Oven Roasted Whole Chicken

Chicken, quinoa, salad for dinner

When there’s a sale at my local grocery store, I like to stock up. New Season’s Market recently had their whole, organic chickens on sale and I bought several to freeze and roast later. Oven roasting a whole chicken is easy to do, tastes great and once you follow these steps, you’ll never want to buy a pre-cooked one, that comes in a giant plastic container from the grocery store, ever again. Well, you may still do it – just like I do sometimes – when we’re in a pickle!

A chicken roasted at home can feed a family several times. The first night, enjoy it roasted and serve it with quinoa or brown rice and a green salad. The second night, have chicken salad sandwiches. The next night, make a broth and have homemade chicken stock on hand or make chicken noodle soup. It’s a delicious way to eat and it’s easy on the food budget, too.

I taught my son how to cook a chicken following this recipe. He’s a 16-year-old (and pretends to be helpless in the kitchen – remember the turtle stuck on his back?) and if he can do it, anyone can.

Roasted whole chicken

Here’s the equipment you’ll need to cook with:

  • baking dish
  • pastry brush for spreading oil on chicken (not necessary if you don’t have one)
  • meat thermometer (not necessary if you don’t have one)
Oven Roasted Whole Chicken
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: American
Author: Sara Tetreault
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6
Once you know how to make a roasted chicken at home, you may never buy one already cooked at the grocery store again. They are so tasty and the leftovers are so versatile.
Ingredients
  • 1 whole chicken 4-6 pounds
  • olive oil or canola oil (either is fine here)
  • salt, pepper, Old Bay Seasoning, Tony’s Lite seasoning ([url href=”https://gogingham.com/2011/12/spicing-it-up-in-the-kitchen/” target=”_blank”]spices I like to use are HERE[/url])
  • optional: fresh rosemary, quartered onion, lemon slices
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Get baking dish, oil, spices, and pastry bush ready and laid out near sink.
  3. With whole chicken sitting on a plate or in a low bowl, open package of chicken in kitchen sink so the raw chicken juices can easily go down the drain.
  4. Remove giblets (if any) from inside chicken. (These can be cooked in a separate package, if you’d like. Cooking them now means you can eat them or [url href=”https://gogingham.com/2013/04/how-to-make-chicken-broth/” target=”_blank”]use them to make chicken broth[/url].)
  5. If you want to rinse the chicken, use cold water. This isn’t necessary and you’ll need to pat dry the chicken with a paper towel or a clean cloth (use something non-fuzzy) once its been rinsed. Immediately put the cloth in the laundry after doing so.
  6. Place chicken in baking dish breast side down.
  7. Next, drizzle chicken with about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil or canola oil and then use brush to lightly coat the skin.
  8. Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, and seasoning.
  9. Flip chicken over (now the breasts should be facing up) and drizzle top side of chicken with about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil or canola oil and then use brush to lightly coat the skin.
  10. Sprinkle the top side of the chicken with salt, pepper, and seasoning.
  11. Sprinkle inside of chicken with a little salt and put a few slices of onion or fresh lemon inside, if you’d like (optional).
  12. Add additional fresh herbs if you’d like to the baking dish. Rosemary or thyme is nice here (optional).
  13. Place chicken in pre-heated 400 degree oven.
  14. Set timer for 75 minutes.
  15. Place chicken packaging in garbage after rinsing it with cold water and wash hands thoroughly with warm water.
  16. Spray kitchen sink with a cleaning solution ([url href=”https://gogingham.com/2014/10/green-glass-shiny-cleaner/” target=”_blank”]I use white vinegar and water for cleaning the kitchen sink[/url]) and clean it well with hot, soapy water.
  17. Roast chicken for 75 minutes and then set oven at 425 degrees for another 10 minutes or so to make sure chicken is done and to really crisp the skin.
  18. Once removed from oven, cover loosely with small piece of aluminum foil and “tent” it. Let the chicken rest for about 15 minutes. This is an excellent time to make quinoa and green salad to serve with your glorious oven roasted whole chicken.
  19. Remove chicken from baking dish and place on large platter or plate, breast side up.
  20. Slice chicken and serve.
Notes
You can tell if the chicken is done by gently pulling on a leg. If it pulls away EASILY it’s done. If not, put it back into the hot oven for another 10 minutes or so. If using a meat thermometer, it’s done when internal temperature reads: 170 degrees.

