Easy, simple, flavorful Perfect Roast Chicken. This is the best roast chicken recipe ever and is perfect for your Sunday roast.
GOLDEN BROWN SKIN AND TENDER, FLAVORFUL MEAT
There's nothing better than a good roast chicken on a Sunday evening. The delicious Sunday roast. This roasted chicken is one of my favorite meals to make. I can always count on it to turn out perfectly and the leftovers make for an amazing roasted chicken salad.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
The skin becomes a gorgeous brown because of the butter but it does smoke a little bit. Just make sure to keep your ventilation fan going while this cooks. You could also replace the butter with ghee but I don't feel like you get the same flavors.
I find that method often tears the skin if you don't do it just right. You can certainly do that but when you put the butter on top of the skin, you get a beautiful, golden brown and crispy skin. We put the garlic, lemon and seasonings inside the chicken cavity to flavor the meat from the inside out.
This would be delicious served with my creamy herbed potatoes! Or perhaps something more classic like crock pot million dollar mashed potatoes, ranch smashed potatoes or a more fall-inspired dish, maybe some honey glazed sweet potatoes! Craving something other than potatoes? How about Italian green beans or my bacon garlic green beans. You can't go wrong!
A meat thermometer is going to give you the most accurate reading on when chicken is done. Insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken (not touching the bone) and the temperature should read 165F degrees when done. Another way is to cut between the leg bone and the breast. If the liquid runs clear, it's a good indicator the chicken is done.
There are a lot of theories on what is the best way to roast a chicken. Some say breast side down so the juices run down into the breast meat and some say breast side up so that the skin gets cooked and golden brown. Personally, I am in the breast side up camp. With this recipe, the breast meat is still incredibly tender and flavorful and you still get that gorgeous brown and crispy skin.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)
- roasting chicken
- salt and ground black pepper
- good quality salted butter (I like Kerrygold butter)
HOW TO ROAST CHICKEN IN THE OVEN:
Preheat the oven to 425f degrees. Remove the chicken from plastic wrap and remove any giblets that are in the cavity. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any leftover pinfeathers that may still be hanging on and pat the outside dry. Place the chicken in a large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Cut lemon and garlic head in half.
Stuff the cavity with lemon and garlic halves. Squeeze a bit of the lemon juice into the chicken cavity before placing lemon halves inside.
Brush the outside of the chicken with the melted butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Use all the butter, this is what is going to help make the skin crispy and give it a golden color.
Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken (this step is optional). Roast the chicken, uncovered, for about an hour and half or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Temperature of the thickest part of the chicken (without touching the bone) should be 165F degrees when done.
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Originally published: November 2011
Updated & republished: September 2020
Recipe credit: Ina Garten
The Best Roast Chicken (+Video)
- 5-6 pounds roasting chicken
- 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
- 1-2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 lemon
- 1 whole head of garlic
- 2 Tablespoons salted butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 425f degrees. Remove the chicken from plastic wrap and remove any giblets that are in the cavity. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Pat it dry.
- Place the chicken in a large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken.
- Cut lemon and garlic head in half. Stuff the cavity with lemon and garlic halves. Squeeze a bit of the lemon juice into the chicken cavity before placing lemon halves inside.
- Brush the outside of the chicken with the melted butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Use all the butter, this is what is going to help make the skin crispy and give it a golden color.
- Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken (this step is optional).
- Roast the chicken, uncovered, for about an hour and half or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken (without touching a bone) and it should be 165F degrees.
- The melted butter you slather on the chicken may smoke some in your oven. Butter has a low burning point and because you are cooking this at a higher temperature, you may see a bit of smoking. Do not worry. This is normal. Just make sure your oven fan is in good working condition. It is all worth it for the flavor it brings to this chicken!
- You can use ghee to help with the smoking but I've tried it and I don't feel you get the same flavor.
“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.
This sounds absolutely delicious. I'm wondering if I could use this same method for a Cornish hen? I just love Cornish hens but I really don't have a good recipe for them. Thanks so much.
Brandie @ The Country Cook
I haven't personally tested it but I can't see a reason why not! I'd love to know how it turns out for you. Just keep an ye on your cooking time because they obviously won't take as long as a big chicken roast 🙂
I love your recipes. They're easy and delicious
Made this earlier this month. So good and very easy to make. Its going into my recipe rotation
I made this Sunday (7th). Very easy. Good Will make again.
This is a very simple recipe, which is a good thing. The chicken turned out as pretty as the picture but in my opinion, flavor was lacking. Also, you would be wise to put it in a deep roasting pan because, as I learned, the juices will splatter all over your oven and the smoke will set off every smoke detector in your house. Ha!
Oh my blessed goodness. I’ve made a roast chicken two or three times before from different recipes and am not really a chicken fan. UNTIL NOW! This chicken was perfectly moist and tender with a beautiful golden crispy skin. I was worried it would be burnt when the kitchen started filling with smoke from scorched butter, but I kept my cool and just turned on a fan and opened all the windows like she said to do. My only changes were to use an orange (as I didn’t have a lemon), place some garlic slices under the skin, and put several celery ribs in with the orange. The beautifully caramelized pan drippings made a perfect base for the next day’s chicken pho. I will absolutely be using this recipe for the rest if my life.