Roast Chicken slathered with the tastiest herb butter and oven roasted until tender and juicy with crispy golden brown skin. This mouthwatering delicious, easy to make roast chicken recipe is the absolute best!
The Best Roast Chicken
There is something incredibly satisfying about oven roasting a whole chicken. As much as I like a good rotisserie chicken like my pressure cooker whole chicken rotisserie style, there is something special and comforting about juicy chicken seeping with flavor from the most amazing herb butter, oven roasted to to golden brown perfection.
If cooking a whole chicken seems like a daunting task, don’t worry! Together we’ll go through everything from how to roast a chicken step by step to how long to roast a chicken, how to carve a chicken, plus so much more! This recipe for the absolute best roasted chicken will become a favorite recipe.
Roast Chicken Recipe Ingredients
- Chicken: A whole chicken of about 5 to 6 pounds.
- Aromatics and Vegetables: Garlic, onion, carrots, celery, lemon
- Fresh Herbs: Thyme and rosemary.
- Seasonings: Salt and ground black pepper.
For the Herb Butter:
- Butter: You can use unsalted or salted butter.
- Garlic: Use fresh garlic.
- Herbs: Using fresh herbs is a must. Fresh thyme, rosemary and parsley.
- Seasonings: Salt and ground black pepper.
How to Prepare A Chicken For Roasting
- The first thing you need to do to prepare a whole chicken for roasting is to check if there’s a giblets bag inside the cavity. If there is one, remove it.
- Then, remove any excess fat and rinse the chicken. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Make sure the outside of the chicken is dry, otherwise the seasoned herb butter won’t stick well. Drying is also essential for getting a crispy golden brown chicken skin.
- Next, season the chicken’s cavity and stuff it with the lemon and fresh herbs, then proceed to rub the herb butter.
- To get the tastiest most perfect roast chicken, it’s important to boost the flavor by slathering the herb butter on the chicken as well as under the skin. To do this, use your fingers or use a spoon to gently loosen the skin from the chicken breasts and thighs. If you turn the base of the spoon up, the curvy shape will help you prevent any tears on the skin.
- Tuck the wings underneath the breast to prevent the wing tips from burning. You can also cut off the wing tips and reserve them for making stock. Tie the legs with kitchen string so the thighs brown evenly. Now you are ready for roasting the chicken in the oven!
How to Roast A Whole Chicken Step By Step
- Get the Oven Ready: Preheat the oven and position a rack in the lower third of the oven.
- Prep and Rinse: Remove the chicken giblets and any excess fat. Rinse the chicken inside and out, then pat dry.
- Season and Stuff: Season the inside of the chicken cavity. Stuff the cavity with thyme, rosemary, garlic, and lemon halves.
- Make Herb Butter: Mix the butter, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and parsley. Season to taste.
- Rub: Loosen the skin of the chicken breast and rub some of the herb butter under the skin. Rub the rest of the herb butter all over the chicken.
- Truss: Tie the legs with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.
- Add Veggies: Place the vegetables in a roasting pan. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.
- Roast: Roast the chicken checking after an hour to make sure the skin is not getting too dark.
- Rest: Remove the roasted chicken from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving.
- Serve: Serve the chicken carved with the vegetables and pan juices.
How Long To Roast A Chicken?
The short answer is that it will take more than an hour to oven roast a whole chicken. The exact time will depend on the size of the chicken. As a general rule, it takes about 18 to 20 minutes per pound of chicken when roasting at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. That means that a 5-pound chicken baked at 400 degrees Fahrenheit will take 1 hour and 40 minutes of roasting time.
At What Temperature To Roast A Chicken?
Roasting chicken should be done at a high oven temperature. This roasted chicken recipe instructs you to roast the chicken at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, the chicken will be juicy and tender while having a golden brown skin.
How Do You Know When A Roast Chicken Is Done?
There are a few ways to know when your baked chicken is ready, although the most accurate way is to check with a meat thermometer.
- Thermometer: The best method for checking the doneness of your chicken is by using a digital instant-read thermometer or meat thermometer. Insert the probe in the center of the breast and in the thickest part of the thigh. The chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit before it is consumed.
- Leg Wiggle: If you don’t have a meat thermometer, give one of the legs a wiggle. The leg should move around freely, almost as if it was about to separate from the rest of the chicken.
