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.

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.


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 66 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.


  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.


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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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This is sooooo good! I’ve been asked multiple times to make it for extended family and given out the recipe for the brine. I use it regularly and the leftovers make fantastic casseroles and the bones make unbelievable broth! Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    I am currently brining two 5 lb chickens. Need to decide whether to let them sit in brine for 4 hours (dinner tonight) or 30 hours (tomorrow night) before roasting. Advice?

  3. I started brining the chicken early this AM and can’t wait to try this recipe tonight!! I’ve never roasted a whole chicken before but both the brining and the roasting recipe were easy to follow and made me feel like a pro. The only thing I’m concerned about is that I don’t have a roasting pan or cast iron, should I get one or is it okay to use glass pan or cookie sheet this one time?

    1. Any pan with at least a 1 inch edge is fine, don’t use a cookie sheet as the juices will run off into the oven!

  4. I’m looking for the nutritional information. You state 404 kcal which is equivalent to 404,000 calories. I’m sure that is not right???

  5. 5 stars
    I have been looking for the best roasted chicken recipe since I tried it once at our friends. Unfortunately, they keep that recipe secret. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe! 🙂 I followed it word by word, and it turned out perfectly delicious!!!

    1. Hi, my family and I loved your recipe but I found the skin pulled away and wasn’t as beautiful and glazed as yours. Any tips on getting the skin perfect?

      Thanks for the recipe!

      1. Sometimes that just happens if the skin doesn’t completely cover the breast or is torn from packaging. To fix this in the future you can put a few toothpicks in the skin to hold it in place!

  6. 5 stars
    Fan-tab-ulous! Never used brine before.
    The chicken was kids loved it. Will make it again and recommend to others. I did have to cook it for an additional 30 minutes, but no big deal, it turned out perfect.

  7. 5 stars
    I made this a few weeks ago and it was delicious, perfectly roasted and juicy. I want to do the same thing but with chicken thighs only, how long should I brine?

  8. 5 stars
    OMG!! After years of reading about brining turkeys and wondering what all the fuss is about, I am now a complete convert. Stumbled on your site and recipe, decided to give it a whirl on a scaled down bird. Fantastic. Ten stars. Will never roast another chicken without brining and next Thanksgiving’s turkey is in my sights.

  9. I can’t wait to make this! I have dried herbs. Will those be ok? Also should I place the chicken breast down and on a rack in my roasting pan? Thanks.

    1. Dried herbs should work, use 1/3 of the amount of fresh. A rack is fine, but I’ve never cooked a chicken with the breast down so I can’t recommend that!

  10. Have you ever used apple cider in your brine? I’ve heard great things.

    Also what is your opinion on a spatchcocked chicken. I know it cuts down on time. But then idk if I can stuff it?


    1. You can replace 1 cup of water with 1 cup of apple cider. A spatchcocked chicken cooks faster but you wouldn’t be able to stuff it. This roasted chicken recipe assumes that you’re cooking an unstuffed chicken so you’d need to adjust the time here too.

  11. 5 stars
    My beautiful whole chicken bought fresh from the butcher’s shop is currently being brined! Was curious how much salt you’d recommend adding after the brine though? I have a 4 lb chicken. But I’m so excited to roast it tomorrow, thank so much for this recipe! 🙂

  12. If I wanted to use this recipe to roast a chicken in a roasting pan on top of vegetables, would that change how I should cook it or can I still just follow this recipe? Thank you!

    1. You can follow the recipe just cut your veggies on the larger side so they don’t overcook in the time it takes for the chicken to cook through!

  13. Because I inject the breast with a seasoned butter mixture, I normally brine my chicken in butter milk, just so I dnt over salt the bird. Your recipe is almost identical to mine. My herb mixture changes depending on what I have on hand though. I’ll even stuff it with everything you used and an apple. I know this recipe is the bomb. Looks really good.

  14. 5 stars
    How do you get the butter to stick lol? I could not get it as thick as the picture, most just slid right off. I even tried patting the chicken dry.

    1. You want to make sure the butter is very soft, then quickly spread it onto the chicken. If it’s sticky you can coat the back of your spoon or spatula with nonstick cooking spray. Once the butter is in place it tends to solidify since the chicken is cold, you don’t want to touch it at that point or it will just crack and come off!

  15. 5 stars
    I cooked this recipe this morning. It came out really well – after first brining it overnight. It is really juicy. The smell of it roasting in the oven was driving everyone crazy. I might have used a tad too much Rosemary as that flavor was pretty dominate. In a few minutes, I am going to debone what’s left and put it away for use this week. Hope I can find a Chicken & Rice Casserole type recipe(s) here!