The one recipe you need for the best oven roasted chicken. It’s easy and tastes amazing. Use leftovers for casseroles and soups.
We’ve all walked through the grocery store and immediately been hit with the aroma of a freshly roasted chicken. They keep them at the front of the store (or right by the checkouts) for a reason. Rotisserie chicken is delicious, and easy to pick up for a dinner.
I’ve noticed one thing, though. The roast chickens keep getting smaller. We have a family of 5, and sometimes the chickens look small enough that I think I’ll have to buy two. And that gets expensive.
This recipe is for a better-than-rotisserie roasted chicken. I promise you it is easy and you’ll be thrilled that you can make a deliciously flavorful, tender, juicy chicken. The only and best roast chicken recipe you’ll ever have. It’s economical, too.
Why you’ll love this roasted chicken recipe:
Takes less than 10 minutes to prep for the oven.
High oven temperature gives a crispy skin.
Simply flavored with pantry staple basics.
Makes an impressive main dish…or use the meat for casseroles and soups.
Oven Roasted Chicken Vs Rotisserie Chicken
Although roasted chicken and rotisserie chicken look and often taste the same, they are actually cooked two different ways.
Roasted chicken is cooked at a high temperature in the oven in order to get that crispy skin you love.
Rotisserie chicken is when a chicken is skewered through a metal or wooden spit, then slowly spins so that it cooks evenly. This method is often faster.
Whole young chicken: A 5-6 pound whole chicken works for our family. You can go smaller or larger if you’d like. Watch for them to go on sale and stock up if you have the freezer space.
Salt: During recipe testing, I went down from 3 teaspoons of salt to only 2 teaspoons. My husband loved the 3 teaspoons, but I found that I could lower it to 2 with no one complaining.
Paprika: Smoked paprika is delicious and adds a little depth to the flavor.
Dry mustard: Dry mustard adds just a little bit of tang to a recipe. It pairs well with the black pepper and paprika.
Butter: Some rub butter or olive oil on the outside of the chicken or under the skin, but I found I didn’t need to do that to get crispy, flavorful skin. Just put the butter in the cavity and it will help create juices & drippings to make a flavorful gravy.
Onion: This infuses the whole chicken with flavor.
You can also stuff the inside of the cavity with vegetables such as carrots or celery for added flavor.Garlic cloves are a delicious choice, too.
How to Roast Whole Chicken
There’s no need to wash a chicken before cooking it. In fact, it’s been shown to spread bacteria if you try to wash it. Just remove any packages from the cavities and throw them away (or use for gravy, etc).
Prepare the chicken. Mix together the seasonings and rub them on the outside of the chicken, on both the legs and the chicken breasts. Then place the butter and the onion in the large cavity.
Place an oven safe wire rack in a 5 quart dutch oven or baking pan. (The wire rack is optional, but I use one with handles so the chicken is easier to get out of the dutch oven.) Put the chicken on the wire rack.
Roast the chicken at 400ºF. Make sure that the oven racks are not up too high. Mine were in the lower third of the oven. Check the chicken at an hour. If it looks like it is getting too brown, you can lower the oven temperature to 350ºF.
The top of the chicken will be dry when you take it out of the oven, but baste the chicken with the juices from the bottom of the pan, then let the chicken sit for 10 minutes before cutting.
What temperature do you cook chicken to?
The internal temperature of the chicken should be 165ºF in the thickest part of the thigh, not touching the bone. Use an instant-read thermometer to test this.
We LOVE our Thermoworks ThermaPen to quickly test burger temperatures. This probe thermometer is AMAZING. Get it here.
Bring the family together.
This roasted chicken recipe makes a great Sunday dinner, but is easy enough for weeknights, too. Try one of these sides:
Discard any packets that are in the cavities of the chicken. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel.
Place an oven safe wire rack in a 5 quart dutch oven or roasting pan. (The wire rack is optional, but I use one with handles so the chicken is easier to get out of the dutch oven.)
Place the chicken on the wire rack in the dutch oven or cast iron roasting pan.
In a small bowl, combine the salt, paprika, pepper and dry mustard.
Sprinkle this mixture all over the outside of the chicken.
Place the butter and quartered onion in the cavity of the chicken.
Place the chicken (uncovered) in the preheated oven and bake for 80-90 minutes or until the chicken tests done (165ºF in the thickest part of the thigh, not touching the bone). Check the chicken at 1 hour. We bake this at a high temperature so if the outside is getting too brown, lower the oven temperature to 350ºF.
Baste the top of the chicken with some of the juices. Then allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes, slice and serve.
Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.The calories shown are based on the chicken serving 8 people, with 1 serving being ⅛ of the meat. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**
Yes, get creative! Here are a few of our favorites: oregano, thyme, rosemary, basil or Italian seasoning.
How do you store leftover chicken?
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can also freeze the cooked chicken.
Can you make chicken stock from the chicken carcass?
Yes, we love to do this! After you’ve gotten most of the meat off, place the carcass in a large stock pot or dutch oven. Fill the pan with about 8 cups of water and boil for about an hour. Then remove and discard the chicken carcass and use the chicken stock for a homemade soup.
Can I air fryer a whole chicken?
Yes. Buy a smaller chicken so that it can fit in the basket. Season it the same way I give in the recipe above. A 5 pound chicken will only take about an hour to cook (our air fryer goes to 360ºF so we cook ours at that temp).
Can I use a different size chicken?
Yes! Just plan to adjust the baking time based on if it is bigger or smaller.
Where is the best place to buy a cooked rotisserie chicken?
If I haven’t convinced you to bake your own, buy your rotisserie chickens at Costco. They are larger than many other grocery stores and are often cheaper. They lure you in with those delicious chickens so that you’ll be tempted to buy other groceries. I mean, it works!
Other Chicken Dinner Recipes
Try one of these chicken dinner ideas.
About Julie Clark
I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.