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roasted chicken hero

Simple Whole Roasted Chicken

This Simple Oven Roasted Chicken is flavorful, juicy, and tender. It has perfectly crisp skin, and is perfect for Sunday super.
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 Dry is ok 2 tsp
  • 2 Teaspoons Cracked Pepper
  • 2-3 Lemons (½ for juice, the remainder for stuffing)
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt


  • Pre-heat oven to 425 °F. Prepare a cast iron skillet or baking sheet by layering with thick slices of red onion.
  • Make a compound butter by softening (not melting) 6 Tablespoons of butter. Crush or finely chop garlic cloves. Wash rosemary, strip from the stem, roughly chop. Use a fork to mix butter, garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper with the juice from ½ of a lemon.
  • Remove chicken from package. Be sure to remove giblets or neck from the body cavity.
  • Using paper towels, pat the skin dry. Be sure to get the bottom of the chicken as well. Place the chicken on top of the thick slices of onions in your pan.
  • Rub down the inside of the chicken with a small amount of compound butter, then spread the remaining butter evening over the chicken. Make sure to the compound butter on the underside and all around the legs and wings.
  • Cut lemons into wedges and place inside the chicken to retain moisture.
  • Put chicken in the oven on a middle rack at 425 ° for 20 minutes.
  • Lower the temperature to 350° and finish cooking for about an hour and twenty minutes more.
  • The only way to know if a chicken is done is to get a thermometer and stick into the inner thigh near the breast. Find the meatiest part possible and measure from there. The finished temp should be 165°
  • Remove from oven and let rest, covered with foil for 10 minutes.
  • Carve and serve.


  • Really take the time to dry the outside of the raw chicken before seasoning. The compound butter will not stick to wet skin and instead of browning the skin will just run off in the oven. 
  • Putting a few lemon wedges in the body cavity will help keep moisture without slowing the cooking time. 
  • Cook time is going to vary depending on the size of the bird. Once it 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. 
  • Rest the finished 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 so that I can use the leftover meat for other meals. Get experimental with your compound butter, and see what kind of awesome flavors you can make with one simple technique.


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