This fool proof easy oven roasted chicken that's the perfect way to not only get a nutritious meal on the table but it's an even better way to eat healthy on a budget! And that is something I can get behind on especially with today's grocery store prices! Your whole family is going to love this herby citrus infused roasted chicken with lemons, fresh rosemary sprigs, and a lot of garlic! This also makes a fantastic option for a low-key Sunday dinner!
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A whole roasted chicken doesn't need to be intimidating (and I know it can seem that way!) But let me guide you here: YOU CAN DO THIS.
I feel knowing how to cook a whole chicken in the oven is one of the 5 recipes you should know how to make from memory. Like a good pasta sauce or how to make a cheese sauce for mac n cheese. Recipes you feel confident about making at the drop of a hat and made with ingredients you are comfortable with using.
This oven roasted chicken recipe has become a staple recipe for me over the years mainly because when we were poor college kids it was one of the few recipes I could make! Plus it was super cheap and would make great leftovers that lasted us all week long! I would shred it and use it in salads, sandwiches, wraps, and even in soup! SO many things you can make from a good roasted chicken recipe!
- What you Need to Make Oven Roasted Chicken
- Ingredient Modifications
- Supplies for making the best roast chicken recipe
- How to Roast a Whole Chicken
- For the Roasted Potatoes
- How long to Roast a Whole Chicken
- What is the difference between roasting a chicken and baking a chicken?
- Should you cover a chicken while cooking?
- Garlic Rosemary Oven Roasted Chicken
- To do:
What you Need to Make Oven Roasted Chicken
Besides from stating the obvious here, you will need a whole bird for this rosemary chicken recipe. The other benefit is this truly is a very simplistic dish that you can recycle the leftovers into so many new recipes. For this particular golden brown bird, we turned it into sandwiches the next day, then made a fantastic Chicken Fajita Soup (will share soon!).
- Aromatics - I stuffed the chicken cavity with quartered lemon (this helps bring some light acidity as well as keep the chicken moist and tender on the inside while the outside gets a crispy skin makeover).
- Rosemary & Thyme - We have fresh rosemary growing out back so I try to use it as much as possible. But one of the best ways to use fresh herbs to infuse with the lemon inside the chicken cavity. It truly creates a flavor steam chamber that gets into the meat of the chicken while still making that crispy skin we all love.
- Herby Melted Butter - It's about as delicious as it sounds. Take some melted butter (or ghee) and mix with the sea salt, seasoning, cloves of garlic (minced), some chopped rosemary, and a little lemon zest. Then with your index finger separate the skin from the breast and spread the herby butter mixture over it. So we actually are flavoring the chicken breast not only from the inside but the outside too and not just the skin!
- Baby Potatoes & Carrots - I truly wanted this recipe to be a one stop shop for dinner complete with easy budget friendly sides. I love these simply seasoned potatoes with carrot combo. Plus they go in the same time as the chicken so it all comes together all at once!
That's it! Not a long list of ingredients and we are using the rosemary in two different ways!
While this Oven Roasted Chicken Recipe is delicious as is, I wanted to throw in a few other tried and true alternatives that will fit any one's dietary needs! 💜
- Make it Dairy Free - Swap out the butter for ghee or avocado oil/olive oil to make it completely dairy free.
- Make it low carb - Replace the potatoes with a side salad of arugula + lemon or use cauliflower florets instead.
- Switch out the sides - While we love a good potato + root veggie option, feel free to mix and match with your favorite veggie that you have on hand!
Supplies for making the best roast chicken recipe
How to Roast a Whole Chicken
- Preheat the oven to 400F (It's ALL about the initial blazing higher temperature - then as soon as we put the bird in we will drop it to 375F)
- Prep the chicken: Remove the giblets from the cavity and pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Melt butter and stir with kosher salt, black pepper, fresh rosemary (dried rosemary works too), and garlic. Place chicken with the breast side up in a cast iron pan (or roasting pan). Stuff the cavity with lemon halves plus some fresh rosemary & thyme. Tuck the wing tips underneath. Place your index finger in between the chicken skin of the breasts to separate just enough to create a small pocket. Gently spread the butter mixture in between the chicken skin and the breast meat.
- Roast the chicken: as mentioned above we want to lower the temperature to 375F as soon as you put the chicken into the oven. This way the top of the chicken gets nice and crispy without drying out the inside (No one likes dry chicken!). Roast the chicken for about 1 hour and 35 minutes or until the thickest part of thigh reaches 165F using a meat thermometer.
- Remove & Rest: Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing in! You can always save the pan juices to create a quick gravy.
- Carve & Serve: Once the sides are done, carve up the legs, thighs, wings, and breasts. Divide among the plates alongside the roasted potatoes and carrots.
For the Roasted Potatoes
- Prep the potatoes & carrots: Cut the baby potatoes and carrots in desired shape. I prefer baby potatoes cut in half and carrots cut into 2 inch chunks. Toss with 1-2 tbs of olive oil and liberally season with salt and pepper.
- Bake: When the chicken has been roasting in the oven for about 35 minutes, put the potatoes and carrots in the oven and roast for about 45 minutes until golden brown and the carrots are just starting to caramelize a little.
How long to Roast a Whole Chicken
Roasted chicken typically takes over an hour to fully cook. After many trial and error I have landed on the technique of a 400F higher temperature oven to start with then as soon as you put the chicken into the oven lower the temperature to 375F. This gives that crispy golden skin without drying out the meat of the chicken. It's fully cooked once the internal temperature has reached 165F.
What is the difference between roasting a chicken and baking a chicken?
When it comes to temperature, roasting requires a higher oven temperature of above 400°F for the cooking process, while baking takes place at lower oven temperatures around 375°F and below. Thus this process is sort of an in between a roast and a bake!
Should you cover a chicken while cooking?
Depends. I have tried both ways and found both cook the chicken thoroughly. However, I discovered that cooking starting at 400F then immediately reducing the temperature to 375F created the crispy skin while keeping the chicken juicy and not dried out.
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