Juicy Whole Roasted Chicken

A roasted chicken with breast slices and a fork.

Juicy Whole Roasted Chicken straight from your oven….yum. Crispy, golden-brown skin, unbelievable flavor, and so very juicy! Easy-to-make whole chicken in the oven requires little effort, yet looks like you’ve worked all day in the kitchen.

Juicy Whole Roasted Chicken Recipe

Crispy roast chicken with herbs.

Howdy! Chef Alli Here. Let’s Get You Cookin’….Shall We? ?

There is nothing easier than making a whole roast chicken right in your oven. You’re not going to believe it until you do it for yourself.

I like to grow fresh herbs in the summer time and this is one of my favorite recipes for using them. However, please know that this roasted chicken is still delicious without the fresh herbs placed inside the cavity – that is totally optional.

Yep. Cattle Ranchers Do Eat Chicken….Occasionally!

Every time I make chicken for supper, my husband, Pat, says the very same thing – “Why are you cooking chicken? We don’t raise chickens, we raise beef!” Yes, of course, I’ve noticed that, dear.

But we can’t eat beef every night of the week – that just gets to be too much. Some of my favorite chicken meals include Instant Pot Chicken Tenders with Cream Gravy (it’s super fast!) and Loaded Bubble-Up Chicken Pot Pie.

I also like to make Alma June’s Chicken Bundles when we have guests, or even Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole with Bacon – they are both popular dishes.

What to Love About This Recipe –

  1. It’s requires just one pan.
  2. You’ll make it again and again.
  3. Leftover chicken (if there is any!) can be used in other meals – salads, pasta, quesadillas, wraps, chicken and noodle soup, etc

How to Make Juicy Whole Roasted Chicken in 6 Steps

  • Rinse the chicken inside and out, placing it into a large well greased roasting pan.
  • Make the lemon butter and place it beneath the skin of the chicken over the breasts, then smooth it out.
  • Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the herb bundle, lemon quarters, and both halves of the garlic head, as desired, if using. Brush the melted butter over the outside of the chicken; season with salt and pepper. Now scatter the onion slices around the chicken in the pan.
  • Roast the chicken, uncovered, until the skin is nicely golden-brown and crispy and the internal temperature is 155 degrees F. (The chicken will raise in temperature to a perfectly safe 165 degrees F. as it’s resting, covered with foil.) Remove chicken to a serving platter or cutting board and tent with aluminum foil to rest while preparing the gravy.
  • If you opt to make the gravy, add 2 Tbs. of fat and drippings from the roasting pan to a large skillet, cooking over medium heat; add the flour to the skillet, whisking well for 1-2 minutes to blend with the fat and drippings together, allowing the flour to cook a bit.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat. Gradually whisk in the chicken stock, a small amount at a time, until well incorporated and smooth. Return the skillet to the burner and cook the gravy until it’s thick and creamy. Slice the chicken and serve at once with the warm gravy.

Recipe Tips for Making Whole Roast Chicken in the Oven –

  • Roasting means to cook at a high temperature, uncovered. In this recipe, the chicken is cooked at 425 degrees F. until the skin is very golden brown, then the temperature is reduced to 350 degrees F.

    Lowering the temperature once the skin is golden brown allows the chicken to continue to cook to the center of the meat, without over cooking the exterior.
  • Do not feel obligated to stuff the cavity of the chicken with fresh herbs, garlic, and lemons. These aromatics do add to the flavor of the chicken, but it will still be delicious if you choose not to add them.

    If you choose to stuff the herbs, garlic, and lemons into the chicken, it helps to use kitchen string for tying the legs together to hold the aromatics inside. I don’t have a special technique for this – I just do the best I can!
  • A Dutch oven, metal roasting pan, or large deep casserole dish can be used for cooking roast chicken in your oven. Once, out of desperation, I even used a rimmed cookie sheet though I prefer something with taller sides.
  • Brushing the chicken with the melted butter before roasting it ensures that the skin will get very crispy – don’t skip this step.
  • The roast chicken is delicious served with the gravy, but the gravy is optional.
  • An instant-read meat thermometer is hands-down the best kitchen tool to have. Instead of guessing what the internal temperature of meat is, you can know for certain by inserting the probe into the thickest part of the meat to learn the exact temperature.

