long. It was still fantastic. Thanks for teaching a senior how to roast a chicken.

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Thank you Tamara! I know many people roast at a lower temperature for longer time, but I have found the best, juiciest chicken is cooked at a high temperature for a shorter time. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Addie H. Calvitt says

    I am eager to try this chicken recipe!

    FYI, the ads that support your website COVER THE CONTENTS! It is very challenging trying to read the recipes or even watch your videos. I visit your site via Safar on my iPad, so I don’t know if this makes a difference in the way the ads appear. It just wish I could scroll through without having a good bit of your recipe, notes, or video blocked by the ads.

    • Ashley Fehr says

      You can definitely save them with your carcass to make chicken stock! I have a tutorial for making chicken stock coming next week 🙂 You can just pop them in the freezer until you have time to make it

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