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roasted chicken hero

Perfect Roast Chicken Recipe

Perfectly roasted chicken with crisp skin and moist juicy white and dark meat, flavored with garlic clove, lemons, and fresh herb butter. 
Course Dinner, Main Dish
Cuisine American Classic
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 6 People
Calories 396kcal
Author Diana Reis


  • 1 Whole Chicken Roaster 5-7lbs with giblets and neck removed
  • 1 Red Onion Thick Slices
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary removed From stem, or 2 teaspoons dry
  • 2 Teaspoons Cracked Pepper
  • 2-3 Lemons ½ for juice, the remainder for stuffing
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt


  • Start the preparation for this simple oven roasted chicken by preheating the oven to 425°.
  • Before handling the chicken, prepare everything you need to make the chicken. If you do not have a cast iron skillet, use a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, mix softened butter, minced garlic, rosemary, lemon juice, and a bit of salt and black pepper. Use a fork to mix the compound butter.
  • Cut lemons into wedges, and slice red onions into thick rounds.
  • Line the pan with thick slices of onion. You are going to rest the chicken breast-side up on top of the onions. This will lift the chicken up a bit in the pan and let the heat circulate around the whole bird to cook evenly and get a good crisp all the way around.
  • Remove the chicken from the package. Check the inside of the body cavity, and remove any neck or giblets that are inside. ( Some companies do not put giblets in the package, so don’t be too worried if you don’t find anything.)
  • Use a few paper towels to pat the chicken dry all around. You need a nice dry skin to get the butter and seasoning to adhere, and to get crispy skin.
  • Next, place the chicken on top of the onions breast side up. Rub the compound butter over every part of the chicken. Be sure to pull the legs and wings back to get seasoning in every nook and cranny. Place lemons into the cavity of the chicken. Then, pull the legs together and tie with kitchen string or use a barbecue skewer and thread it through the backs of the chicken legs. (I never remember to pick up butcher’s twine. The skewer works just fine. If you have neither, you can still cook the chicken. The underside of the legs just might not get as well browned.)
  • Place the pan of chicken into a preheated 425° oven. Cook at this temperature for 20 minutes. Then turn the oven down and finish cooking at 350°. A higher temperature in the beginning will start to crisp the outer skin and guarantee a golden brown bird. It will also seal moisture in to get super juicy meat.
  • Once the chicken has reached 165°, remove it from the oven. Place the whole roast chicken on a cutting board to rest and carve.
  • Carve the rested chicken by removing the legs and thighs at the joint. They should come away from the body by simply twisting them upwards towards the breast and using a butcher knife to help separate the joint.
  • Remove the wings the same way.
  • Then remove the breast meat. Bring your knife in as close to one side of the breast bone as possible and cut away one whole side of the breast. Then cut the breast into thick slices. Do the same to the other side.


How do I know when a roasted chicken is fully cooked?
Poultry is fully cooked and safe to eat when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°. A meat thermometer placed into the thickest part of the thigh close to the breast will give you the most accurate reading. Be sure you are not touching bone. Some people recommend checking for the color of the juices. Red juices mean the bird is still raw and clear juices signify a cooked chicken.
However, I would caution you against using this method as different parts of a whole chicken cook at different speeds. You will also lose moisture poking and cutting around the chicken before it has rested.
What temperature should I cook an oven roasted chicken?
Start out with the oven set at 425° for 20 minutes to sear the skin and keep the juices in. Then lower the oven to 350° for the remaining time.
What kind of chicken should I choose for roasting?
When shopping for a good roasting chicken you want to choose a “roaster”. A roaster is a mature chicken between 5-7 pounds. These birds are meatier and have a thicker layer of fat which keeps them from burning while they cook for a long period of time.
The extra fat bastes the meat as it roasts and makes them extra juicy and flavorful.
Diana's Tips for Success
Cooking time is going to vary depending on the size of the whole chicken. Once the chicken has been in the oven for 1 hour and 40 minutes, I check the temperature. This would be about 20 minutes per pound for a 5 pound chicken.
If the skin starts to get too brown before the inside is fully cooked, make a tent over the chicken breast with aluminum foil to prevent burning.
Rest the chicken before carving. Let the chicken sit in the pan with foil over the top for at least 10 minutes.
This is a very simple oven roasted chicken recipe and the seasonings are very simple. I purposely chose a simple flavor combination of lemon and fresh herbs so that I can use the leftover chicken for other meals.
Get experimental with your compound butter, and see what kind of awesome flavors you can make with one simple technique. ​
Storage and Reheating
Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Serve leftover chicken cold on sandwiches or salads.
Reheat chicken pieces by placing in a skillet with chicken stock. Heat on low until the meat is warmed through.


Calories: 396kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 1354mg | Potassium: 331mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 547IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 2mg