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There’s nothing quite like a roast chicken recipe to bring the family together for dinner. It’s simple yet elegant so you can make it for company or a nice Sunday dinner. If you have time on a weeknight, the prep for oven baked chicken is quick so you’ll just need time to roast the chicken in the oven. Minimal effort and big flavors make this a favorite family meal in my house.

Best Roast Chicken Recipe

Why pick up a pre-cooked chicken when you can make the best roast chicken recipe there is? A homemade whole roasted chicken is loaded with flavors and has a juicy texture inside that can’t be beat. All fresh ingredients make it that winner-winner-chicken-dinner you’re looking for.

Easy Roast Chicken Recipe

After researching several whole chicken recipes online I was hard-pressed to find a simple one. So, as a parent with limited time, I came up with this easy whole roasted chicken recipe because it only takes 15 minutes of prep time and you just pop it in the oven. The best thing about cooking chicken in the oven is that its so little work and cleanup. You just baste it from time-to-time until it’s done. While you make oven roasted chicken, you can work on other sides or simply have some of that wine (hey, you had to open that white wine for the recipe so why not?!?).

Roast Chicken Ingredients

  • Whole chicken – This recipe calls for a 6-pound whole chicken (don’t forget to take out the bag of giblets).
  • Olive oil and unsalted butter – These added fats keep things moist and tender while cooking the chicken in the oven..
  • White wine – Adds an elegant and refined flavor.
  • Lemon – It’s the perfect way to add umami to your crispy roast chicken.
  • Fresh herbs – Parsley, rosemary, and thyme all give your roast chicken the most incredible flavors.
  • Garlic – Well, how can we not have that?!? It’s also responsible for that amazing taste that oven baked whole chicken is known for!

How do you Make Roast Chicken from Scratch

Making an oven roasted whole chicken from scratch is super simple. You’ll preheat the oven and prep your roasting pan, then prep the whole chicken by removing the giblets and patting it dry. You’ll season it all over, even inside, then add aromatics on the inside. Breast-side-up, the chicken goes in and you’ll baste it along the way. After it finishes, tent some foil over it to ensure it stays juicy before you cut it up to serve.

I wonder if chickens do the ‘people dance’ at their weddings.

Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Roast Chicken Every Time

  • Season it well. Don’t be shy with the seasonings. Get it all over every last surface of that chicken, even on the inside.
  • Add olive oil and butter to keep it moist. When roasting a whole chicken in the oven, this not only helps the skin get that nice, crispy brown color but it also lends moisture inside so the meat stays tender and juicy.
  • Use the right temperature. 425F is the ideal temperature because you’re roasting this bird. Basting it in intervals helps keep it flavorful and moist inside too. Roast chicken cooking time will vary depending on the temp of your oven but I recommend 425F for this recipe.

How to Cook Roast Chicken

One of my favorite things about this simple roast chicken recipe is how little time it takes to prep. It’s as easy as prepping the bird, seasoning, and putting it in the oven at a high enough temperature to roast. Basting it along the way will help and then in a couple hours, your chicken dinner will be ready for you!

Is there a difference between roasting and baking chicken?

Roasting means you’re cooking at a temperature of 400F or higher for a browned and flavorful texture outside. Baking uses lower temperatures, never exceeding 375F.

Do you roast a whole chicken covered or uncovered?

Uncovered, because you want the top to brown and have that nice roasted color. You’ll tent foil over it at the end to seal in the juices.

Should I cover chicken with foil when roasting it?

No. You want your chicken to brown. Don’t cover it with foil unless it starts getting too browned on top at the end.

Which way up do you roast a chicken?

Breast side up is the best way to roast your chicken. You want that skin to come out brown and crispy. Plus, with the olive oil and butter and the periodic basting, the breast meat will come out juicy.

Do you put water in the pan when roasting chicken?

You can, but white wine is better because it imparts more flavor. Combined with the olive oil, butter, and lemon, it creates an elegant taste.

How do you keep a whole chicken from drying out in the oven?

There are a few things to do here. Using both olive oil and butter will keep it from getting dry. So will basting. You can cover it though toward the end if you notice that the internal temperature isn’t quite there and the top is getting too browned.

How do you keep chicken moist?

