Roasted Chicken Recipe

By Jeri Mobley-Arias
January 19, 2024 | Updated on February 1, 2024

Roasted chicken is generously seasoned with a flavorful rub and then cooked to juicy perfection in the oven. Learn how to roast a whole chicken with this incredibly easy recipe.

Need more easy chicken recipes? Try Marry Me Chicken, Chicken Tinola, and Honey Garlic Chicken Wings next.

a skillet containing a whole roasted chicken surrounded by veggies

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Oven roasted chicken is a testament to tradition and simplicity. Cooked over a bed of diced veggies, crispy roast chicken promises savory, succulent tenderness in each bite. This is a must-have recipe that everyone should know.

Why This Roasted Chicken Recipe Works

  • Simple Simply season and roast with two quick bastes. With a few technique tips (like salting and trussing the chicken), you’ll be well on your way to achieving the perfect roasted chicken every time.
  • Versatile – This recipe is essential because it works for every occasion: holiday dinners, Sunday supper, weeknights, and meal prep included.
  • Feeds a Crowd – Keep the whole family satisfied (and within budget) when you offer drumsticks, wings, and breasts, all in one comfort meal.
a skillet containing a whole roasted chicken surrounded by veggies

Tools You’ll Need

Roasted Chicken Ingredients

The key to a super flavorful roast chicken is a smoky rub, smothered over and under the chicken skin.

  • Whole chicken – This recipe calls for a 4½ -5 pound bird so you’ll need to adjust the cooking time if your chicken is smaller or larger. Clean the chicken, removing the giblets from the cavity before you proceed.
  • Kosher salt – The general rule for salting chicken is ¾ – 1 teaspoon per pound. I personally eyeball it, seasoning it generously; no one loves under-seasoned chicken. My go-to is always Diamond Crystal.
  • Freshly cracked black pepper – The pungent and aromatic notes enhance the overall taste by adding a layer of complexity.
  • Radishes – Peppery with a subtle sweetness, roasted radishes are perfectly tender roasted and pair incredibly well with lemony roasted onions.
  • Yellow onion – The sweetness of onions pairs well with the mouthwatering savory juices of the roasted chicken.
  • Lemon – Quartered lemon slices add vibrant citrus flavor to this otherwise savory recipe.
  • Fresh thyme – This fresh herb brings a bright, earthy essence with subtle citrus undertones.
  • Garlic – Halve a head width-wise and insert in the cavity. It infuses the chicken with a milder garlic flavor from the inside out.

Rub

  • Smoked paprika – This adds smoky depth.
  • Olive oil – This is the perfect base for your rub and to help distribute throughout the body.
  • Ground cumin – This spice introduces warm and earthy undertones to the rub.
  • Urfa chili – This adds a sublte spiciness without overpowering the other ingredients.
  • Lemon zest – Zest lemon for the rub before cutting it into quarters.
  • Garlic cloves – Grate the cloves with a microplane for even distribution.

How To Roast a Chicken

Every good roasted chicken recipe starts with room temperature chicken. This promotes even cooking.

  1. Remove chicken from the refrigerator 1 hour before roasting.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  3. Prepare the rub. Place rub ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.
  4. Prepare vegetables; cleaning and halving as necessary. Place onions, radishes and ¾ of lemon in the skillet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper, and to your liking with smoked paprika and cumin. Mix then spread vegetables in an even layer.
  5. Prepare the chicken. I usually have a bowl of salt and black pepper off to the side to grab from when seasoning the chicken as a food safety precaution. If you prefer, you can wear gloves during this step. Gently lift the skin of the chicken. Season generously below the skin first with salt and pepper. Then season above the skin. Lastly, season the chicken with the rub, distributing all over the chicken and under the skin.
  6. Pour about ½ tablespoon of oil in the cavity of the chicken then season the cavity with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with remaining lemon, garlic halves, small bunch of thyme and some onion. Finish with a little more salt and olive oil.
  7. Use kitchen twine to truss chicken together and tuck the wing tips into the bird. Drizzle the top of the bird with olive oil.
a whole chicken prepped for the oven, in a yellow skillet with diced vegetables

8. Place in preheated oven and roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes, basting at the 45 minute, 1 hour mark, and just before resting.

9. Once cooked, remove from the oven and rest for 15 minutes, uncovered. Carve chicken and serve with roasted vegetables. Enjoy!

How Long to Roast a Chicken

As easy as this recipe is, it’s even easier to undercook or overcook a whole chicken. Of course, the cooking time depends on the size of the chicken.

If you’re roasting the chicken at an oven temperature of 425°F, you need about 18-20 minutes per pound. To ensure you don’t end up with under or overcooked chicken, use a meat theremomter (see tools section for the one I use). Follow these guidelines as a foolproof way to prevent that all too common kitchen goof.

a seasoned whole chicken in pan with veggies, prior to going in the oven

Tips and Tricks for the Best Roasted Chicken

  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken doesn’t overcook. Sure you can eyeball it but with this, you get the reassurance of accuracy.
  • Once cleaned, be sure to pat dry the chicken with a paper towel. This removes excess moisture so the chicken gets nice and crispy as it roasts.
  • Season under the skin. If you want to ensure each bite has flavor, you have to get in all those crevices. Gently lift the skin throughout the bird just before seasoning.
  • Use kitchen twine to truss the chicken. I just tie a simple knot at the end of the drumsticks and tuck the wing tips into the bird (to prevent them from drying out or burning).
  • No roasting pan? No problem! I use a 10″ skillet to roast chicken.
  • If vegetables roast too quickly, cover lightly with foil. just make sure that the chicken is not covered.
  • Let that chicken rest. Give it a good 15 minutes before slicing, so the juices can redistribute throughout the meat for perfectly moist chicken.
  • Store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last up to 4 days. Reheat it in the oven or the microwave.

