How To Roast A Whole Chicken. Knowing how to roast a chicken is a kitchen essential! Packed with flavor, crispy skin and so juicy!
If there’s one thing that every home cook should know how to do, it’s roast a whole chicken. Honestly, I used to just pick up a rotisserie chicken every week from Costco but now that I know how to roast a chicken and how easy it is, I try to roast one at home every Sunday.
The kitchen is my sanctuary. It’s not peaceful all the time but it’s mine and, for me, roasting a chicken on Sunday is therapeutic. It helps to kick off my meal planning and meal prep and the smell of garlic, butter and everything in the oven is heaven.
Often times when I roast a chicken, it’s because I plan to use it in a few recipes throughout the week. You can certainly (and should) roast another one just to eat with mashed potatoes or crusty bread. And save the chicken carcass! Use it to make homemade chicken stock. It’s literally using every last bit of your chicken.
How To Truss A Chicken
Trussing a chicken serves two purposes: 1) it helps the chicken to cook more evenly and 2) it helps the chicken to maintain its shape and it’s more aesthetically pleasing. It just helps the chicken to look better.
Do you have to truss a chicken? No, you don’t. And truth be told, I didn’t even learn how to properly truss a chicken until earlier this year.
How To Roast Chicken
Thomas Keller taught me it’s important to let your chicken come to room temperature. You don’t want to place a cold chicken directly into a hot oven. He also removes the wishbone but I don’t do that.
When roasting, you can use extra virgin olive oil, a flavored olive oil, or butter. I love using butter because I think it yields a tastier, more delicious and flavorful chicken but it’s up to you!
I also season my chicken with salt and pepper and freshly diced herbs. Next, I place fresh halved lemons, garlic and shallots into my baking dish. These elements act as aromatics as the chicken is roasting and you end up with a delicious lemony, garlicky sauce to enjoy with your chicken.
- 1 3 to 4 lbs. whole chicken
- 2 lemons cut in half crosswise
- 2 garlic heads unpeeled, cut in half crosswise
- 1 large shallot unpeeled, cut in half crosswise
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter melted + more if needed**
- 2 to 3 tablespoons mixture of fresh herbs: parsley rosemary, oregano diced
- kosher salt
- pepper freshly cracked
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place whole chicken on a cutting board and pat dry with a paper towel. Truss your chicken with some sturdy kitchen twine or butchers twine.
- Transfer chicken, breast side up, to a baking dish or large cast iron skillet. Arrange lemons, garlic and shallot cut sides down in the skillet around the chicken.
- Drizzle the melted butter all over the chicken (**If you want more flavor, feel free to use more butter and rub some butter under the skin as well). Sprinkle the finely diced fresh herbs over the chicken and season generously with salt and pepper. Make sure you get every surface of chicken with a generous amount of salt and pepper.
- Transfer to oven and roast until chicken is nicely browned and cooked through, checking for doneness after about 55 minutes. To check, carefully remove skillet from oven, poke a knife into leg joints, and pierce the meat. If the juices run clear, your chicken is done. If you see a rosy pink color, it needs more time. Continue to roast, checking every 5 minutes, until juices run clear.
- Let chicken rest in skillet for at least 15 minutes before carving. Transfer chicken to a platter. Top with pan juices and serve with roasted lemon and garlic. Enjoy or pack into air tight containers to be used for recipes throughout the week!