Put aromatics in the cavity, use olive oil and butter, and keep basting. That’s the secret to a moist and delicious roast chicken that tastes like it came from a restaurant!

How long to roast a chicken per pound?

The general rule of thumb is that it will take about 15 to 18 minutes of cooking time per pound of roast chicken plus an additional 15 minutes and then resting time. If you get a 5lb or 6lb chicken, you will be cooking it for a minimum of an hour and 20 minutes plus a 10-minute rest at the end once it’s out of the oven and under the foil. The best way to not overcook or under cook your chicken is to use a meat thermometer to check the cooked chicken temp. The FDA recommends the internal roast chicken temperature to reach 165°F.

What temperature to roast a chicken?

The standard oven temperature to roast a whole chicken is 425. When learning how to roast a chicken in the oven, you’ll learn that if your oven temperature is under 400°F you will be baking it and may not achieve the crispy texture and flavor you are looking for. Knowing how you want the chicken to turn out will determine what temperature to bake the chicken.

How long to roast a chicken at 425°F ?

Using a conventional oven you will need to roast a whole chicken (6 lb) for 1 hour and 20 minutes to 1 hour and 50 minutes at 425°F until the internal temp reaches 165°F. The cooking times will vary based on the weight of the chicken. A 4lb chicken will cook faster than a 6lb chicken.

What to Serve with Roast Chicken

As with any simple whole roasted chicken, you can serve all the traditional fixings of course! Any type of potato, including mashed potatoes, will go beautifully. We also love sauteed spinach, honeyed carrots, Caesar salad, fresh-baked rolls, and even stuffing if I have time to put that together too.

How to Store Roast Chicken

Roast chicken should be stored in the fridge. Once it has cooled completely and dinner is done, be sure to put the meat away in airtight containers.

How Long Does Roast Chicken Last?

You’d better use up your roast chicken within 2 days. If there’s simply too much of it to make that happen, then freeze it. You’ll be able to use it for up to 3 months.

Can You Freeze Roast Chicken?

Yes, you can freeze that roast chicken. And you’ll be able to throw it into meals for up to 3 months. This is where all my roast chicken winds up after a big dinner. Separate it from the bone for an easier way and when you want to make enchiladas, casseroles, soups, or anything else, let it thaw out the night before.

How to Reheat Roast Chicken?

If you have a lot of roast chicken leftover and you want to heat that up for the next night, no need to use high roasting temps anymore. Put it at 350F in a baking dish in your oven and cook until the internal temperature is 165F.

Watch How To Make Roasted Chicken (Video)

Roast Chicken Recipe

5 from 221 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 695
This tender garlic, butter & herb roast chicken is a family favorite! The chicken comes out crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside every time. It has the perfect blend of fresh herbs and butter then roasted to golden brown.


  • 4 lb whole chicken
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (melted)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 lemon (halved)
  • salt (to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
  • 9 garlic cloves (4 minced, 5 whole)
  • 3 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig


  • Preheat oven to 425F and line a baking tray with foil or grease a roasting pan and set aside.
  • Remove the neck and giblets from inside the cavity of the bird and trim any excess fat. Pat the bird dry with paper towels to get rid of any excess moisture. Pour the olive oil, melted butter, white wine, and the juice from half of lemon all over the chicken, under the skin and inside the cavity. Season the chicken well on the outside and inside the cavity with salt and pepper and then sprinkle on the parsley. Next, rub the minced garlic all over the chicken, mixing all of the ingredients together, making sure to get them under the skin. Take the garlic head, rosemary springs, and squeezed lemon half and place them inside the chicken cavity.
  • Place the chicken breast side up into the prepared roasting pan and roast for about an 1 hour and 20 minutes or until juices run clear when the thigh is pierced. Be sure to baste the chicken halfway through the cooking time. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove from the oven and tent with foil for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve with the remaining lemon half and pan juices.
Calories: 695kcal
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American


Calories: 695kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 55g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 194mg | Sodium: 158mg | Potassium: 508mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 868IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 3mg

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Author Megan Miller

I’m a mom of two, food and wine lover, and recipe creation enthusiast. Good food brings families together. Which is why I’m devoted to sharing my best recipes that are simple enough for even the beginner cook that your family will love!

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