The BEST Roast Chicken recipe is easiest enough for any level of cook and fancy enough for entertaining! This method results in perfectly cooked and flavorful chicken on a bed of roasted vegetables.

Looking for more chicken recipes? Try Chicken Tinga, BBQ Chicken Bowl, or Kung Pao Chicken!

Roast Chicken on top of potatoes and carrots in a baking dish.

Why I love this recipe:

  • Simple – No brining, cooking upside-down, or anything unusual. Such a small amount of prep work and even the most beginner cook can make this!
  • Meal-in-one – The chicken cooked with potatoes, carrots, and onion to be a complete meal!
  • Budget Friendly – If you are looking for an inexpensive meal to feed a crowd, look no further! This oven roasted chicken is healthy, inexpensive, and will satisfy even the pickiest eaters. Be sure to use the leftover chicken bones to make homemade chicken stock for chicken noodle soup!

How to Roast a Chicken:

Prep Chicken: Remove the chicken from its packaging and remove the neck and giblets from the cavity. Discard them or boil them and add them to your chicken gravy. Pat the chicken dry all over with paper towels.

Two images showing how to prep a chicken for roasting. First, take out the neck and giblets, then pat down with paper towels.

Cover in Herb Butter: Combine butter, lemon zest, rosemary, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Use your fingers to loosen the skin on top of the chicken breasts and smear some of the herb butter underneath. Season the outside of the chicken with salt and pepper. Microwave remaining herb butter to make it soft. Smear butter all over the outside of the chicken. Add any extra butter mixture inside the cavity.  Cut the lemons in half and place them inside the cavity of the chicken.

Two images, one of them showing a homemade herb butter in a small glass bowl, then the butter being spread on a raw chicken.

Add Chopped Vegetables: Place chopped vegetables in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Drizzle olive oil over the veggies and season with salt and pepper.

A white baking dish filled with potatoes, onion, and carrots.

Roast: Place chicken on top of vegetables and season it all over with salt and pepper. Roast chicken in the oven uncovered at 450°F for 10-15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350°F and continue cooking for 20 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature is 165°F. Skin should be golden brown and the juices should be sizzling and clear.

A raw chicken covered in herb butter on top of vegetables, ready to bake.

Rest: When the chicken is done, remove it from the oven and cover loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil. Allow it to rest for about 10 minutes before carving to allow the juices to settle. If you cut it right away, the meat will lose that juice and be more tough and chewy.

Roast Chicken on top of vegetables, fresh out of the oven.

Serve: Carve the chicken and serve with the roasted vegetables, and save the pan drippings to make chicken gravy! Serve this whole roasted chicken and vegetables with my homemade rolls!

A plate filled with cut up roast chicken, and cooked vegetables; ready to eat!

Pro Tips:

  • Thaw the Chicken completely before using. If you bought it frozen, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
  • Don’t Wash the Chicken, because that will only contaminate your sink. Any bacteria will be killed in the hot oven while it bakes, so just dry it off with paper towels.
  • Calculate How Long to Cook: After you decrease the temperature, you will bake it for 20 minutes per pound. So, if your chicken weighs 4 pounds, cook it for roughly 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  • Use a Thermometer to test for doneness. Chicken is cooked when it reaches 165°F (or just shy of that, as it will continue to cook as it rests under the aluminum foil). If it tastes dry, it was overcooked.
  • Rest: Allowing the chicken to rest after it has baked allows the juices to soak back into the meat, making it more moist and tender.
  • Don’t Baste the Chicken: Basting the chicken is unnecessary to get a crispy skin and can actually cause the chicken to be dryer since you are constantly opening the oven and letting the heat out, which will cause it to take longer to cook.

How to Carve a Chicken:

Remove Chicken Legs: Pull one leg slightly away from the body and carefully slice through the leg meat and skin.  Then, use a little more force and pull the leg away from the body until you hear the crack of the hip joint.  When the hip bone pops up, place your sharp knife between the hip bone and the rest of the body and cut to remove it.  Repeat these steps with the other leg.

Separate Drumsticks and Thighs: Now separate the drumsticks and the thigh by placing your knife on the natural line that separates the drumstick and the thigh.  Cut through this joint, separating the two pieces. Repeat with the other leg.

A roast chicken being carved by removing the drumsticks.

Carve Chicken Breast: Carve along one side of the breast bone to remove one side of breast meat.  Place your knife along the natural line that separates the two breasts of the chicken and cut from front to back while pulling the breast meat away from the bone.  Remove all the breast meat from the chicken. Slice the breast meat into portions by laying it skin side up and cutting it into thin portions.

A roasted chicken being carved with a large knife, down the middle of the breast meat.

Make Chicken Broth: At this point, discard the carcass or use it to make delicious homemade chicken broth.