- Check the Juices: Insert a knife between the breast and the thigh cutting into the meat to check that the juices are clear. This should be done as soon as you remove the chicken from the oven (without resting the chicken). This is not a preferred method as I don’t like to puncture or cut the meat without resting it first.
Do You Cover The Chicken When Baking?
No, the chicken roasts uncovered. That is how you get a crispy, golden brown skin. If the chicken begins to brown too fast before it’s done, tent it with a piece of aluminum foil.
How To Carve A Whole Roasted Chicken?
- Remove the Legs: Pull a leg slightly away from the body. Cut the joint where the leg meets the body. Carefully slice through the leg meat and skin. Using a little bit of force, pull the leg away from the body until you hear the crack of the hip joint. When the hip bone pops, place your knife between the hip bone and the rest of the body and cut to remove it. Repeat on the other side.
- Separate the Thighs from the Drumsticks: Cut through the joint that separates the leg from the thigh. Repeat on the other side.
- Remove the Breast: Place the knife next to the wing and make a diagonal cut from the top of the breast to the bottom. Do the same on the other side. Next, pierce the breast meat with a fork and using your knife cut along the breastbone. Remove each breast from the ribcage by angling your knife downward and away from the breastbone. If you want to slice the breast meat, place it skin side up on a cutting board and using a sharp knife to slice through the skin.
- Remove the Wings: Pull and cut each wing through it’s joint.
- What to do with the Carcass? Remove any small pieces of meat still attached to the carcass. Reserve the carcass to make broth. You can freeze the carcass in a resealable freezer safe bag for up to 2 months.
How To Store Leftovers
- Cool the oven roasted chicken completely, then store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container or resealable bag for 3 to 4 days.
- You can freeze the leftover oven baked chicken in a freezer safe resealable bag or in an airtight container for up to 2 months. You can freeze the chicken with the pan juices as well.
- Chicken carcasses make the best homemade chicken stock. Store the carcass in a resealable freezer safe bag for 2 months. I usually don’t thaw them out. When ready to make stock, I simply add them with the rest of the ingredients into a stock pot.
Best Roasted Chicken – The Pan Juices
The seasoned chicken rests on a bed of vegetables while roasting. This creates the most delicious buttery pan juices infused with garlic, herbs and hints of lemon. I must say, this is my favorite part! The pan juices are amazing and can also create the best gravy.
To create a simple and flavorful pan gravy, remove the chicken and the vegetables from the roasting pan, collect the pan drippings and pour them into a measuring cup.
In a small sauce pan, melt a tablespoon of butter, stir in 1 tablespoon of flour and cook for about a minute stirring constantly. Gradually add 1/4 cup of chicken broth whisking constantly, then add the reserved pan juices gradually whisking constantly until a gravy consistency is achieved.
Roast Chicken Recipe Tips
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before roasting. Bringing proteins to room temperature prior to cooking is important especially a large cut like a whole chicken.
- Season the chicken well with salt and pepper. Salt is important and seasoning properly is a must.
- Allow the chicken to rest at least 10 minutes before carving.
- Instead of a roasting pan, you can use a large cast iron skillet.
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Roast Chicken with Herb Butter
- 1 5-6 pound whole chicken
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste.
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 lemon halved
- 1 large onion sliced into thick slices
- 4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
- 4 celery ribs cut into 2-inch chunks
- For the Herb Butter
- 6 tablespoons butter softened
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400° degrees Fahrenheit and position a rack in the lower third of the oven.
- Remove the chicken giblets and remove any excess fat. Rinse the chicken inside and out, then pat the outside dry.
- Tuck the wings underneath the breast to prevent the wing tips from burning.
- Season the inside of the chicken cavity with salt and ground black pepper to taste. Stuff the cavity with the thyme, the rosemary, garlic, and lemon halves.
- Make the herb butter by mixing the butter, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and parsley in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste.
- Loosen the skin of the chicken breast and rub some of the herb butter under the skin. Rub the rest of the butter mixture all over the chicken.
- Tie the legs with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.
- Place the onions, carrots and celery in a roasting pan. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.
- Roast the chicken for about 1 hour and 40 minutes or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Check the chicken after the first hour. If the skin is getting overly dark, cover the top of the chicken with aluminum foil.
- Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with the vegetables and pan juices.