Perfect Roast Chicken | Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Perfect Roast Chicken

Perfect Roasted Chicken is my go to recipe for oven roasted chicken. Easy and economical this roasted chicken recipe is the best one out there to get flavorful, juicy, and tender chicken. You'll want to make two, one to eat and one to use in other recipes on your weekly menu!

Perfect Roasted Chicken by Renee's Kitchen Adventures cooked on white serving platter ready to carve

My mother always makes the absolute BEST roast chicken. Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and very flavorful. Over the years, I've worked to duplicate her perfectly roasted, nicely seasoned and juicy roasted whole chicken.   I think I have finally come close to competing with my mother's bird.

How to roast a whole chicken in the oven

First and foremost, don't wash your chicken! You can pat it with paper towels to remove some of the natural juices, but don't wash the whole chicken. You risk the chance of splashing up bacteria when you put it under running water, so just don't do it. If there's a bag of giblets in the center of the cavity, remove those and discard (or freeze and save to add to stock, if you make it.)

One of my mother's secrets to a delicious oven roasted whole chicken is to stuff the birds cavity with assorted goodies.  She liked to stuff it with celery and carrots. I like to stuff in a smashed garlic clove or two, some coarsely cut up onion, a quarter of a lemon (squeezed), LOTS of salt and pepper, and a handful of fresh parsley.

Take care to tie the legs together with string to help keep the shape for uniform roasting as well as hold in all the flavor goodies while the bird bakes.

Pull back the skin from the breast meat and insert seasonings and butter!  Butter under the skin is one of the keys to keeping the breast meat moist.

Lastly, don't skimp on the seasonings.  I like to use a chicken seasoning mix that leaves the skin looking like it came off a rotisserie at the grocery store.   My mix includes plenty of salt and fresh ground pepper or try this homemade chicken seasoning.

My mom always roasted her chicken in a 350 degree oven, but I prefer roasting it in a higher oven, 425 degrees F.  This helps the skin brown and get a bit crispy.

two Perfect Roasted Chickens by Renee's Kitchen Adventures cooked on roasting pan

Make two perfect roast chickens at one time!

When I roast whole chicken, I generally make two at a time.


Well, it isn't that much more work to make two, my roasting pan can fit two 3 to 3 1/2 pounders side-by-side without a problem, and then I have extra meat to make other things like Chicken Enchiladas or Waldorf Style Chicken Salad later in the week. 

Making a whole roast chicken in the oven is super easy.  Most of the work is in the prep.  Make sure you have a nice sized roasting pan with a rack and an instant read thermometer for best results.

Be sure to let your bird(s) sit for at least 15 minutes loosely covered with foil when you take them out of the oven before carving, to allow the juices to go back into the meat. 

I am not sure why, but many people seem to be intimidated by making whole meats or large roasts.  Really, in my opinion, they are actually easier to make than to deal with individual cuts.  Yes, I will admit, it took me some time to perfect the roasted chicken...but it is one thing I make time and time again because if you make two at a time, the extra meat is so versatile.

And although I have never been that thrifty, I hear you can take the leftover carcass and make a stock from it as well.

How about you?  Do you like to cook large roasts and whole birds or are you intimidated by them? 

Perfect Roasted Chicken, Roasted Whole Chicken, Oven Roasted Whole Chicken
Main Course, Chicken
Yield: 6 servings

Perfect Roasted Chicken

prep time: 10 Mcook time: 45 Mtotal time: 55 M
Perfect Roasted Chicken is my go to recipe for oven roasted chicken. Easy and economical this roasted chicken recipe is the best one out there to get flavorful, juicy, and tender chicken.


For spice rub:
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. rubbed sage
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
For Chicken:
  • 3 to 3 1/2 pound whole chicken, giblet package removed, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter, cut thinly into 4 squares
  • Spice rub (above)
  • salt and pepper (for cavity)
  • 1/2 small onion, coarsely chopped into 2 or 3 pcs
  • 1 - 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 of a fresh lemon
  • handful of fresh parsley


How to cook Perfect Roasted Chicken

  1. Combine all spice rub ingredients in small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray roaster and rack with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Season cavity of prepared chicken generously with salt and pepper. With fingers, gently separate the breast skin from the meat to make a pocket. Rub some of the spice rub inside the pocket and insert the butter, 2 pcs per side. Insert into cavity, the garlic, onion, and then squeeze the lemon inside the cavity and on top of the bird, and pop into cavity. Stuff in the parsley. Truss the legs together with Kitchen twine or string.
  4. Massage the rest of the spice rub all over the outside skin of the chicken. Spray with cooking spray.
  5. Roast in 425 degree oven for approx. 20-25 minutes per pound. (If roasting two birds, there are no time adjustments.) Check for doneness by inserting instant read thermometer into thickest part of thigh. If it reads 165 degrees F, it's ready to come out. Let rest, loosely covered in foil, for 15 - 20 minutes. ( this will allow the internal temp to increase to around 170 degrees F and juices to redistribute.)
  6. Remove string on legs, carve and enjoy!


If roasting two birds, double all the seasoning and stuffing ingredients and cook as if you were roasting one bird. Cook time doesn't need to be adjusted.
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Nutritional Information is an estimate.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Best side dishes to serve with roasted chicken

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  1. Hi Renee, what time should I be over for dinner tonight?? :) Roast chicken is truly comfort food at it's finest!!! Hope your Tuesday is a good one!!!

  2. Those do look perfect! I love roasting an entire chicken and having tons of left overs :)

  3. It will be near 100 degrees here today, so I do no cooking that requires me to turn on my oven. That said, these would be great on the grill, over indirect heat and on a can of beer.

    Or, what the hell, just plop them on the concrete...they'll cook...eventually :)

  4. I am with Roz - where's my dinner invite?! Lately I've been taking out the back, butterflying the chicken to grill - I can grill a chicken in 45 minutes that way.

    And yes, I do add butter and chopped rosemary under the skin - so good! I like your idea though of cooking two at a time. I still need to make your chicken zucchini enchiladas!

  5. Beautiful birds! I love to make double birds too! You can do so much with the extra meat and it doesn't take much more work to do it either.

    I either roast them in the oven or hubby cooks them in the smoker.

    If I am only doing one bird I will deli roast it in my crock pot-saves on heating up the kitchen too.

  6. I have roasted ONE turkey and bade ONE beer can chicken (on the grill). Honestly, it intimidates me! Plus, we only like the white meat so we end up wasting a lot. There really is nothing like fresh roasted chicken breast, though...and yours looks sooo good. The butter in tehre makes it, I'm sure :)

  7. I am definitely intimidated to roast a whole bird. Well, it's not the roasting so much as the carving. I can never get that thigh bone to come off cleanly. Your chicken looks super yummy, though!


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