Variations

  • Herbs Swap thyme for rosemary.
  • Seasoning Want to keep it simple and use an all in one seasoning? Try salt and pepper (generously seasoned, of course) along with the vegetables and herbs listed. This two basic seasonings go a long way, trust me.
  • Butter This recipe calls for oil but you can use butter or a mixture of the two for the best of both worlds. In fact, if you opt for butter, I urge you to use olive oil too so the chicken browns without burning.
  • Roasted Chicken and Vegetables Make this a hearty one pan meal by adding potatoes. Carrots, celery, and green beans are delicious options too. (Just add quicker cooking veggies like green beans later so they don’t burn or turn to mush as the chicken roasts.)
  • Pair with different vegetables – Like these Maple Roasted Carrots or Lemon Caper Roasted Cauliflower Steaks.

Frequently Asked Questions

What temperature should chicken be when roasting?

I have found 425°F to be the ideal temperature for roasting chicken. It provides flavorful, juicy, and crispy skin while efficiently cooking the meat for a deliciously tender final product.

Is it better to roast a chicken covered or uncovered?

For golden brown crispy oven roasted chicken, cook the bird uncovered. The only time you should tent a chicken with aluminum foil is when it’s browning too fast as it roasts.

What is the difference between roasting and baking a chicken?

Roasting and baking are often used interchangeably in reference to cooking chicken. However, the distinction lies in temperature. Roasting involves higher temperatures, typically above 400°F, aiming for a browned exterior and shorter cooking time, while baking is associated with lower temperatures, promoting even cooking over a longer period.

How can you tell when roasted chicken is done?

Chicken is cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken thigh to determine doneness. You can also tell the chicken is ready when the juices in the thigh and drumstick area run clear.

Do I need to brine roasted chicken?

You do not need to brine your chicken before roasting. A brine, typically a mixture of water and salt, helps the chicken retain moisture during roasting. But with this recipe, we take other time-saving steps to ensure juicy roast chicken.

a skillet containing a whole roasted chicken surrounded by veggies

Looking for More Tasty Chicken Recipes?

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a skillet containing a whole roasted chicken surrounded by veggies

Roasted Chicken Recipe

Roasted chicken is generously seasoned with a flavorful rub and then cooked to juicy perfection in the oven. Learn how to roast a whole chicken with this incredibly easy recipe.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Jeri Mobley-Arias
Course Dinner
Cuisine American

Equipment

  • 10" skillet or roasting pan
  • Microplane zester
  • Meat Thermometer
  • Pastry brush
  • kitchen twine

Ingredients

  • 1 4½ -5 pound whole chicken, cleaned, giblets removed from the cavity, pat dry with a paper towel
  • kosher salt, I use Diamond Crystal
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 pound radishes
  • ¾ pound yellow onion, rough chopped
  • 1 large lemon, each half quartered
  • small bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 head garlic, halved width-wise

Rub

  • tablespoons smoked paprika, plus more for vegetables
  • 3 tablespoons ,olive oil plus more for vegetables and chicken
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin, plus more for vegetables
  • 2 teaspoons urfa chili
  • ½ large lemon, zested
  • 3 cloves garlic grated with microplane

Instructions

  • Remove chicken from the refrigerator 1 hour before roasting.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Prepare the rub. Place rub ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.
  • Prepare vegetables; clean radishes, removing the tops and ends. Halve if they are on the larger side, keep whole if they're smaller. Place onions, radishes and ¾ of lemon in the skillet and drizzle with 1 tablespoons olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper, and season to your liking with smoked paprika and cumin. Mix to combine then spread vegetables in an even layer.
  • Prepare the chicken. I usually have a bowl of salt and black pepper off to the side to grab from when seasoning the chicken as a food safety precaution. If you prefer, you can wear gloves during this step.
    Gently lift the skin of the chicken, throughout the body. Season generously below the skin first with salt and pepper. Next, season above the skin generously with salt and pepper again. Lastly, season the chicken with the rub, distributing all over the chicken and under the skin.
  • Pour about ½ tablespoon of oil in the cavity of the chicken then season the cavity with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with remaining lemon, garlic halves, small bunch of thyme and some onion. Finish with a little more salt and olive oil.
  • Use kitchen twine to truss chicken (i just tie a simple knot at the end of the drumsticks) together and tuck the wing tips into the bird. Drizzle the top of the bird with olive oil
  • Place in the preheated oven and roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes, basting at the 45 minute, 1 hour mark, and just before resting. The chicken is ready when the thickest part registers at 165°F and juices in the thigh and drumstick area run clear. To ensure perfectly cooked chicken, use a meat thermometer.
  • Once cooked, remove from the oven and rest for 15 minutes, uncovered. Carve chicken and serve with roasted vegetables. Enjoy!
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a skillet containing a whole roasted chicken surrounded by veggies

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jeri-mobley

Hey, I'm Jeri!

At Whisper of Yum, we explore ALL cuisines - comfort foods, classics, elevated originals. If you love food like me, I invite you to settle in to this place, where swoon-worthy food is attainable + inspo for your next meal awaits.

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