For a while, the idea of a whole roasted chicken was intimidating. That is, until we actually tried it and realized it was quite simple.
It’s essentially: Season chicken, put in a pan (vegetables optional), and bake at a high temperature for about 1 hour.
Yeah, that’s it. Literally anyone can do it — cooking experience or not. Let us show you how it’s done!
This recipe is simple, requiring just 1 pan and 6 ingredients to make.
How to Make Roasted Chicken
There are plenty of methods out there for roasting a chicken, but our preferred is simple: Season, place in a baking pan, and roast at a high temperature (450 F / 232 C) for about 1 hour, depending on the size of your chicken.
You can choose to roast in a roasting pan with or without a rack, but we haven’t found it necessary. You can also roast in a large cast-iron skillet, which has been our preferred method in the past. However, a baking pan is now our favorite as it allows a bit more room for vegetables like carrots and potatoes.
Tips for a Juicy Roasted Chicken with Crispy Skin
- Buy a nice quality, organic chicken — pasture-raised or at least free-range when possible. It goes without saying, but high-quality ingredients make the best-tasting food, so don’t skimp when it comes to meat.
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels so there isn’t any moisture on the skin.
- Rub the exterior with melted butter (dairy-free as needed). After many rounds of testing, we found this helped the skin get crispy while also infusing the most flavor into the meat.
- Rub the exterior (and interior cavity) with plenty of salt and pepper for big flavor.
- Then, let the chicken rest uncovered in the fridge for 24 hours before roasting. This is key to letting the skin dry out, which ultimately leads to a more flavorful, juicy chicken with crispier skin.
- Bake at a high temperature — we like 450 F / 232 C — until the internal temperature reaches 165. Be careful not to over-bake, which leads to drier chicken.
- Let the chicken rest for at least 10-15 minutes before slicing so the juices can redistribute throughout the meat.
That’s it! I bolded the most important tips to highlight those that are truly essential. Lemon wedges and fresh herbs can also be added to the cavity of the chicken, but this is primarily for aromatics and more flavor (especially if making broth after the chicken is roasted).
For the ultimate 1-pan meal experience, we love adding vegetables to the baking pan. Think carrots and potatoes! But you could also throw in some beets, sliced onion, or sweet potatoes.
Root vegetables are best here. Also, we tried adding whole garlic cloves, but because it roasts for 1 hour at such a high temperature, we found they were prone to burning, so we recommend leaving them out.
Once your chicken is roasted, all that’s left to do is rest, slice, and serve.
What to do with Leftover Roasted Chicken
Leftover chicken can be saved and enjoyed in many ways. We have a chicken soup recipe that’s perfect for that!
In the meantime, it can be shredded and enjoyed on salads and sandwiches, in enchiladas (paired with this sauce!), in this Pumpkin Black Bean Soup, in pot pies, and more!
It can also easily be frozen for later use so you’ll always have roasted chicken on hand.
How to Reheat Roasted Chicken
Roasted chicken can be reheated in a 350 F (175 C) oven until hot. But our preferred method is either microwaving or reheating in a skillet until hot.
Also, roasted chicken doesn’t need to be heated at all as cold chicken on things like salads and sandwiches is actually quite delicious.
We hope you LOVE this chicken! It’s:
Simple to make
& Incredibly delicious
This would make the perfect entrée for meat eaters this holiday season and beyond. The seasonings are simple, the herbs are customizable, and the flavor is BIG. Best of all, we love how it cooks in one pan in minimal time and the carrots and potatoes bake right alongside it. Talk about a 1-pan meal!
More Thanksgiving Entrée Ideas
- Vegan Lentil Nut “Meatloaf”
- Sweet Potato Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
- 1-Hour Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
- 1-Hour Vegan Pot Pies
- Garlic & White Wine Pasta with Brussels Sprouts
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
Lemon & Herb Roasted Chicken
- 1 3-4 pound whole chicken (organic and free-range or pasture-raised whenever possible)
- 2 Tbsp melted butter (Miyoko’s or Earth Balance for dairy-free // organic butter if okay with dairy)
- 3/4-1 Tbsp sea salt
- 1-2 tsp black pepper
- 1 small lemon, rinsed and quartered
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary (or sub thyme)
- 1-2 cups carrots, trimmed and peeled as needed, chopped into large chunks (more or less depending on size of roasting pan)
- 1-2 cups small golden potatoes, cut into large quarters or halves (more or less depending on size of roasting pan)
- 2 Tbsp avocado oil (or other neutral oil with high smoke point)
- 1 generous pinch each sea salt and black pepper
- NOTE: This chicken does best when prepped 24 hours in advance. If that’s not doable, season and chill at least 8-10 hours before cooking for crispier skin and more flavorful chicken.
- Set chicken on a clean plate then wash hands with hot soapy water. Melt butter and drizzle over the skin of the chicken and brush to distribute evenly. Season the exterior and interior cavity of the chicken with salt and pepper (as the recipe is written, about 3/4-1 Tbsp sea salt and 1-2 tsp black pepper). This sounds like a lot of salt, but there should be a generous layer of seasoning on the chicken so it flavors the meat well. (For a roughly 4 lb. chicken, we used about 1 Tbsp salt and 2 tsp black pepper total.)
- Insert the lemon and fresh rosemary into the cavity — this infuses more flavor and also makes for a more flavorful broth (if making broth afterward).
- Set the chicken in the fridge uncovered (this allows the chicken to dry out a bit, which helps it crisp more when roasting). Wait 24-36 hours (ideally) or at least 8-10 hours to cook. At this time, be sure to wash hands with hot soapy water again and clean all surfaces well to avoid spreading bacteria.
- Once you’re ready to cook your chicken, preheat oven to 450 degrees F (232 C). Get out a large rimmed roasting pan or cast-iron skillet (we like this baking dish). If adding veggies (optional) add carrots and potatoes to the pan. Drizzle with a bit of oil and season well with salt and pepper. Then toss to combine.
- Arrange the veggies around the perimeter of the dish, then add the chicken (breast side up) in the center (if not baking with veggies, just place chicken in center of pan).
- Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes (UNCOVERED) or until the exterior is crispy and golden brown and the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 F (74 C). I also like to measure the breast temperature to ensure it’s done in the center as well (also 165 F / 74 C). For an accurate read, be sure the thermometer is not touching bone.
- Remove from oven and let chicken rest for about 10-15 minutes before serving. This ensures the juices redistribute to keep the chicken moist.
- To slice the chicken, use a sharp knife to remove the wings and the thighs (option to cut the leg/drumstick from the thigh for easier serving portions). Then slice down either side of the breast bone and thinly slice the breasts into 1/4-inch serving portions. Use hands to carefully remove any other parts of meat from the bones. Lastly, if opting to make bone broth, save the bones (including the legs and wings after meat has been removed).
- To serve, arrange the carrots and potatoes on a serving platter and top with pieces of chicken. You will likely have a generous portion of cooking juices left over in the roasting pan, which I recommend transferring to a small dish and serving on the side to add more flavor as a lazy but delicious form of “gravy.”
- Enjoy hot. Save cooled leftover meat and veggies covered in the fridge up to 2-3 days. Transfer meat up to the freezer after that and store up to 1 month (veggies won’t freeze). Leftover meat can be enjoyed cold or hot (warm in the oven or microwave) on its own, or shredded and added to soup.
*Recipe / methods slightly adapted from Gimme Some Oven and New York Times.
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