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Learn how to Roast Chicken perfectly whether you are using a roasting pan, slow cooker, or just need to use a regular pan you have on hand. It’s so easy!

Roast Chicken on rosemary on a white serving dish.

You’ve probably eyed those sale prices on whole chickens, but let’s face it: cooking a whole chicken can be intimidating. It doesn’t have to be! Go out and catch one of those awesome sales and I’ll teach you all about chicken.

The chickens you buy for those great sale prices (like 69 cents a pound) are fryer chickens. These are smaller birds because they only let them live to be 6-8 weeks old. The quick turn around means less feeding time which means the price is lower. These are the same chickens they use to make the store bought pre-cooked rotisserie chickens, except they seem to always use the smallest ones (2-3 lbs). The lowest price I see is about 69c/lb. A 3lb bird would be $2.07. That same bird cooked by the store would run you somewhere around $5.99. That’s a 289% mark up!

Steps for Roasting Chicken

  • Step 1: Prepare your chicken. Pat the chicken dry using paper towels. Peak inside the chicken. It might have some stuff in it called giblets. Depending on the brand of chicken you buy they might be in a bag, just hanging loose, or they might not even be there at all. Some brands include the neck. You can easily snap that out too if you want. I usually save this stuff to make chicken stock later. Some people cook it and eat it. Others just throw it out.
  • Step 2: Loosen up the skin on the chicken. You’ll be able to slide your fingers under the skin at the openings (yup, the neck and the butt). Wiggle your fingers in and slide them all around to loosen that skin right up. This will allow you to put seasonings and butter right against the meat which means a flavorful meat, and a nice crispy skin (my favorite part!). The store bought chickens don’t do this. They just dump flavoring on the outside and call it good. That’s probably why I can never tell any difference in flavor between the various options they sell.
  • Step 3: Flavor your chicken. You can follow a recipe, or just keep it simple. Personally, I prefer putting 1/4 cup butter up under the skin, and rubbing the whole bird down with Cajun seasoning or a blend of herbs and spices. It is simple, quick, and flavorful. If I have a couple lemons on hand I squeeze the juice over the chicken and then shove the squeezed lemons into the cavity of the chicken.
  • Step 4: Tying up the Chicken: A professional chef would tie up the chicken, but you probably don’t have any cooking twine on hand. Don’t fret. Move on to Step 5! If you do happen to have twine, well then, truss up that chicken and tie those legs together!
  • Step 5:  Roasting: If you have a roasting pan, put the chicken on the rack. If you don’t have a roasting pan, then don’t sweat it. Just put it, breast side up, in a dark metal 9×13 pan. Roast for 20 minutes at 450 degrees, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and continue roasting for about another 40 minutes. Baste every 10 minutes or so with the juices for a moist, flavorful bird. Remove from the oven when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Use a meat thermometer to check right where the leg connects to the body. Let it rest for about 20 minutes before carving.

SLOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS

Put the chicken in the slow cooker on low for about 6 to 8 hours. The disadvantage on the slower cooker is that you won’t get a crispy skin because the appliance can’t get hot enough to do it. You could always pull it out when it’s finished and roast it at 500 degrees for 15 minutes, or put it under a broiler to get that crispy skin. The difficulty you might run across is that your chicken will be fall-off-the-bone tender so remove from the slow cooker carefully.

Carved a Roast Chicken on rosemary on a white serving dish.

How to carve a roasted chicken

  1. Once your chicken is cooked it’s time to carve it. You can either carve it at serving, or you can remove all the meat from the bones for later use.
  2. If you look at the breast there is a line running down the center. Place a sharp knife just to one side of that line and press down firmly. You’ll hear ribs crack. Do the same on the other side as well and you’ll be able to remove the center bone.
  3. At this point you’ll be able to fold open the chicken and see exactly where your knife needs to go to remove the breast meat in one swoop. Cool, huh? You’ll be able to remove all the chicken fairly quickly.
  4. Now don’t throw away the bones quite yet. Either put them in the fridge or freezer and use them to make homemade chicken stock. All you need to know to make your own stock is found HERE.

Also, check out THIS POST for 30 recipes that use pre-cooked chicken.

