Preparing and cooking an entire roast chicken seems daunting. I know.
The reality is this: IT’S SUPER EASY.
A good sized roast chicken can feed a dinner party crowd (or a large family). It can also work as dinner for two or four, and then leave you with great leftovers to be used during the week for things like casseroles, fajitas, sandwiches, salads and more.
If you’re frightened about ending up with raw chicken, do yourself a favor and buy one of these handy-dandy probe thermometers that can stay in while the chicken is roasting. It beeps when the meat reaches a safe temp. Brilliant!
Otherwise, the 20 minutes per pound rule, with a 425°F oven, generally works like a charm for me.
Mmm… Roast chicken…
There’s nothing that screams “COMFORT FOOD!!!” more than roast chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy. And who doesn’t need a little comfort food on a Sunday afternoon. Right?
Seriously—you need this recipe. Pin it. Save it. Print it. Keep it handy.
It’d also be wise to pin (or print and save, for you “old world” home cooks) this recipe for Overnight Slow Cooker Chicken Stock, because then you’ll never have to buy chicken broth again (and it’s really yummy).
And just because it’s “Sunday” roast chicken doesn’t mean you’re relegated to only making it on Sundays. This can also be a great weeknight meal, since the oven does all the work!
- 1 4-pound whole chicken, rinsed and patted dry (discard the giblets, or save them for gravy)
- 1 stick salted butter, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 lemons, quartered
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 1 head of garlic, halved
- 2 tablespoons of lemon zest
- 1 small bunch fresh parsley
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Place the chicken on the rack of roasting pan that has been filled with 1/2″ of water. The water will serve two purposes: 1) to keep the drippings from burning as the chicken roasts, and 2) to make a great gravy base.
- Tuck the wings under the body of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the lemon quarters, onions, garlic and parsley.
- Mix the butter, salt, pepper and lemon zest together in a small bowl. Gently slide your hand under the skin atop each breast to create two pockets. Spread 1/3 of the butter mixture under the skin on one side, then smooth it out by rubbing the top of the skin. Repeat with the second side.
- Spread the remaining butter mixture on top of the chicken, taking care to coat the drumsticks and sides of the chicken. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper.
- Roast the chicken for about 60 minutes, or until the skin is crispy and the juices run clear. Temperature with an instant-read thermometer should read about 165°F when taken deeply in the thigh.
- Let the roast chicken rest for about 20 minutes before carving; its temperature will rise another 10-15°F, and the juices will settle into the meat.
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