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 loaded corn casserole and zucchini gratin for a complete meal.

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

Roasted chicken is one of those comfort food classics 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.

How do you make roasted chicken?

This recipe starts with an herb and garlic butter, which gets slathered all over a whole chicken. 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.

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

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.

A raw chicken stuffed with lemon, onion and herbs.

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. 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.

A raw whole chicken coated in garlic and herb butter.

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. I use an electronic probe thermometer which I insert into the chicken at the beginning of the cook time, and I monitor the progress throughout so that I know when to pull my chicken out of the oven.

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 so worth it to take the extra step of brining the chicken first, because it means that your meat will be perfectly seasoned through and through. 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

5 from 57 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!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 20 minutes
Brining Time8 hours
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Serves 6


  • 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


  • 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.


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

Hello! I’m Sara!

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Recipe Rating


  1. This IS THE BEST ROASTED CHICKEN RECIPE! I used the brine recipe also. Soaked it overnight and it was so flavorful and juicy. My guests raved over it and even reminded me that I had made them a plate to take home when I forgot. They weren’t going to let me forget. Thanks for this Sara.

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious and will definitely use again. Had to cover the chicken after fifty mins as the color came in fast. I took photos but unable to upload.

    Guests loved it!

  3. 5 stars
    Hi Sara
    I made this recipe last night for friends. I didn’t brine the it but still It was the tastiest, most juicy chicken I have ever had. The kitchen smelt incredible while the chicken was roasting. I think this will be on repeat all throughout the winter!!

  4. 5 stars
    I did not brine the chicken and it still was the best roasted chicken I’ve ever had! It was so moist and flavorful. I put Yukon Gold potatoes in the pan with it too. It all turned out great!

  5. 5 stars
    This is perfect! I’m making it again today and have already made it many times! Not only is it moist, flavourful and delicious, it looks like it could be on the cover of a magazine. My kids go absolutely nuts over this chicken!

  6. 5 stars
    Made this, complete with your brine recipe the night before, and it was fantastic!!! Sad I forgot to take a pic, but it was beautiful! It was a great dinner on a cold night here in Alaska. Not afraid to admit that I just ate some of the leftovers for breakfast and it was delicious all over again!! This would be an wonderful alternative to cooking a turkey for a holiday dinner too!

  7. Sara thanks for this!

    Do you think that this would work in a at-home rotisserie that spins ? Given that it has the coat of butter? Sorry if this is a silly question