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Learn how to make the best Roast Chicken recipe! Fear not with this simple rotisserie-style spice blend and step-by-step instructions that will give you juicy and flavorful chicken with perfectly crisp skin every time.
The Best Roast Chicken
This recipe uses very simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. If not, you’ll be able to find them easily and cheap at your local grocery store. With only 5 ingredients paired with a tried and true method, you’ll be a chicken roasting master with your very first stab at this recipe.
I’ve spent years and years testing different methods for roasting a whole chicken. There are lots of methods out there with a big list of steps and a giant mess, and this is not one of them. I found that with the right simple blend of flavors and this easy-peasy method, I always get chicken that tastes restaurant quality with minimal cleanup at the end.
Ingredients for Roast Chicken
I kept this recipe nice and basic. There are so many different ways you can spice up a chicken, but I know you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how flavorful this simple spice blend is! Keep scrolling for the full recipe and ingredient amounts.
For this recipe you’ll need:
- Whole chicken – I used a 4 pound chicken, but whatever size you have will work. If your chicken is bigger, you can up the amounts called for the seasoning.
- Salt and pepper – It’s important to have enough salt to ensure your chicken doesn’t taste bland. You can use as much or as little as you like.
- Onion and garlic powder – When we’re looking for a nice crisp skin, powders work better than fresh. This way you won’t end up with charred bitter garlic.
- Smoked paprika – This is the secret weapon! Once you try this smoky flavor, you’ll never want to go back to regular paprika.
- Fresh parsley – I like to add some nice chopped herbs at the end not only as garnish, but it adds such a wonderful fresh flavor to finish off the chicken. Any of your favorite herbs will work.
How to Make the Best Roast Chicken
Follow these basic steps and you’ll be rewarded with a juicy chicken paired with perfectly crisp and flavorful skin.
- Prep the oven and spices: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Mix all the spices, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
- Season the chicken: Use your hands to coat the chicken in the spice mixture. Make sure to get the seasoning inside the chicken as well!
- Roast and serve: If you want now’s the time to add some potato wedges to the roasting pan to roast along with the chicken. Bake in a roasting pan and on a roasting rack for 20 minutes per lb. Increase the heat to 450 for the last 20 minutes to crisp the skin. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes, carve, and serve.
How Do I Know When the Chicken Is Done?
I know you’ve seen me say this so many times before, but I can’t stress it enough; get yourself an instant read thermometer! It will change your life. You can use it for not just meats but baked goods as well.
I like to take the temperature both at the thickest part of the breast, and at the thickest part where the drumstick and thigh meet the breast. Once you’ve reached 165 F, the chicken is all done.
How to Make Chicken Gravy
We can’t let all those flavorful drippings go to waste, can we? This is a super easy way to make a gravy so delicious you’ll want to smother your chicken and all your sides with it.
- If you want to end up with gravy for this chicken, add about 1/2 – 1 cup broth to the roasting pan before popping it in the oven to catch all those drippings.
- While your chicken is resting, pour the drippings into a measuring cup and skim the fat off the top using a spoon. Add the drippings to a saucepan and simmer over medium high heat. You can add some herbs or garlic at this point if you’d like.
- Make a cornstarch slurry (1 tbsp cornstarch and 1 tbsp water) to the pan and whisk until everything thickens. You can add more or less of the slurry depending on how thick you’d like the gravy.
- Remove the herbs (if you added them), season with salt & pepper to taste, pour into a gravy boat, and serve.
How to Carve a Roast Chicken
- Use a carving knife or a long chef’s knife. Start by slicing where the leg meets the body. Move the leg to the side as much as you can, then slice through the hip joint. Repeat on the other leg.
- Turn the legs over and slice through the joint between the drumsticks and the thighs.
- Look where there’s a line going down the middle of the breast- that’s the breastbone. Place your knife just slightly to the side, and slice. Follow the breast meat until it is fully sliced off.
- You can either pull the wings off, or use your knife to cut them off at the joint. Place all the pieces of meat on a platter, garnish with herbs, and serve.
Tips And Tricks
- You can gently lift the skin from the meat with your hands and rub extra seasoning underneath if you’d like for an extra pop of flavor.
- Don’t be afraid to get messy! Using your hands is the best way to ensure every crack and crevice has been seasoned.
- Don’t skip the increase of heat to 450 for the last 20 minutes. This will give you extra crisp skin.
- Notice how I don’t use any oil? I find the skin crisps up so well on its own. It also holds onto the seasoning much better rather than have it drip off with added oil.
- If you have some extra fresh herbs that you want to use up, you can stuff them inside the chicken along with a lemon wedge or two.
What to Serve With Roast Chicken
This wonderful recipe will go well with any of your favorite sides! You can try some potato wedges like you see in the photos, or you can check some of these recipes out:
- Garlic Parmesan Skillet Rolls
- No Knead Skillet Bread
- Soft Buttermilk Dinner Rolls
- Fast and Easy No Knead Bread
- Garlic Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Old Fashioned Green Beans
- Garlic and Herb Roasted Carrots
- Cauliflower Poppers
- Mexican Street Corn Salad
- Mediterranean Couscous Salad
- Deviled Egg Macaroni Salad
- Kale and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
How To Store Leftovers
Transfer the leftovers to an airtight container in the fridge and store up to 4 days. The gravy will last in the fridge, covered, for 2 days, or 1 week if you bring it to a full boil before serving.
To freeze your leftovers, I would shred the remaining chicken and store in an airtight container. You can also store the chicken in individual sized containers for easier thawing. It will last up to 4 months. Thaw either in the microwave or in a skillet over medium heat with a splash of chicken broth.
More Incredible Recipes To Try:
- Harissa Roasted Chicken and Potatoes
- Baked Chicken Breast
- Spatchcock Chicken
- Beer Can Chicken
- Moroccan Style Roast Chicken and Potatoes
- Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken
Looking for more recipes? Follow on…
- 4 lb whole chicken
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Mix the salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and smoked paprika in a small bowl.
- Rub the spice mixture all over the bird, coating the skin. Reserve 1 tbsp of the mixture and sprinkle it inside the chicken.
- Bake on a roasting pan with a roasting rack for 20 min per pound. Increase temp to 450 and roast for another 20 minutes. Internal temperature should be 165 F degrees.