It really helps to get the baking dish, oil, spices, and pastry bush ready and laid out near the sink. When your hands are covered in raw chicken, you don’t want to touch anything else. By opening package of chicken in kitchen sink, the raw chicken juices can easily go down the drain.

How to roast a chicken

It also helps to get olive oil and spices out and ready to brush chicken and lightly coat the skin.

Sprinkle with spices

Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, and seasoning. You can use whatever you have on hand but we like Old Bay seasoning and Tony’s Lite seasoning.

How to roast chicken

Once removed from oven, cover loosely with small piece of aluminum foil and “tent” it. Let the chicken rest for about 15 minutes. This is an excellent time to make quinoa and green salad to serve with your glorious oven roasted whole chicken.

Roasted chicken at home

You can slice the chicken and get it ready for serving. We love it with quinoa and a green salad.

Chicken, quinoa, and green salad

So good and so tasty. You’ll never buy one from the grocery store again after roasting a chicken at home. Ok, maybe you will but you won’t like it nearly as much!

Notes:

  • If using a chicken that was in the freezer, thaw it in the bottom of the refrigerator for several days before you plan to serve. Put a bowl underneath the frozen chicken for thawing. (You will thank me for this tip later.)
  • I used to roast chickens on a rack but got tired of cleaning it up after it was in the oven.
  • Refrigerate your baking dish after it has cooled and let the grease solidify so that you’re not pouring it down the sink drain. This is very bad for drains.
  • Save all of your bones and the carcass from your oven roasted whole chicken and make chicken broth. Once everything has cooled, tuck it into a plastic bag or container in your freezer until you’re ready to do it.
  • To cook the giblets, place them in a foil pouch with spices on them and set them in the oven for about 40 minutes. If you don’t want to eat them, you can always add them to your homemade chicken broth. My rule of thumb is, if they come with the chicken, cook them. Someone will eat them or they can be added to pot for making chicken broth.
  • Because size of chickens vary and oven temperatures vary, you may find your chicken needs more or less time. If you slice into it and it’s clearly not done after resting, put it back in the oven for more roasting. Serve your salad and tell your guests the chicken course will be done shortly! Say this with a grand gesture so it looks like you meant it to happen.

Do you like to roast chickens at home? Do you make broth with your leftovers?

6 thoughts on “Oven Roasted Whole Chicken

  1. I do these all of the time. It seriously is the easiest thing to do! I will sometimes use the leftovers for shredded barbeque chicken sandwiches. Yummy!

    Like

    1. Diana, it’s so true – it is so easy! After I cooked my first one, I realized what a savings it was – both in the pocketbook but also in the leftovers/broth department as well! Thanks, Diana ~ great job!

      Like

    1. Carrie, I can’t imagine you being as helpless or hopeless in the kitchen. Really – go for it! You’ll be amazed at how easy it is. It’s such a good smell, too.
      Enjoy! Let me know how it goes….

      Like

  2. Great post! Very thorough! You really know how to task analyze a job that can be intimidating to a novice.
    Just wondering if a novice might question the giblet instructions: cook the giblets now and save for the broth, or cook the giblets later when making the broth? Tiny detail, but this question might pop up.
    You’re so smart to bring your 16yo up to speed early. It will make a healthy difference in his colligiate experience!

    Like

    1. Good point, Miggie!
      I’ll change the post ~
      I would say that cooking the giblets when roasting the chicken is the way to go – especially if you’re going to make broth with the leftover carcass.
      Thank you for questioning the directions. It always helps to have an extra set of eyes! 😉

      Like

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