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Roast Chicken on rosemary on a white serving dish.
Learn how to Roast Chicken perfectly whether you are using a roasting pan, slow cooker, or just need to use a regular pan you have on hand. It's so easy!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 whole fryer chicken
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 cup softened salted butter
  • 1 large lemon
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
Instructions
  • Remove chicken from packaging and pat dry using paper towels. Remove any giblets and the neck (if included)..
  • In a small bowl, stir together salt, basil, oregano, paprika, white pepper, and onion powder. In another small bowl, use a fork to mash softened butter together with 2 teaspoons of the seasoning mixture.
  • Loosen up the skin on the chicken. You'll be able to slide your fingers under the skin at the openings. Wiggle your fingers in and slide them all around to loosen that skin right up. Place butter mixture underneath skin.
  • Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juices directly over the chicken skin. Sprinkle remaining seasoning mixture over the skin to coat. Place the lemon halves and rosemary sprigs inside the cavity of the chicken.
  • Place chicken breast side up in a roasting pan. Roast for 20 minutes at 450 degrees, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and continue roasting for about another 40 minutes. Baste every 20 minutes, if desired.
  • Remove from the oven when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Use a meat thermometer to check right where the leg connects to the body. Let it rest for about 20 minutes before carving.
Notes

Nutrition

Calories: 344kcal | Protein: 23g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 738mg | Potassium: 247mg | Vitamin A: 580IU | Vitamin C: 2.1mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1.5mg
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Roast Chicken
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Bev
January 7, 2020 9:47 pm

5 stars
I’m the stay-at-home, keep-me-out-of -the-kitchen wife and Mom. This was a clearly descriptive and easy recipe to follow. My prep time was 40 minutes, but I am turtle, not hare! ? Except for splayed legs and wings, I’m happy to report that my roasted chicken is beautiful! Thank you so much for giving me the instructional tools to roast such a wonderful chicken! I signed up for your newsletter and look forward to more successful meals.

alena wallace
April 1, 2020 5:28 pm

5 stars
Soooooooo juicy and delicious! The whole family loved it, definitely a keeper, thank you!

Becky Mast
October 26, 2020 3:13 pm

The Best oven roasted chicken!
Sooo juicy and flavorful!
A definite family favorite!

Gigi Eisenberg
October 5, 2020 9:53 am

Wow. This is probably the most perfectly roasted chicken I have ever made or possibly even eaten. The 450 temperature for 20 minutes and then the slower roast made for a crispy skin and the most moist meat. My husband told me I was a wonderful chef after making it. The spices also are a nice blend…not too much of anything but just right for a mild yet zesty flavor. I actually added a little more salt. I also am a believer in not basting too often because it cools down the oven, so I only basted 2x during the… Read more »

Mo
July 19, 2020 6:18 pm

5 stars
I made this for my meat-eating fam tonight and they loved it! My 3 year old and 6 year both ate a whole drumstick which I’m pretty sure has never happened.

ANETHA
June 10, 2020 4:41 pm

5 stars
Loved it

Lili
June 10, 2020 6:46 am

5 stars
Mmmmm😋😋🤨🤨 very easy. Will make it tonight !!!!

alma justiza
April 5, 2020 4:57 am

5 stars
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! My family (including picky eaters) approve of this. It turned out so juicy and flavorful- reminds me of Kenny Roger’s roasted chicken.

It’s now included in our meal plan and definitely my go-to recipe for roast chicken.

March 21, 2020 3:42 pm

Love your recipes and helpful detailed instructions you give, I was always a see it learner lol! Thanks so much and I am looking forward to enjoying watching all of your posts!!!!!1

Ray E. Miller Jr
March 15, 2020 5:44 pm

Great Help ! . . .

Linda Rose
February 16, 2020 12:06 pm

Can potatoes and carrots be cooked along side it?

February 16, 2020 2:30 pm
Reply to  Linda Rose

Yes! Just toss your veggies with olive oil and salt and pepper.

Tina
January 21, 2020 11:01 pm

Any thoughts on using a cooking bag? And what size fryer are you using for this time frame listed? Thanks

Carolyn
January 13, 2020 5:40 pm

5 stars
Made this today and it was so moist and delicious!

December 29, 2019 6:28 pm

5 stars
I just cooked a chicken for dinner exactly this way.
Is there a better meal than that?

November 21, 2019 1:45 pm

5 stars
Absolutely delicious! Your pictures are beautiful. Thank you for sharing your recipes.

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