Foolproof Roast Chicken

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Let’s talk about roasted chicken.  Its such a classic and so easy to make. Well, its easy once you get a foolproof recipe.  Before that, you may have chewed through dry breasts, or worse, a raw thigh or even if you got the temperature right, a tasteless chicken. It took  me a while to nail down a perfect recipe, almost a year in fact.

A couple of years ago after reliably inconsistent roasting results, I was inspired to perfect the process. I decided to buy a new roasting pan and  stock up a  freezer full of whole, organic chickens during a big sale at Whole Foods.  I roasted a whole chicken once a month until I got it perfect and was through the entire stockpile (10 chickens).

Roasted chicken is easy, healthy, great for entertaining and really versatile. It can feed a bigger group or family and has even been known to assist in marriage proposals. There is even a dish called “Engagement Chicken” which as you can guess, is the recommended dish to make for your boyfriend if you want him to propose marriage.

I must confess, I never made my husband a roasted chicken when he was my boyfriend or even my fiancé. But now if I want to guarantee an instant good mood, all I have to do is tell him we are having roasted chicken, baked potatoes and some type of vegetable.  Easily one of his favorite meals.


  • If you are making baked potatoes; scrub them, poke with a fork and put them in the oven for the last 60 minutes of cook time.
  • I suggest lining your roasting pan with tin foil for an easier clean up.
  • You will see me wearing purple gloves – I keep a box of powder-free medical gloves under my sink for handling raw meats, poultry and hot peppers.  Saves a lot of time and makes clean up easy!
  • Here is a video explaining how to truss a chicken. I use these silicone stretch cooking bands.  They are quicker to use and easier than trussing, plus you can reuse them which is awesome.  I also tuck the wings under the bands on top of the breast because I like to keep the breast protected a bit from the heat.  Maybe it’s laziness.  Either way, it works!
  • A great video on How to Carve a Whole Chicken if you need it!

Everyday Roasted Chicken
4 Points Plus per serving based on 4 ounce serving of breast meat (skin removed, without bones) or 3 ounce serving of leg or thigh meat (skin removed, without bones).
Serves: 4 to 6
  • 1 3.5-pound to 5-pound organic whole chicken
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 8 to 10 cloves garlic
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 6 to 8 sprigs fresh parsley
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • roasting pan lined with tin foil
  1. Preheat oven to 425F and place oven rack in middle position. Remove insides of chicken if present. I don't bother rinsing the chicken as I find it just spreads germs and bacteria in my sink and isn't really necessary.
  2. Generously sprinkle cavity of chicken with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cut lemon in half and stuff half of lemon into cavity.
  3. Follow with garlic, herbs and remaining half of lemon.
  4. Generously salt and pepper both sides. Truss chicken (see notes above).
  5. Place breast side down and place into oven for 30 minutes.
  6. At 30 minutes, remove roasting pan and carefully (will be hot!) flip chicken over so the breast side is up.
  7. Place back into oven for an additional 60 minutes.
  8. Remove, let cool for 5 or 10 minutes, carve, serve and Enjoy!


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    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi! I actually use a non-wood cutting board for raw poultry. I use my wood cutting boards for all food prep and cutting cooked meats and poultry.

  1. Lianne says

    It was fantastic. It looked beautiful and tasted as good as it looked – a very impressive Sunday supper and I have great left-overs.

  2. Lianne says

    It’s in the oven right now – if I can pull this off I’ll be a fan for life! I loved the additional directions about trussing and carving a chicken – basic stuff I never really learned to do and now I’m at the stage in life when it’s embarassing to ask for help. Thanks for the truly excellent website.

  3. says

    Your chicken looks fantastic…and so do those gorgeous roasted veggies! If I have the time, I like to brine mine for about a day in the fridge before roasting, but that’s about the only thing I do differently.
    Faith recently posted..Chef ShoesMy Profile

    • EverydayMaven says

      Thanks Faith! I plan to post the veggies in a week or so because I got so many emails about them. I just need to take the pictures. Brining is always a great idea!

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Joanne, I hear you – bad roasted chicken can really ruin it for you. I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!!

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