How to make the Perfect Easy Roasted Chicken every time! Everything you need to know – how to prep your Chicken, how to season it, how to ensure you get crispy skin and moist chicken without fail. Plus how to use up the leftovers! The ultimate guide to Roasted Chicken thats simple and easy to follow !
My go to Roasted Chicken Recipe
Nothing beats an easy to make oven Roasted Chicken Recipe. Especially when it’s crispy on top, tender and juicy on the inside. Not only is it a show stopper served whole, but it’s great to have on hand to shred and use throughout the week. I like to shred it and use it for salads, soups or sandwiches – you could even make Chicken Salad out of it!
Today I am giving you the basics of how to make the perfect Roasted Chicken with easy step by step instructions. And I have 5 EPIC Spice Rubs to slather all over this chicken to change up the flavor profile- everything from a basic to buffalo.
Ingredients you’ll need to make this Roasted Chicken
- Whole Chicken: I look for a whole chicken that is about 3 to 5 lbs, you’ll need to remove the neck and giblets that are usually located inside a bag in the cavity of the chicken.
- Lemon: One of my tricks to keeping a moist and juicy chicken is stuffing the cavity with citrus. I use lemons but you could also use oranges if you’d like.
- Olive Oil: Adding a ‘fat’, in this case olive oil will help crisp up the skin. (you could also use butter if you’d prefer) I add 1 tablespoon in the beginning and then 1 tablespoon 20 minutes into roasting.
- Seasoning: If you want just a basic recipe I’d recommend generously seasoning the exterior and cavity of the bird with salt and pepper.
How to season Roasted Chicken?
You can definitely up your game in the spice, seasoning or sauce region to change up those flavors. I have a post with 5 of the BEST Homemade Spice Rubs that are great for Chicken or even vegetables. (from left to right you have)
- Basic Spice Blend: Filled with cumin, coriander and smoked paprika this basic seasoning is a staple in our house!
- Smoky Chipotle Spice Blend: Spice things up a bit with this smoky chipotle, the hint of ancho chili powder will give you that subtle heat!
- Mediterranean Spice Blend: The combination of dill, oregano, garlic powder and basil will make you feel like you’re at a Mediterranean restaurant!
- Lemon Pepper Spice Blend: A classic that everyone loves, to make the perfect homemade lemon pepper seasoning that doesn’t mold I have a few tricks up my sleeve! (this is the one I used on today’s recipe!)
- Buffalo Spice Blend: This is the seasoning I’m the most proud of! It literally tastes like buffalo sauce, but in dry form. Just a little bit of this seasoning and you’ll get flavors from the cayenne, chili powder, chipotle chili powder and a hint of sweet from the brown sugar. It’s straight up addicting!
How to prepare a whole chicken?
First things first, you need to make sure that your chicken is completely thawed out. Once, you’re ready to prep your chicken, remove the neck and giblets. Those are usually found inside a bag in the cavity of the bird. You can use those from a gravy, a chicken stock base or just toss it, it’s up to you. Next, rinse your chicken and then pat dry with paper towel. Don’t skip this step. Dry skin will give you that nice crispy skin in the end! No you’re ready to season and roast!
How to roast a whole chicken?
- Preheat oven to 400°F and position your rack in the middle of the oven.
- Transfer whole chicken to a roasting pan or skillet, breast side up. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with lemon halves.
- Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of your favorite seasoning all over the chicken and rub in with your hands, including inside the cavity. Using cooking twine, tie the legs together.
- Place chicken in the oven, uncovered, and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, drizzle remaining olive oil all over of the chicken. Place the chicken back into the oven and continue roasting until thermometer reads 165°F in the thickest part of the thigh and the chicken is golden brown.
- Allow 15 minutes for chicken to rest before you slice into it.
How long do you roast a chicken?
Depending on the size of your bird, roasting a chicken at 400°F will take anywhere from 1 hour to 1 and a half hours to get the internal temperature to 165°F. I use an Instant Read Thermometer and stick it in the thickest part of the thigh for the best read. Once your chicken reaches FDA doneness standard then you can remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes so the juices redistribute.
How to store leftover whole chicken?
If I have leftovers, which most of the time I don’t when I’m making roasted chicken. The best way to store it, is in an air tight container in the refrigerator. If stored properly the chicken should last between 3 and 5 days.
Ways to use leftover roasted chicken:
There are tons of ways to use up leftover roasted chicken. So of my favorites ways are:
- 20 Minute BBQ Chicken Tacos on Lettuce Cups
- Hearty Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Easy 15 Minute Cranberry Chicken Salad Recipe
- Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats
- Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Thai Chicken Noodle Soup
What goes well with roasted chicken?
- Baked Garlic Parmesan Potato Wedges
- Easy Garlic Ranch Potatoes
- Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Zest
- 10 Minute Creamy Cucumber Salad
- Refreshing Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad
- Honey Soy Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Roasted Tomato Caprese Pasta Salad
How to make the Perfect Easy Roasted Chicken dinner every time! Everything you need to know – how to prep your Chicken, how to season it, how to ensure you get crispy skin with moist chicken without fail and how to use up the leftovers!
- 1 Natural Whole Chicken (3.5 to 5 lbs.), neck and giblets removed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large lemon, halved
- 2 tablespoons seasoning of your choice (Here are 5 Spice Rubs for Chicken) – I used Lemon Pepper
Optional Roasted Vegetables:
- 3 carrots, sliced into 2” chunks
- 1 red onion, cut into cubes
- 4 large red potatoes, cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F and position your rack in the middle of the oven.
- Pat whole chicken dry with paper towel.
- Stuff the cavity of the chicken with lemon halves.
- Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil all over the chicken and rub with your hands. Next, add your seasoning (I used lemon pepper) and rub all over the chicken, including inside the cavity.
- Transfer chicken breast side up to a roasting pan or skillet.
- Using cooking twine, tie the legs together.
- Place chicken in the oven, uncovered, and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, drizzle remaining olive oilover of the chicken. Place the chicken back into the oven and continue roasting for 35-40 minutes.
- Remove chicken from oven when thermometer reads 165°F into the thickest part of the thigh (the bottom of the chicken.)
- Let the chicken rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.
Roasted Vegetable Option: (do this part before your transfer to baking dish)
- To a large bowl add carrots, red onion, red potato, olive oil, thyme, garlic powder, salt and ground pepper. Toss to coat.
- Add vegetables to a bottom of a skillet or baking dish. Top with prepared seasoned whole chicken.
- Resume with Step 7 above.
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