Home » Dinner Recipes » The Best Roast Chicken (+Video)

The Best Roast Chicken (+Video)

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.

Perfect Roast Chicken on a cutting board with a sliced lemon.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Won’t the butter smoke while cooking?

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.

Can’t I just put butter underneath the chicken skin?

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.

What to serve with roasted chicken?

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!

How to tell when roast chicken is done?

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.

Which way up to roast chicken?

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.

The Perfect Roasted Chicken recipe from The Country Cook, shown sliced on a cutting board.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)

  • roasting chicken
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • lemon
  • garlic
  • good quality salted butter (I like Kerrygold butter)
roasting chicken, salt and ground black pepper, lemon, garlic, good quality salted butter.

HOW TO MAKE ROAST CHICKEN

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.

adding a sliced head of garlic into the cavity of a fresh chicken.

Stuff the cavity with lemon and garlic halves. Squeeze a bit of the lemon juice into the chicken cavity before placing lemon halves inside.

lemon juice squeezed into chicken cavity.

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.

brushing chicken skin with melted butter.

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.

The Perfect Roast Chicken recipe, fully cooked with golden brown skin.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES?

Originally published: November 2011
Updated photos & republished:  September 2020
Recipe credit: Ina Garten

The Best Roast Chicken recipe

The Best Roast Chicken (+Video)

Easy, simple, flavorful Perfect Roast Chicken. This is the best roast chicken recipe ever and is perfect for your Sunday roast.
4.77 from 52 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • 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.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 470kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 34g | Sodium: 168mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“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 and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

Did you make this recipe?Share it on Instagram @thecountrycook and mention us #thecountrycook!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




67 Comments

  1. I’ve not tried the recipe yet but have my chickens waiting.

    I see that you are recommending potatoes and green beans as sides for the chicken Thank you for thinking of the rest of the meal. So often the decision of what to have for dinner is concentrated on the meat and the sides are an afterthought.

    I am going with roasted acorn squash and blanched spinach with my chicken today and then will be open to ideas for ideas using the remaining meat. Ten pounds of chicken for two people should yield plenty.

  2. The recipe says to put in a head of garlic in the chicken cavity. you have to cut that in half. how do you get all of the paper/skin off of the garlic?

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious!!! Try spraying the outside with butter flavor non stick spray(or spray butter)…it’s easier and just as yummy.

  4. I have 2 smaller chickens maybe around 3 – 31/2 lbs can I still cook them with this recipe at the same temperature as the bigger one or do I have to cook them at a least temperature and you were saying that it smokes because of the butter how long does it last for right through the cooking process I so want to try this recipe it looks so delicious

  5. Hi Brandie-Do you think I could lower the temp and cook on convect roast to get the same crispy skin without having the smoke issue? I wish I understood convect better!

    1. Hi Jessica! Convection just helps circulate the air flow. Kind of like an air fryer does. You could certainly try! I haven’t personally tried it myself but it might work. Just keep an eye on the temperature of the chicken. We don’t want any kind of food poisoning to happen because of undercooked chicken 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    I made this today and it’s a huge hit! Love the simplicity of it while impressing the entire family. It’s on the roster for future meals!

  7. I like sage, and I suppose you could use other herbs if you wish. But sometimes, basic is best. If you use Ghee (clarified butter) you shouldn’t have the smoking problem of regular butter.

  8. 5 stars
    This was probably the best chicken I ever made! I never eat the skin… And this was delicious! I threw in 3 sprigs of Rosemary into the cavity and put veggies under the rack. Pro tip: keep the veggies away from the chicken and your skin will crisp, if the veggies touch, skin stays soft. But it was really great!!!

      1. hi Joe, I always use a good grade of olive oil, and it comes out delious and very crispy

  9. This recipie looks delicious! My chicken is in the oven right now and my fire alarm is going off every five seconds any suggestions ? I do have my oven fan on high …help lol????

  10. 5 stars
    This is a really great recipe for roast chicken! I make mine the same way with garlic and lemon stuffed inside the cavity, but I also mix up softened butter with a few tsps of thyme, parsley, salt and pepper and slather the butter mixture under the skin on top of the chicken breasts, it helps keep the breasts moist and juicy! So good!!

  11. 5 stars
    has anyone tried using Ghee? would it be just as good without the butter? I imagine this would make the skin less crispy, which is fine with me. 🙂 love your recipes Brandie

  12. 5 stars
    I made this last night. My son’s basketball game ran late and I was afraid the chicken would be dry when he got home. It was not. In fact it only made the outside a little more crispy and the inside was like butter. – perfect. Thanks for the recipe.

  13. I couldn’t find a roasting chicken at the store. I bought a whole chicken 5.56 lbs. Is that the same thing? I have never cooked a whole chicken before.

  14. You mentioned the butter may make it smoke in the oven. What about using ghee in place of butter? Would that work the same only eliminate the smoke?

  15. 5 stars
    This was definitely the best chicken I’ve made. I did a season with Sazon complete inside and out. Thank you for the recipe