This roasted chicken is coated in a garlic and herb butter, then cooked to golden brown perfection. My roast chicken is tender and juicy and it comes out perfect every time!

There’s nothing more satisfying than a whole roasted chicken – it feeds a crowd, looks impressive and tastes amazing. Serve your roast chicken with corn casserole and zucchini gratin for a complete meal.

A roasted chicken in a pan garnished with fresh rosemary sprigs.

Roasted chicken is one of those comfort food classic chicken recipes that no one can resist. That being said, it’s so easy to either under cook or over cook a whole chicken. No one wants a chicken that’s super dry, or raw in the middle! This roast chicken is a foolproof way to have a delicious dinner on the table that will earn you rave reviews.

Roast Chicken Ingredients

To make this recipe, you will need a whole chicken, chicken brine, rosemary, thyme, parsley, garlic, butter, lemon, onion, salt and pepper.

How Do You Make Roasted Chicken?

The first step in the process is to brine your chicken. This is an optional step, but highly recommended. Next, tuck the wings under the chicken breast, and stuff inside the cavity of your chicken with lemon, onion and herbs, then tie up the legs. Mix together butter, garlic and herbs, and cover the chicken with the butter mixture. Be sure to loosen the skin of the chicken so that you can rub some of the butter in between the skin and the meat. The chicken goes into a pan and is roasted in the oven until golden brown. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes, then carve and serve with the pan juices.

Butter, garlic, fresh minced herbs and salt and pepper in a mixing bowl.

Tips For The Perfect Dish

  • It is very important to use a thermometer when you are roasting chicken. You definitely don’t want an undercooked bird, and if you overcook your chicken, the meat can dry out. I use a instant read thermometer that stays in the chicken as it cooks so that I can monitor its progress.
  • Be sure to spread the butter mixture quickly, as it will harden as the softened butter touches the cold chicken.
  • I love to use any leftover chicken in dishes such as chicken vegetable soup, Chinese chicken salad or King Ranch chicken.
  • Use your chicken carcass to make homemade chicken broth! Place the carcass in a large pot with 10 cups of water, 3 sliced carrots, 3 sliced celery stalks, one quartered onion, 2 teaspoons peppercorns, 2 bay leaves, 5 garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon salt and a small bunch of parsley. Simmer for 3-4 hours, then let cool slightly and strain. Refrigerate or freeze for later use.
  • I’ve included my favorite chicken brine in the recipe card below. If you choose to brine your chicken, be sure to add minimal salt to your seasoned butter so that your final product is not overly salted. If you decide not to brine your chicken, I’d recommend adding a few teaspoons of chicken seasoning to the butter mixture for even more flavor.

Quick Tip

This recipe can be made with a larger or smaller chicken, you’ll just need to adjust the bake time accordingly. If you’re using a larger chicken, you’ll want to make more of the butter mixture.

A raw chicken stuffed with lemon, onion and herbs.

Recipe FAQs

How long do you roast a chicken?

Generally speaking, a whole chicken needs to cook at 350 degrees for 20 minutes per pound. I cook my chicken at a higher temperature to get that deep golden brown skin, so it should take more like 15-17 minutes per pound.

How do you prepare a chicken for roasting?

To prepare a chicken for roasting, you’ll want to remove the giblet bag if there’s one stuffed into the chicken cavity. The next step is to tuck the wings underneath the breast to prevent the wing tips from burning. Finally, fill your chicken cavity with aromatics like onion, lemon and herbs, then tie the legs together with kitchen twine.

Do you have to brine a roasted chicken?

You do not have to brine a chicken, that being said, I highly recommend taking the time to do it. Chicken is a naturally lean type of meat which mean it’s prone to drying out. When a chicken is placed into brine, it absorbs some of the brine which helps to both keep it moist and also to season it all the way through. When you’re working with a brined chicken, even if you overcook it a bit, it should still come out tender and juicy.

Is it better to roast a chicken covered or uncovered?

