As a mama of little ones I’m all about simplifying in the kitchen. That’s why roasting a whole chicken is one of my favorite meals to make. It takes a few minutes to prep it, but once the chicken is dressed all you have to do is pop it into the oven & walk away. The aroma of this meal is enough to draw my kids downstairs for dinner. I don’t have to call anyone to the table. They all magically appear! 🙂
Here’s my recipe. Get creative & improvise with what you have on hand if you have to.
1 roasting chicken, remove giblets & trim fat around the cavity
1 stick unsalted butter, softened in room temperature
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, (stem removed) chopped finely
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, (stem removed) chopped finely
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped finely
Lemon zest from 1 small lemon
4 fresh whole garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 tablespoon chili powder (or replace with Lemon Pepper seasoning / other)
1/2 tablespoon salt
A sprinkle of black ground pepper
1 small yellow onion (to stuff chicken with)
Olive oil/avocado oil for greasing pan
Large cast iron skillet / other oven-safe pan
Suggested side: Roasted gold potatoes / mashed potatoes
1. Preheat the oven to 450 deg.
2. Create a butter paste using the softened butter, fresh rosemary, thyme, parsley, garlic, chili powder, salt & pepper. Combine it in a small bowl and whip with a spoon.
3. Place chicken on its back, breast up. Prep your chicken by trimming some of the fat off around the cavity. Remove inside giblets & dry off the surface of chicken using a napkin.
4. Gently lift the skin up around the chicken breast near the cavity, with your fingers. Spread equal amounts of butter paste generously under the skin, onto the meat. Make sure to get that garlic in there. Spread some into the legs too. If you have a little left put some on the outside of the chicken too.
5. Stuff your chicken with half of an onion & quartered lemon that you used for zest + any fresh herbs you have. Tie the chicken legs together using kitchen twine (optional). Tuck wings under the chicken by grabbing the tips with your finger, turning and twisting the tips under the chicken. (This will prevent tips from burning).
6. Place your chicken on your (lightly oiled) pan of choice, toss some halved gold potatoes around it + any leftover onion, fresh herbs, garlic. Place into well pre-heated oven.
7. Roast chicken uncovered in 450 deg for 15 minutes.
8. Reduce oven temperature to 375 deg and continue roasting uncovered for approximately one more hour & 15+ minutes.
9. Once the chicken starts to release juice during baking, baste the chicken with it every 20 minutes. Total cooking time will depend on weight of your chicken & can vary slightly per oven. Generally, it’s about 15-20 minutes for every pound. If you’re using a thermometer it should read 165 deg.
There’s nothing worse than serving an undercooked chicken. Make sure to give it enough time. It needs to look browned and very well done.
I love simplifying this meal even more by roasting an entire sheet of small gold potatoes in the oven at the same time on a separate pan. Toss the potatoes in olive oil, season with salt/pepper/fresh herbs & bake on a foil-lined sheet for 30-40 minutes. What an easy side!
If I’m making mashed potatoes or brown rice as a side, I like to pour some of the chicken juice into it for flavor. So good!
Here’s how it goes: