Easy whole roasted chicken recipe

This easy whole roasted chicken is seasoned with lemon and herbs and cooked with onions, carrots and celery for a beautifully browned, crispy and classic oven roast chicken.


PREP TIME: 15 min

COOK TIME: 1 hr 15 min


TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 45 min


  • 5 lb. whole chicken, giblets removed (see notes for 6 lb. size)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (or sub melted butter)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme (or parsley)
  • 1 onion, cut in large chunks
  • 2-3 carrots, cut in large chunks
  • 2-3 stalks of celery, cut in large chunks
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water or chicken broth


  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Pat the chicken dry all over and in the cavity with paper towels. Use your fingers to separate the skin of the chicken on the breast side from the meat.
  3. Rub the entire chicken with the olive oil or melted butter, including underneath the skin on the breasts side.
  4. Combine the salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and garlic powder in a small bowl.
  5. Sprinkle the seasoning mix generously over the chicken, in the cavity and underneath the skin on the breasts side.
  6. Place the halved lemon and fresh herbs in the cavity of the chicken.
  7. Place the cut onion, carrots and celery in the bottom of a 9x2x13 inch baking dish or a rack with an insert.
  8. Add the chicken broth or water, enough for a thin layer. (This helps to prevent the veggies from burning.)
  9. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables (or in the rack insert), breast side up.
  10. Use a piece of kitchen string or twine to tie the drumsticks together. Tuck the wings of the chicken underneath the chicken.
  11. Roast at 425 for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160. Baste with the pan juices one to two times in the last half-hour of cooking.
  12. Remove the roasted chicken from the oven and baste again with the pan juices.
  13. Let the chicken rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. (You can tent it with aluminum foil so it retains its heat.)
  14. Carve the chicken (see notes below for details) and serve warm with vegetables and extra pan juices.

Easy whole roasted chicken recipe


Chicken: The recipe calls for a 5 lb. whole chicken, but anywhere in the 4.5 to 6.5 lb range is fine. I’ve got notes on adjusting the cook time below.

Chicken prep: Make sure to remove the giblets and any innards from the chicken and pat it dry really well. Starting with a dry bird will help it crisp and brown nicely in the oven.

Herbs: Thyme is my go-to herb for stuffing into the cavity, but parsley would work well, too. You could also use a mix of herbs if you like.

Butter/oil: I’ve tested this recipe using both melted butter and extra-virgin olive oil. Both work great, so use whichever you prefer.

Basting: It helps to baste the chicken once or twice in the last half-hour of cooking. You don’t need more than that – and you don’t want to open your oven repeatedly and have the temperature drop. You can even get away with only basting it when you pull it out of the oven, before it sits to rest, if you forget. (I have.)

Rest time: Make sure to let the chicken rest for at least 10-15 minutes before carving it. This is crucial to making sure it retains its juices and they don’t run out. As always, I use and recommend using a digital thermometer to ensure your chicken is properly cooked through. It should get to 160 before you remove it from the oven and then it will continue to cook as it rests.

How to truss a chicken: A simple truss for a baked whole chicken is to tuck the wings in and underneath the chicken so they are secured. And then tie the drumsticks together with a piece of kitchen string so they are held together. That’s all you really need to do, but here’s a tutorial for a full truss if you’re interested.

How to carve a whole roasted chicken:

Place the chicken on a cutting board. Get a sharp carving knife or chef’s knife and a fork.

Slice the skin of the chicken between the leg and the body.

Now you can see the leg joint. Cut to remove the drumstick and the chicken thigh together in one piece. Repeat on the other side.

Separate the drumstick and the thigh by finding the joint and cutting along the drumstick to reach it, then piercing the joint to separate the two pieces. (You can wiggle the pieces and flip them over if that helps to locate the joint.) Repeat on the other side of the chicken.

To remove the chicken breasts, position your knife just above the wing on the side of the chicken. Cut horizontally in to where the breast used to meet the leg. Repeat on the other side. Next, cut along both sides of the breastbone of the chicken at the top. Cut straight down until you’ve cleared the breast bone then cut at an outward angle to meet your horizontal cut. This will pull the breasts away from the rib cage. Slice the chicken breasts in half or in thick slices, if desired.

Finally, remove the wings. Pull each wing out and away from the body then cut through the joint.

Serving tips: Carve the chicken and lay the pieces on a large platter. Use a slotted spoon to also scoop out and add the onions, carrots and celery to the platter. Spoon up some of the cooking juices from your pan and drizzle over all of the chicken and vegetables. Garnish your platter with fresh herbs and lemon slices or halves, for presentation, if desired.

How to store leftover roasted chicken:

Once you’ve carved the chicken, store any leftover pieces in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

You can also freeze leftover chicken for up to 5-6 months in a freezer safe plastic bag or container. Be sure to label and date your container.

If you plan to reheat the chicken later, it helps to remove the chicken meat from the bones before storing. It’s easier to do when the chicken is warm or room temperature versus cold. If you don’t plan to eat it, it’s also easier to remove the chicken skin before you store it.

Nutritional Info:




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