    Using an instant-read meat thermometer, helps keep from over cooking meats and poultry as well as under cooking it.

    The ideal internal temperature of a roast chicken should be 165 degrees F. when you insert the probe of the instant read thermometer into the center of the breast.
  • I like to make two roast chicken at one time….one for dinner now and one that I either give to someone who needs a meal (new baby, funeral food, etc) or use the meat for making other meals.
Roasted chicken side-by-side and a close up of the breast meat.

More Recipes to Enjoy –

Printable Juicy Whole Roasted Chicken Recipe

Two oven-roasted chickens side-by-side in a pan.

Juicy Whole Roasted Chicken

Juicy Whole Roasted Chicken straight from your oven….yum. Crispy, golden-brown skin, unbelievable flavor, and so very juicy! Easy-to-make whole chicken in the oven requires little effort, yet looks like you've worked all day in the kitchen.
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 354kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 roasting chicken 5-6 lbs.
  • 1 small bundle of your favorite fresh herbs, optional I like a bundle of rosemary, thyme and sage
  • 1 lemon, quartered optional
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise, skin can be left in tact optional
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, divided use softened
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon zest
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 yellow onion cut into thick slices
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock, for making gravy optional
  • 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour, for making gravy optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Unpackage the chicken, removing the packet of giblets and etc that's inside the chicken; rinse the chicken inside and out, then pat dry the exterior of the chicken with paper towels.
    Place the chicken into a large well greased stoneware roaster or any roasting pan.
  • Combine 1 tablespoon of the unsalted butter with the lemon zest. Using your fingers, carefully separate the chicken skin from breast of chicken, placing the prepared lemon butter under the skin. (You may find it easier to place the lemon butter up under the skin using a silicon spatula.) Take care not to poke any holes in the chicken skin when placing and smoothing the butter.
    Now, using your hand again, press on top of the skin across the breast on each side, smoothing out the butter that was placed beneath.
  • Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the herb bundle, lemon quarters, and both halves of the garlic head, as desired, if using. (If you opt to do this step, note that the fresh herbs will look awful when the chicken comes out of the oven. You can replace them with fresh herbs if desired, if slicing and serving the whole chicken at the dinner table.)
    Melt the remaining 1 Tbs. unsalted butter; brush this over the outside of the chicken; season with salt and pepper. Now scatter the onion slices around the chicken.
  • Roast the chicken, uncovered, in the preheated 425 degree F. oven on the center rack for 30 minutes. The skin should be pretty golden brown at this point.
    Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and continue to roast for an additional 50-55 minutes or until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of the breast registers 155 degrees F., the chicken juices run clear, and the skin is golden brown and crispy.
    Remove chicken to a serving platter and tent with aluminum foil while preparing the gravy.
  • If you want to make the gravy, discard the cooked onion slices, then remove all the fat from the bottom of roasting pan, reserving 2 tablespoons.
    Add the reserved 2 Tbs. of fat and drippings from the roasting pan to a large skillet, cooking over medium heat; add the flour to the skillet, whisking well for 1-2 minutes to blend with the fat and drippings together, allowing the flour to cook a bit.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat. Gradually whisk in the chicken stock, a small amount at a time, until well incorporated and smooth.
    Return the skillet to the burner, continuing to cook over medium heat, whisking until the gravy is thick and creamy. Cut the chicken breasts into slices and serve at once with the warm gravy.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: juicy roasted chicken, oven roasted chicken, roast chicken, whole chicken

Nutrition

Calories: 354kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 176mg | Potassium: 374mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1210IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 2mg

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Let’s Get You Cookin’,
Chef Alli

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