Best Roast Chicken
An easy method for cooking a succulent roast chicken with potatoes, onions, and carrots.
Everyone in the food blogging world is posting all their best, most decadent Christmas recipes right now and what am I doing? Roasting a chicken. That’s right. I’m a rebel.
Actually, a beautifully roasted chicken is a very welcome break from all the heavy, rich foods that go along with the Christmas season. And knowing how to roast a chicken is something every cook should learn.
This is a great week night meal, or it can be served at an elegant dinner as well. The prep time is minimal, clean up is easy and most everyone (vegetarians excluded) likes roast chicken.
I could make this recipe half asleep. It’s so easy you don’t even need my usual step-by-step photos. You can put this in the oven when you get home from work, go do some errands around the house and come back later to a complete meal from one roasting pan. We often have a roast chicken for Sunday night supper.
How to Make the Best Roast Chicken
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Dry the chicken with paper towels before beginning. It helps the butter, salt, and pepper stick to the surface of the skin. You could use olive oil if you want, but the butter gives the skin a richer color and helps it crisp up better than oil.
Start by lightly salting and peppering the inside of the chicken. Then place the lemon, garlic and about 2/3 of the thyme into the chicken. Spread the butter all over the surface of the skin (I just use my fingers) and then liberally salt and pepper the skin.
Prepare the vegetables by cutting the carrots and potatoes into bite-size chunks. Roughly cut the onions into large pieces. Place all the vegetables in the bottom of a roasting pan.
Add the chicken broth and scatter the remaining thyme over. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables in the pan. The vegetables act like a roasting rack to keep the chicken off the surface of the pan. Pretty neat, huh?
Cook for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove the chicken from the pan and cover with foil. Allow the chicken to rest at least 10 minutes before slicing. If desired, return the vegetables to the oven for an additional 10-15 minutes while the chicken rests.
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Best Roast Chicken
- 3-4 lb. chicken
- 1 lemon halved or quartered
- 1 head garlic cut crosswise
- 1 bunch thyme 25-30 stems
- 2 tblsp. butter
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Dry the chicken with paper towels before beginning.
- Salt and pepper the body cavity and place the lemon, garlic and about 2/3 of the thyme into the chicken.
- Spread butter all over the surface of the skin. Salt and pepper well.
- Prepare the vegetables by cutting the carrots and potatoes into bite-size chunks. Roughly cut the onions into large pieces. Place all the vegetables in the bottom of a roasting pan.
- Add the chicken broth and scatter the remaining thyme over. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables in the pan.
- Cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and cover with foil. Allow the chicken to rest at least 10 minutes before slicing.
- If desired, return the vegetables to the oven for an additional 10-15 minutes while the chicken rests.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
More Roast Chicken Recipes …
- Lemon Roast Chicken from Spend with Pennies
- Easty Roast Chicken from Diethood
- Roast Chicken with Citrus from Leite’s Culinaria
- Oven Roasted Chicken with Lemon Rosemary Garlic Butter from FoodieCrush
I love roasted chicken. Have you ever tried to brine it before? Try it out makes a huge difference. .
I haven’t brined a chicken, but I’m sure it would be delicious! I’ll try it next time.
I am glad I read through all the comments before typing….I am not the only one who has never roasted a (whole) chicken! Your pictures are gorgeous and make it very tempting to get my first chicky roasted….and soon!
You should try it, Chris. It’s the easiest thing…really!
What a wonderful recipe and a great reminder even to “mature” (ahem!) cooks like me about the best way to cook chicken. Why fuss with three or four separate pans — chicken parts, veg, and rice/potato — when one can have your much more delicious meal with less cook’s effort? Love the classic lemon/thyme flavors you’ve used here.
I’m all for delicious results with less effort, especially during this time of year! Thanks for stopping by, Barbara.
I havent seen little potatoes like that since I moved from upstate ny to florida, my mouth is watering for those little perfectly roasted potatoes, oh the memories of my mom making this dish just over whelmed me, thank you for that flash back in time, I must get those potatoes somewhere love the chicken! :)
I just love those tiny little potatoes! They’re so small I don’t even bother to cut them. One potato is a perfect bite size. Hope you find some soon!
Wow, this is an absolutely beautiful roast chicken! Now that I’ve made roast chicken once, I want my apartment to smell like it all the time :)
Doesn’t it just make the whole house smell wonderful? The anticipation is almost as good as the eating :-)
you know Lana, you are so on target with making something very simple, yet very satisfying this time of year; visions of sugarplums dance in my head and they’re all quite wonderful, but don’t really ‘fill’ me, if you know what I mean. Absolutely perfect!
Thanks, Debra. I almost always find myself craving simple, satisfying recipes during the holidays. I think it’s a reaction to all the rich, sweet, indulgent foods that are at hand during this time.
I looooove roast chicken. I was going to have perogies for dinner but now all I want is roast chicken :(
Without a doubt, my favorite meal.
I love, love, love roast chicken. This really looks wonderful!
I’ve still never roasted my own chicken!!
I almost hate to admit this, but the best roast chicken I’ve ever experienced (including the hundred variations I’ve cooked at home), came from Costco recently. My hubby brought one home while out “stocking up,” and at first I was insulted. But after the first bite—I was impressed & grateful he was trying to save me some time: it was flavorful, juicy, tender & HUGE. The size alone was something that’s hard for me to find in the regular grocery.
I agree that the rotisserie chickens are really delicious. I often purchase one of the lemon and pepper ones at Publix. But I do like doing them at home, too. It’s very economical and easy!
Gotta love a good roast chicken and the aroma is wonderful!
nothing better to me than a good ol’ roasted hen – take it any day over anything fancy – yep, the butter makes all the difference, and your bird sure do look mouthwatering….
Why thank you, sir! Easy, simple, quick recipe. And pretty good eatin’ too.
I guess I am one of “those people”. I am posting Christmas cookies but that does not mean I am not cooking regular week night dinners. Your chicken looks and sounds good.
Hi Rocquie – I didn’t mean any disrespect to everyone posting their fabulous holiday recipes! Quite the opposite, in fact. And your Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Shortbread is one of the best I’ve seen lately. Keep them coming!
I was trying to say that I’m feeling a little out of step with the season by posting such an ordinary, everyday recipe :-)
Wish something like this was waiting for me tonight! Looks delicious!
Thanks, Shelby. It is a delicious and very easy recipe.