Recipe Variations:

  • Slow Cooker: You can cook the chicken in the slow cooker, but I will say I think it tastes better in the oven (and you won’t get the crispy skin if you cook it in the slow cooker). Prepare the chicken the same way and cook it on low for 4-6 hours.
  • Air Fryer Whole Chicken

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Recipe

A golden Roast Chicken fresh from the oven on top of carrots and potatoes.
Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr 20 mins
Total 1 hr 35 mins
Save Recipe

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 4 Tablespoons butter , softened
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (or 2 tsp dried rosemary, finely chopped)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3-4 large carrots , chopped
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • 1.5 lbs baby red potatoes , halved
  • chicken gravy (optional)

Instructions
 

  • If your chicken is frozen, be sure to thaw it 1-2 days in advance.  When ready to prepare, preheat oven to 450 degrees F and adjust your oven rack so the chicken will sit in the center of the oven.
  • Remove neck and giblets from inside the cavity of the chicken and pat dry all over with paper towels.
  • In a bowl, combine softened butter, zest of the lemon, and chopped rosemary. Season the outside of the chicken and inside the cavity with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in half and place inside the cavity of the bird.
  • Use your fingers to loosen and lift the skin above the breasts (on the top of the chicken) and smooth a few tablespoons of the herb butter underneath.
  • Microwave the remaining herb butter mixture for 10 seconds (it doesn’t need to be melted, just softened). Smear the remaining herb butter all over the outside of the chicken, legs and wings.
  • Add the onion, carrot and potato to the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Drizzle a little olive oil over the veggies, season them with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Place the chicken on top, and tie the legs together with kitchen twine if you want (not required).
  • Roast the chicken, uncovered, at 450 degrees F for 10-15 minutes.  Then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F and roast for 20 minutes per pound, or until internal temperature (inserted on middle of thigh and breast) reaches about 165 degrees.  Skin should be golden brown and the juices should run clear.
  • *Check the chicken about halfway through cooking and if the skin is getting overly brown you can cover it with a piece of tinfoil to protect the breast meat from overcooking.
  • Remove chicken from the oven and cover with tinfoil. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with the cooked vegetables at the bottom of the pan.
  • Optional: reserve the drippings in the roasting pan to make chicken gravy.

Notes

Pro Tips:

  • Thaw the Chicken completely before using. If you bought it frozen, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
  • Don’t Wash the Chicken, because that will only contaminate your sink. Any bacteria will be killed in the hot oven while it bakes, so just dry it off with paper towels.
  • Calculate How Long to Cook: After you decrease the temperature, you will bake it for 20 minutes per pound. So, if your chicken weighs 4 pounds, cook it for roughly 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  • Use a Thermometer to test for doneness. Chicken is cooked when it reaches 165°F (or just shy of that, as it will continue to cook as it rests under the aluminum foil). If it tastes dry, it was overcooked.
  • Rest: Allowing the chicken to rest after it has baked allows the juices to soak back into the meat, making it more moist and tender.
  • Don’t Baste the Chicken: Basting the chicken is unnecessary to get a crispy skin and can actually cause the chicken to be dryer since you are constantly opening the oven and letting the heat out, which will cause it to take longer to cook.
Slow Cooker Roast Chicken: Prepare the chicken the same way and cook it on low for 4-6 hours. Keep in mind you wot get the same crispy skin as you do with the oven method. 
Air Fryer Whole Chicken Recipe

Nutrition

Calories: 174kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 3gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 106mgPotassium: 686mgFiber: 4gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 6261IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 34mgIron: 1mg

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I originally shared this recipe December 2013. Updated August 2019 and September 2022. 

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. Please help. If I’m cooking 2 chickens, in 2 separate 9 x 13 pans, with one 5.83 lbs and one chicken 4.57 lbs, do I cook them by total weight of the two chickens in the oven? or 20 minutes per pound for each chicken separately. I hope that makes sense. I’m making them tomorrow.

    1. Cook each according to its own weight. Ultimately, just rely on a thermometer. The smaller one will come out of the oven first.

  2. 5 stars
    A wonderful one dish meal with the vegetables and the well seasoned, fall off the bone chicken! Winner, winner…chicken dinner!

  3. 5 stars
    This came out fabulous. I skipped the lemon because my husband hates it, but followed everything otherwise. Everyone liked that it was super tender but still had a crispy crust. Min chicken was 5.5 lbs but was done twenty minutes earlier than I expected, so more like 15 min per pound. Saving this recipe to use any time I don’t want to drag out the heavy rotisserie.

  4. 5 stars
    I’m curious if you could rotisserie roast this chicken recipe? I’m currently baking it in the conventional oven, I also added a sprinkle of cayenne pepper on the top for a little kick. I know this recipe is great because I make a ton of your recipes.

  5. 5 stars
    I used the basics of this recipe to teach my 12yo how to roast a chicken. We switched up seasonings and omitted the veggies. It was a hit! My picky 8yo, who never eats drumsticks, polished one off, all the way down to the bone!
    ***
    We used good evoo and coarse ground salt, and poured about 1/3 of 1 lemon’s juice over the bird. I’ll try zest next time–sounds great! Then we seasoned very thoroughly with garlic powder, dried rosemary, ground thyme, and black pepper. We tucked halves of a garlic clove in the breast slits, and put lemon and a whole rosemary sprig in the middle. Your cooking instructions were perfect and we followed them exactly. What a treat! Thank you!

  6. 5 stars
    EXCELLENT!!! The chicken was very juicy and the vegetables were delicious. I had some mushrooms that needed to be used so I added them (whole) as well. My family loved this meal and this is now my favorite roast chicken recipe. Also very easy to prepare.

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