Perfectly Roasted Whole Chicken

If you only learn how to make one thing in the kitchen, this should probably be it. There’s nothing like a crispy, juicy bird right out of the oven. If you’re anything like us, you’ll be fighting every instinct to savagely claw into the thing and devour it down to the bones before it ever sees a plate.

But roasting a chicken to perfection may seem like an intimidating and time-consuming task. Why not just reach for the grocery store rotisserie birds and call it dinner?

Big mistake.

A) Roasting a chicken is ridiculously easy. Really, really, stupidly easy.

B) When you eat those store birds, do you really know what you’re consuming?

Some of them are time-stamped, so at least you know how many hours it’s been sitting there under the heat lamp. Some of them. But do the stamps contain any info about whether the bird was raised in a factory farm? Was it fed antibiotics? Or genetically engineered grains, like corn and soybeans? Was it exposed to arsenic? Was it gobbling down pesticides its entire life? Or did it enjoy an idyllic existence of chasing down and chomping on insects in an open field?

Roasting your own chicken puts you in charge. Find a quality bird from a source you trust. Then follow these simple instructions and sit back as your magic oven gnomes perform a miracle and dish you up some perfectly roasted yummy yardbird!

Perfectly Roasted Whole Chicken*

Active Time: 10 mins of prep

Total Time: 1 hr.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole organic chicken
  • generous, heaping amounts of:
    • sea salt of choice
    • black pepper
    • ground thyme (optional)
    • any other herbs or spices you desire

Instructions:

  • Make sure chicken is removed from the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to cooking. (If you cook a cold bird it will be pink and chewy next to the bone.)
  • Preheat oven to 450.
  • Remove the giblets from the cavity of the bird (if your butcher includes them)
  • Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and place in your Dutch oven or roasting pan (we sometimes use the cast-iron skillet and it works great!) Getting the skin really dry here is what is going to give it that perfect crisp when it comes out.
  • Rub salt, pepper and herbs over every portion of the skin. Be very generous and really try to coat the thing in spices.Baked Chicken_185
  • Place it in the oven, breast down, for exactly 60 minutes.

And that’s it. Seriously.

The oven does all the work and it comes out looking like this, every time. No basting, no checking every ten minutes, no thermometers.Baked Chicken_106

The keys here are using a room-temperature bird, getting the skin really dry, and being generous with the spices. Do these three things and the skin will crisp up perfectly, the bird will cook all the way through, and the meat will fall off the bone and swim in its own juices. (Which you’re going to want to use for dipping the meat into. MMMmmm.)

Speaking of bones… you’re not done with them. Throw them into a pot for bone broth. (Stay tuned for our broth recipe). Add whatever juices are left (assuming you haven’t dipped them dry) to the broth and enjoy an extremely nutritious, gut-healing, brain-soothing hot drink!

*This recipe is basically cribbed from renowned chef, Thomas Keller. The only thing he recommends, which we leave out, is to truss the bird before it goes in the oven. We’ve found it comes out just as good without the trussing, and makes it one step simpler.

Let us know how your chicken turned out in the comments below!

Baked Chicken_034

6 thoughts on “Perfectly Roasted Whole Chicken

    1. Carrie

      It was perfect! I used oregano, thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper. My chickens had been coming out inconsistently- either dry, a little rubbery or over/under cooked. This will be my new go to recipe. The meat was super moist, thoroughly cooked and came apart easily. Thanks!

      Reply
      1. Sexy Eyes for BaconSexy Eyes for Bacon

        That DOES sound perfect! Excellent!! Yeah it’s been pretty no-fail for us. So glad you’ve discovered this recipe!

        Reply
  1. Mum

    I tried your chicken recipe on the weekend, and though I didn’t have a Dutch oven or an iron skillet (I used a covered enamel roasting pan) the chicken turned out wonderfully! It was sooo tender, the meat just fell off the bones! I will be using this method every time I cook a whole chicken.

    Reply

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