An oven-roasted whole chicken is one of my top comfort foods. The key to perfectly juicy and flavorful chicken with crispy skin is all in just planning slightly ahead and dry-brining the chicken.
Should I dry-brine my whole chicken?
Do not skip the first step of this recipe! Coating the chicken in salt and putting it in the refrigerator uncovered has two purposes:
- The salt will "dry brine" the chicken and make it super juicy.
- Leaving it uncovered will dry out the chicken skin, making it crispy when baked.
The method of seasoning and drying out the chicken skin is something I learned in culinary school and I'll never cook a whole chicken differently again! Keep the chicken uncovered in the refrigerator for at least an hour, ideally overnight. The raw chicken is fine uncovered, just of course make sure it does not touch other food.
What should I stuff my chicken with?
Filling the cavity of the chicken with vegetables adds additional flavor to the chicken. I add lemon, onion, thyme, and rosemary. For slight flavor variations, you could use other vegetables or herbs you have on hand, such as carrots, celery, oranges, tarragon, or oregano.
What should I use to roast the chicken?
I have this All-Clad roasting pan and love it. It is non-stick, easy to clean, and the perfect size for roasting a chicken. If you don't have a roasting pan, you can roast the chicken on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, the bottom of the chicken just may not get quite as crispy.
What should I serve with an oven-roasted whole chicken?
Vegetables, salads, or roasted potatoes would all be delicious. Here are a few ideas:
- Lemon and garlic smashed potatoes
- Roasted carrots with pancetta
- Caesar salad
- Tomato and feta salad
- Pasta with homemade pesto
If you make this oven-roasted whole chicken, I'd love to know what you think in the comments below!
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Oven-Roasted Whole Chicken
- 1 whole chicken about 4 pounds
- 4.5 teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- ½ lemon halved
- ½ medium yellow onion, halved
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- Remove any extra pieces of the chicken that may be in the cavity, such as the liver (not all chickens you buy will have this). Gently pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Coat the entire outside and inside in salt and pepper, making sure to also get the bottom and nooks and crannies. Place chicken on a sheet pan uncovered in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours).
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove chicken from the fridge and stuff the cavity with lemon, onion, rosemary, and thyme.
- Place chicken in a roasting pan and bake uncovered for 50-70 minutes, or until juices run clear and chicken is fully cooked through with an internal temperature of 165.
- Rest for 20 minutes. Carve and serve.
Just made this- it’s amazing! Simple,
easy and incredibly delicious. My husbands new favorite!
Caitlin from CC's Table
Aw that makes me so happy! I'm so glad you and your husband love it!