How to Roast a Chicken Step-by-Step

If you’ve been wanting to roast an entire chicken but are afraid it won’t be as juicy as the rotisserie chicken you buy from the store, today, I’m taking to step-by-step how to achieve the perfect tender, moist chicken with golden-bronze, crispy skin!

My family loves chicken and I use it in a lot of recipes. But one of our favorite ways to enjoy it remains a whole roasted chicken. It’s a delicious dinner with minimal labour on my part and the oven does the rest.

It also lets me get creative with the sides and leftovers can be used for so many things like into soup, stew, burrito bowls, or chicken salad. Even the bones and leftover skin is used to make homemade chicken broth- so nothing goes to waste.

Sometimes, when I’m in a rush, I’ll grab a roasted chicken at the grocery store, but nothing beats making your own at home. You have much more control over the seasoning, flavors, and if you know what you’re doing, there’s no chance of a dry piece of meat.

image: Roasted whole chicken on bed of vegetables

Chicken Roasting Instructions

While roasted chicken is a popular dish, for many people, it’s also one of the most intimidating methods to cook chicken. Hey, I get it but I promise once you try it, you’ll discover how easy it is. Let’s go over each of the steps for roasting chicken:

1. Preheat

Preheat the oven to 425F. Grab a roasting pan or large baking pan and grease with olive oil. 

2. Prepare your Workspace

Line a large cutting board or counter with parchment paper. Set out your choice of spices and seasoning. This way you won’t contaminate your kitchen with raw chicken germs, everything you need will be right in front of you. 

3. Create a Bed of Vegetables

Chop your choice of root vegetables- I like carrots, fennel, and onions- and place them in the bottom of the pan. 

4. Prep the Chicken

step by step chicken roasting image step 1: raw chicken in roasting pan.

After you’ve removed the giblets, rinse the entire chicken under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Place onto the parchment paper. 

5. Season

Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place your choice of herbs (thyme, rosemary, sage, etc) and citrus (sliced lemons or oranges) in the cavity and baste the entire bird with melted butter.

6. Tie it up

Using kitchen string, tip the legs together and tuck the wings under the bird. Place it in a large baking dish and transfer to the oven. 

step by step roasting chicken images step two: seasoned whole raw bird placed over raw vegetables in a roasting pan

7. Roast

Roast the chicken for 1 hour and 15 minutes, more or less depending on the size of the bird. Check for doneness at 165F around the breast and 175F around the thigh. 

8. Rest

Remove the chicken from the oven and rest for atleast10 minutes before slicing and serving. 

See that wasn’t so bad, and once you remove that delicious Brazilian bronzed bird from the oven, you’ll be hooked. 

How long to Roast a Chicken Per Pound

Excellent question! When roasting a 5-6 lb chicken at 425F, it will need approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to cook thoroughly. 

While it’s good to go by the recipe, once the hour and 5-minute mark has passed, use a meat thermometer to check for doneness in the thigh and breast. White meat is fully cooked at 165F, and dark meat is cooked at 175F. 

Covered or Uncovered?

Some swear that covering the chicken with foil ensures a more tender piece of chicken, while others argue it doesn’t give that delicious, crispy skin.

My best answer would be to leave it uncovered. The skin and butter/oil baste will do an excellent job of locking in moisture. If your bird begins to brown too quickly in the oven, place a piece of foil over the top.

image: baked whole chicken on a platter on top of roasted vegetables

The Secret to Moist, Juicy Baked Chicken

Say goodbye to dry, baked chicken. Along with this recipe, here are a few tips to make sure your roasted bird comes out beautifully and delicious every single time. 

Leave the Skin-on

This is one less thing you have to do and it helps keep the meat moist. 

Be Generous

With the seasoning. This is no time to skimp of the spices, seasonings, and salt. If you want a flavorful, moist roasted chicken make sure you fill the cavity with herbs and generously season the skin of the bird on both sides with spices and salt.

Chicken Roast Ingredients

Choosing your spices and herbs is where I’m going to let you get as fancy or simple as you’d like. You will still need to baste the bird with butter/olive oil and season with plenty of salt and black pepper but from there, it’s an open door for any of your favorite seasoning blends. 

Below are three of my favorite and easy homemade rubs I like to use when roasting a chicken:

Classic: 

  • Butter or olive oil, for basing
  • Lemon
  • Garlic
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Cajun:

  • Butter, as baste
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Thyme
  • Black pepper
  • Salt

BBQ:

  • Butter, as baste
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Paprika
  • Onion powder

Other popular seasonings and herb blends you can purchase already made at the grocery store include:  

  • Herbs de Provence
  • Jerk seasoning
  • Masala- SO GOOD!
  • Za’tar- common in Lebanese and Israeli cooking

How to Carve a Roasted Chicken

This is great practice for that Thanksgiving turkey and a lot less intimidating. Once the chicken is rested, grab your carving knife and a meat fork. 

  1. Starting at the line that separates the chicken breasts, insert the knifes blade between the breast meat and center bone. Run it through and repeat on the other side. 
  2. Using your hands, remove the breasts and set on a cutting board, sliced meat against the grain into the desired thickness.
  3. From here, you can remove the thighs, wings, and serve on a platter with the chicken breasts

What to Serve With Roasted Chicken

Now that you have the main dish it’s time to choose what you’d like to serve with it. Roasted chicken is a wonderful and healthy form of comfort food so round it out with any of these side dishes: 

Chicken Roast Recipe

Wondering how to bake a whole chicken? Read these step-by-step instructions on how to achieve the perfect roasted chicken with crispy, golden-brown skin.

  • Author: Laura Fuentes
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Roasting
Scale

Ingredients

  • 5 pound (2.25 kg) roasting chicken
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 23 springs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 head of garlic, top trimmed off
  • 12 tablespoons (15-30ml) melted butter

VEGETABLE BED 

  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 46 carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 1 bulb of fennel, tops removed and cut into wedges
  • Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F (220C).
  2. Rinse the chicken with cold water inside and out and pat dry with a paper towel. Transfer the chicken to a plastic (washable) cutting board and remove any excess fat or skin from the chicken.
  3. Generously season the cavity (inside) of the chicken with salt and pepper. Stuff the chicken with rosemary quartered lemon and roughly cut garlic head.
  4. With a basting brush, brush the outside of the chicken with melted butter or olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Using some kitchen string, tie up the legs and tuck the wings under.
  6. Chop your vegetables over a clean surface. Drizzle the roasting pan with olive oil and spread them around the pan and place the chicken on top.
  7. Roast the chicken for 1 hour and 15 minutes (a little more for larger chickens a little less for smaller), checking for doneness around the breast at 165F (75C) and 175F (80C) around the thigh.
  8. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes on a platter or cutting board covered with aluminum foil. Transfer the roasted vegetables to a serving platter and serve.

Keywords: baked chicken, whole chicken recipes,

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