It is better to roast a chicken uncovered so that the skin will get golden brown and crispy. If you feel that your chicken skin is getting overly dark during the cooking process, you can cover it with foil to prevent further browning.

How do you know when a roasted chicken is done?

The easiest way to tell when your roasted chicken is done is to use a thermometer. A chicken is safe to eat when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken thigh reads 165 degrees F.

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A raw whole chicken coated in garlic and herb butter.

Flavor Variations

This recipe is delicious as written, but you can easily customize the flavors to suit your tastes.

  • Chicken: While this recipe is for a whole chicken, you can use a similar technique for bone-in skin-on chicken breasts or legs. Brine the chicken parts for 4 hours, and adjust the roasting time accordingly.
  • Seasonings: Instead of using garlic and herbs to flavor the butter, you can stir in a tablespoon of some other type of seasoning. Some great options include Cajun Seasoning, Greek Seasoning, Italian Seasoning and Jamaican Jerk Seasoning.
  • Vegetables: You can add some vegetables to your roasting dish to make this a one-pan meal! Some great options include potatoes, carrots, green beans or asparagus. Potatoes and carrots would go into the pan as soon as the chicken goes in the oven. For quicker cooking veggies such as asparagus and green beans, you’ll want to add them during the last 15 minutes of the roasting time. Coat the veggies in a little olive oil, salt and pepper before adding them to the pan.
Carved roasted chicken on a serving platter with fresh herbs.

Let me just tell you, this roasted chicken is the best chicken I’ve ever had. It’s worth it to take the extra step of brining the chicken first, because your meat will have perfect seasoning. I make this roasted chicken almost every week, and the leftovers are great for sandwiches, soups, pasta dishes and more. Your family is sure to love this roast chicken as much as my family does!

More Delicious Chicken Dishes

Roasted Chicken Video

Love This Recipe?

Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section further down the page.

4.99 from 80 votes

Roasted Chicken

AuthorSara Welch
A roasted chicken in a pan garnished with fresh rosemary sprigs.
This roasted chicken is coated in a garlic and herb butter, then cooked to golden brown perfection. My roast chicken is tender and juicy and it comes out perfect every time!
Time
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 20 minutes
Brining Time8 hours
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Serves 6

Ingredients 

  • 1 recipe chicken brine optional but highly recommended
  • 5 lb whole chicken
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 onion peeled and quartered
  • 1 lemon quartered
  • 6 tablespoons butter softened
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves minced
  • salt and pepper to taste go easy on the salt if you’ve brined your chicken

Instructions 

  • Brine the chicken according to recipe directions. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels after it’s done brining.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Tuck the chicken wings underneath the breast. Stuff the chicken cavity with the rosemary and thyme sprigs, onion and lemon.
  • Tie the chicken legs together with kitchen twine.
  • Place the butter, garlic, minced thyme, rosemary and parsley, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Stir to combine.
  • Loosen the skin of the chicken breast. Rub the butter mixture all over the chicken, both on the outside of the chicken and underneath the skin.
  • Place the chicken in a roasting pan. Cook for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F. 
  • Check on your chicken every 20 minutes – if the skin is getting overly dark, cover the chicken with foil.
  • Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with pan drippings.

Notes

  1. It is imperative to use a meat thermometer to determine when the chicken is done. You do not want to undercook it for food safety reasons, and if it’s overcooked it can become dry.
  2. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  3. Use your chicken carcass to make homemade chicken broth! Place the carcass in a large pot with 10 cups of water, 3 sliced carrots, 3 sliced celery stalks, one quartered onion, 2 teaspoons peppercorns, 2 bay leaves, 5 garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon salt and a small bunch of parsley. Simmer for 3-4 hours, then let cool slightly and strain. Refrigerate or freeze for later use.

Nutrition

Calories: 404kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 166mg | Sodium: 228mg | Potassium: 394mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 705IU | Vitamin C: 16.3mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 2mg

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  1. 5 stars
    Best chicken ever never going to make it any other way for roasting. My son’s loved it a d requested it again. All we left were bones. It was even better the next day! Yummy