Simple and delicious roast chicken tastes like you spent all day cooking it! It is the the perfect go-to dinner recipe.
This simple and delicious roast chicken takes just a few minutes of prep time to make, but tastes like you spent all day cooking it – making it the perfect go-to dinner recipe.
Easy Whole Roasted Chicken Recipe
This simple and delicious roast chicken takes just a few minutes of hands on time to make, but tastes like you spent all day cooking it! It’s a dinner classic that never disappoints!
My family loves to eat chicken for dinner, so I always have bags of frozen chicken breasts in the freezer. Cooking a whole chicken, on the other hand, always seemed very intimidating to me! I was afraid it would be expensive and difficult, and still wouldn’t turn out well.
Now that I’ve made this easy whole roasted chicken – nothing could be further from the truth!
Generally, whole chickens are very inexpensive, and are surprisingly easy to make. My five pound chicken cost less than $5, which makes it a very affordable option for dinner.
How to Roast a Chicken
It only takes a few minutes to prepare the chicken for roasting.
SEASON. Prepare the chicken by patting it dry with paper towels and removing the giblets and/or gravy pouch. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place lemon and rosemary in the cavity. Tie chickens legs together with kitchen twine. Spread butter over the top of the skin.
BAKE. Once it’s all set, just pop it in the oven. In a little over an hour, you’ll have a beautiful, delicious, gourmet roast chicken. Adding the butter on top of the chicken isn’t strictly necessary, but it helps with the browning and makes it look prettier. And really, you can’t go wrong with adding more butter!
Note: I like to use a roasting pan to cook the chicken, but if you don’t have one, no worries! You can just as easily cook it in a 9 x 13 baking dish. It should take about 70-80 minutes to cook for a 4-5 pound chicken, but it’s a good idea to start checking the temperature of the thigh meat after about 60 minutes.
REST. Once the roast chicken temperature has reached 165 degrees (we like to check the thickest part of the chicken), it’s ready to pull out of the oven. It’s definitely important to let the chicken rest for about 10-15 minutes before you cut it into pieces, so it retains its juices.
In the Slow Cooker
To roast a chicken in a slow cooker, Spray a slow cooker with cooking spray. Roll a piece of aluminum foil into a ring and place it around the bottom of the slow cooker as a rack for the chicken. Prepare chicken as directed in Steps 2–3 above, then place it on top of the aluminum foil ring. Cover and cook on high for 3–4 hours, until a thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 165 degrees or higher. Move chicken to a sheet pan or baking dish and broil in the oven for 3–5 minutes, until the skin is browned. Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
For more tips, check out our Slow Cooker Roast Chicken recipe.
Roasting a chicken at different temperatures
Chicken can be roasted at different temps, but also take note of the size of the chicken, because that will also determine the cook time. These cooking times and temps are for an average 4-5 pound chicken.
- 350 degrees – 1 hour 45 minutes – 2 hours
- 375 degrees – 1 hour 30 minutes
- 400 degrees – 1 hour – 1 hour 10 minutes
- 425 degrees – 50 minutes – 1 hour
Do you have to roast whole chicken covered or uncovered? That’s up to you. Covering it will give the skin a more soft feel and uncovering will allow the skin to brown and crisp up a bit.
Serving + Storing
I love to serve this simple roast chicken with mashed potatoes on the side, and fresh lemon wedges on hand to squeeze over the chicken. It’s one of my family’s favorite meals, and it’s perfect for Sunday dinner! Other great sides to go with this dish include:
- Oven Roasted Red Potatoes
- Parmesan Crusted Zucchini
- Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Candied Sweet Potatoes
- Twice Baked Potatoes
STORE chicken in an air-tight container and place in fridge for up to 3 days. We also like to pull the chicken meat off, and bag and store in Ziploc bags for a few days for salads, sandwiches or we freeze them.
FREEZE roasted chicken to save for later. To do that, wrap tightly in foil and then place in a freezer safe bag. We try to use it within 6 months.
Recipes to make with leftover chicken:
Best Roast Chicken Recipe
- 1 (4-5 pound) whole chicken
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large lemon cut into quarters
- 3-4 sprigs rosemary
- 2 tablespoons salted butter softened
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Prepare the chicken by patting it dry with paper towels and removing the giblets and/or gravy pouch.
- Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place lemon and rosemary in the cavity. Tie chicken’s legs together with kitchen twine. Spread butter over the top of the skin.
- Place chicken in a roasting pan or a 9-x-13-inch baking dish. Bake for 60 minutes, then check the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh. Continue cooking, checking every 10 minutes, until it reaches 165 degrees F.
- Remove chicken from the oven and let it sit 10–15 minutes before cutting and serving.