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.
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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.
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.
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.
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:
- Chicken Vegetable Soup
- White Chicken Lasagna
- Chicken Pot Pie — total comfort food!
- White Chicken Chili — perfect for a cool day.
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:
- Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot Risotto
- Broccoli Salad — a make ahead salad!
- Roasted Potatoes and Carrots — a reader favorite!
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Perfect Roast Chicken
- 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
- 1 cup water**
- 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). Place in a rimmed baking dish and pour in 1 cup of water (this prevents the fat from smoking in the oven as it drips off).
- 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.
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