If you are looking for a comfort food meal that is also healthy, this roasted chicken recipe is for you! Not only is it delicious, but it is simple and easy to make with just a few ingredients.
Best of all the meat turns out tender and juicy every time. No more worries about dried out chicken breast when you cook a whole chicken in the oven.
Not to mention this recipe is a complete meal in itself. That is because we will add vegetables to the pan to cook with the whole chicken.
Once it comes out of the oven, you will have a healthy dinner that is sure to brighten up the cold and blustery days of winter. However it tastes so good that you will quickly forget that you are eating something healthy.
And with many of us trying to stick with our New Year resolution to eat better, sometimes comfort food recipes are not an option. But with this recipe, you have a meal that is both comforting and healthy.
How To Get Chicken Skin To Be Crispy
For those who love crispy chicken skin, it is important to follow a few steps to ensure that the skin browns up nicely and becomes crisp.
- Pat it dry: Use paper towels to thoroughly pat the chicken dry, both inside and out.
- Season generously: Rub the skin with olive oil and then add a combination of salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs and spices. For extra flavor, you can gently lift the skin and rub some of the seasoning mixture under it too.
- Consider brining (optional): Brining in a salt-water solution helps keep the meat moist while drawing out moisture from the skin, promoting even crisping. Brine for at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours. Just remember to pat the chicken dry before proceeding with the recipe.
- Elevate the bird: Don’t let the chicken sit directly on the bottom of the roasting pan. Instead, place it on a wire rack so air can circulate around the skin and prevent it from steaming.
- Cook at high temperature: Roasting at a high temperature renders the fat and gets the skin browning. Although some recipes will start the roasted chicken at a high temperature and then lower it, I find it best to stick with the high temperature for the entire time in the oven. Just be sure to cover the roasting pan so the skin doesn’t become too dark.
- Baste with fat (optional): While the chicken roasts, you can baste it with melted butter or oil every 15-20 minutes for extra richness and browning.
- Crisp up the skin at the end: If the skin isn’t quite to your desired level of crispness at the end of roasting, crank the heat up to 450°F or turn on the broiler for a few minutes to brown it further. Just keep an eye on it to avoid burning.
How To Know When A Whole Chicken Is Done
The best way to ensure your chicken has reached a safe temperature is to invest in an instant read, digital cooking thermometer. Insert the thermometer in the thickest portion of the chicken thigh (away from the bone) and when it reaches 165°F, the chicken can come out of the oven.
The digital meat thermometer is one of the best kitchen tools to have. In fact, you will find yourself reaching for it time and time again because it takes the guess work out of cooking meat.
Easy Roasted Chicken Recipe
*Complete recipe instructions including specific measurements, cook temperatures and times are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to keep reading for helpful tips and tricks when making this recipe.
- 1 roaster chicken, approx. 4-5 lbs.
- olive oil
- 1/2 onion
- 1 lemon, divided
- 4 garlic cloves
- vegetables of your choice, carrots, potatoes, celery, etc…
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Before you begin cooking set the chicken out on the counter so that it can come to room temperature. Do this at least 30 minutes before it is set to go in the oven.
Then preheat the oven to 425°F and soak cooking twine in water. Then it is time to prepare the chicken for roasting.
1: Clean out the cavity of the chicken and discard the innards.
2: Pat dry the inside and out of the chicken with paper towels.
3: Drizzle olive oil and rub it all over the skin. Make sure the oil is spread on all sides of the chicken, including inside the cavity.
4: Sprinkle salt and pepper all over the skin. You can also add other spices at this time as well. It is a good time to use that poultry seasoning that you only pull out at Thanksgiving.
Season The Cavity
5: Before cooking the oven roasted chicken, season the inside with salt/pepper. Stuff the inside with the garlic cloves and onion. Use half an onion, sliced in quarters. Then slice the lemon in half and stuff 1/2 of it in the cavity as well. Other spices such as sage, rosemary and thyme work well with this recipe and can be used to season the inside as well.
6: Take the cooking twine that has been soaking in water and use it to tie the legs of the chicken together.
7: Place the chicken on a roasting rack placed inside a large roaster. If you don’t have a wire rack, you can place the chicken directly on the bottom of the pan or use balls of aluminum foil to prop the chicken off the pan. However, a wire rack is suggested because it allows the chicken to cook more thoroughly and evenly.
8: Cover the roasting pan with a lid or tent it with aluminum foil. Place the chicken in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.
9: While the chicken is in the oven roasting, prepare the vegetables. Chop your potatoes, carrots and celery. Make sure you cut them into large chunks. Use a splash of olive oil, salt, pepper and the juice of the remaining 1/2 a lemon to coat the vegetables.
10: After waiting the initial 45 minutes for the chicken to cook, remove the lid and add your vegetables to the bottom of the roasting pan. Allow this mixture to roast for an additional hour with the lid kept on.
11: Carefully remove the roasted chicken from the oven and place it on a carving plate. Check to make sure the internal temperature is at least 165°F in the thickest part of the thigh. Allow the chicken to rest for 20 minutes under tented foil.
Optional Step: Typically when roasting at such a high temperature and for an extended time, you do not need to remove the lid in order to brown the skin. However, during the last 20 minutes of cooking you can remove the lid to get the skin darker if preferred.
How To Store and Reheat Leftover Chicken?
After you cook your chicken, remove any leftovers from the bone. It will be easier to do this now while the chicken is still warm.
Then place the extra meat in a sealed container and place in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
When it’s time to eat, reheat the chicken in a covered dish with a teaspoon of water until warmed through. The water will help keep the meat moist.
You can also use the leftover meat in other recipes throughout the week. This ensures no meat goes to waste and cuts down on meal prep time.
Other Cooking Methods For A Whole Chicken:
Mary and Jim
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- 1 Roaster Chicken approx. 4-5 lbs.
- olive oil
- 1/2 onion
- 1 lemon, divided
- 4 garlic cloves
- Vegetables of your choice - carrots, potatoes, celery, etc...
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature, approximately 30 minutes - 1 hour. Soak cooking twine in water.
- Preheat oven to 425°F
- Clean out the cavity of the chicken and pat the chicken dry - inside and out
- Rub olive oil over the skin - on all sides and inside the cavity.
- Season with salt and pepper (or additional seasonings as desired) *You can also add olive oil and seasonings between the skin and the breasts.
- Place a wire rack in the bottom of a roaster pan.
- Tie the legs together with cooking twine that has been soaked in water.
- Season the inside of the cavity with salt and pepper. Stuff it with 1/2 of an onion that is quartered and a half of a lemon. You can also add thyme, rosemary, or any other seasoning that you prefer. Tie legs together with cooking twine that has been soaked in water.
- Place lid on the roaster or cover with foil and place in oven for 45 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare your vegetables - cutting them into large chunks. Toss in olive oil and season with salt and pepper and the sprinkle the juice of half a lemon on top.
- Once the chicken has roasted for 45 minutes, open the lid and scatter the vegetables on the bottom of the roasting pan. Replace the lid and continue to roast for an additional hour.
- With roasting at this high of a temperature, you do not have to remove the lid to brown the skin. However, every pan is different, so check your chicken after a total roasting time of 1 hour, 15 minutes and remove the lid to brown as needed.
- Once the internal temperature of the thickest section of the thigh reaches 165° F, remove the pan from oven and let rest on a carving plate under a foil tent for 20 minutes before carving.
- You can place the oil coated vegetables on the bottom of the roasting before and place the chicken on top to roast. However, the vegetables will be super soft once cooked for that long.
Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 113Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 79mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 5g
Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only and includes only the guidelines for the chicken and not the vegetables. Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.