It seems I’ve been a bit obsessed with chicken roasting lately, no? I get obsessed easily. Especially when something is insanely delicious. Here is how I do it!


I buy a chicken. Yes, it can be sort of scary.

How to Roast a Chicken I

I tend to get one that is 5-6 pounds. This means it will last approximately 15 minutes in house. Someone eats for four. Not me.


I unwrap it and immediately get the worst part over with. I use tongs to pull out the gross stuff inside – the stuff that my grandpa used to insist on eating at Thanksgiving – and I set it aside. I can’t deal with this yet. I’m too immature.

How to Roast a Chicken I

I usually pull it out and immediately place it in a large ziplock bag. Something else I normally do? Roast these chickens close to our trash pick-up day. The last thing I want it the carcass sitting in our trash for days. Bugs scare me. For real.

Then I dry the entire thing with paper towels VERY thoroughly.


I either throw it on a clean counter or a cutting board, then I coat it with salt and pepper inside and out. Lots of salt and pepper. Probably about a teaspoon each or even more? Don’t skimp.

How to Roast a Chicken I

Oh, and this may scare you, but inspect the bird for any additional feathers that need plucking. Yeah… I know. But I promise after you do this once, it gets so much easier.


Then I cover the whole thing in olive oil, rubbing it with my hands.

How to Roast a Chicken I

You may remember that I tried the butter and herb route before too. That was delicious, but this method is so simple and we actually think it tastes better. Crispier and more flavorful.


By this time I have most likely sliced 1-2 onions to throw in the pan.

How to Roast a Chicken I

I have used a larger roasting pan before, and then used a small one. I gotta admit… I prefer the small. That may be wrong for some reason or another, but it totally works for me. I just make sure the pan has a larger lip on it. Obviously this also depends on the size of your chicken.


See? Fat bird in a little pan.

How to Roast a Chicken I

I’ve stuffed it with lemons and garlic before, used different herbs and flavors, but again – this is our favorite one. We think it tastes the best. Super simple!


I’ve been roasting a 5-6 pound chicken at 425 degrees F for about 85-90 minutes. It works like a charm. While it’s roasting, I usually clean and sanitize my counter where the chicken sat.

How to Roast a Chicken I

But before you remove it, make sure the chicken is cooked through. I use a meat thermometer and also slice near one of the legs to make sure the juices are clear. I think my mom told me that too. See? Always right.


Then I slice it so we can have the white meat of the breast and the thighs/dark meat.

How to Roast a Chicken I

How to Roast a Chicken I

Don’t discard the carcass – use it for stock!

My days of discarding the skin are long gone too. Um, have you ever tasted the crispy skin from a freshly roasted chicken? It is pure heaven. Bliss. Utopia.


Then we eat.

How to Roast a Chicken I

And if there is any left over, I save it for the week for lunches and dinners.


Some of you have asked why I would roast a chicken on my own – why not just buy one and spare the extra expense and time? I used to feel the same way, but there is honestly nothing that tastes as delicious after you’ve roasted a chicken. Trust me, I have brought home a lot of chicken in my life. Do you know who I’m married to? And I also sort of like this whole cooking thing. In case you haven’t noticed.


After you eat your chicken, you must follow it with something delectable.

How to Roast a Chicken I

I didn’t forget about you – recipe coming soon!


Now who is going to roast a chicken this week?

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158 Responses to “How I Roast A Chicken.”

  1. #
    Noemi — July 20, 2011 @ 11:52 am

    After getting so excited about your descriptions of roasted chicken, I bought a chicken for roasting at Trader Joe’s! And I made roasted chicken, which was delicious, except I covered mine and it did not get as crispy as yours. Next time, though, I am determined to have crispy skin! Also, I cut up a bunch of “stuff” to put in the pan– green and red peppers, onion, green onion, and the most amazing bit, about 20 cloves of garlic. They roasted just as beautifully as the chicken and tasted like heaven. Mmmmm…. And I followed it up with chocolate chip brownies. :-D I am definitely doing it again soon!


  2. #
    Amy @ A Little Nosh — July 22, 2011 @ 12:44 pm

    I can pull the bag of yuckies out, but I still have issues with seasoning the INSIDE of the bird. Makes me skin crawl just typing that.


    • Jessica — July 22nd, 2011 @ 1:49 pm

      Me too!! Anytime my hand actually touches it I freak out.


  3. #
    Saria — September 26, 2011 @ 1:10 am

    Thank you for the tips on roasting


  4. #
    Chloe — October 12, 2011 @ 10:34 pm

    I’m in college and I just used this recipe to make a whole chicken in my TOASTER OVEN in my dorm room! It worked perfectly.


  5. #
    Karyl — October 18, 2011 @ 9:42 pm

    We made this tonight and it was a hit. Thanks for a great simple recipe!


  6. #
    Katie — November 2, 2011 @ 9:38 am

    I’m having some friends over for dinner tonight, and I thought “I should roast a chicken. How do I do that? I’m scared. I bet Jessica would tell me.” – and lookie here what I found.

    Thank you!


  7. #
    beerwildered — January 3, 2012 @ 5:34 pm

    “Roast these chickens close to our trash pick-up day. The last thing I want it the carcass sitting in our trash for days. Bugs scare me. For real.”

    Why not save the carcass and make a stock???


    • Jessica — January 3rd, 2012 @ 7:59 pm

      I make stock often (or soup: but I tend to roast a chicken at least once a week and don’t go through enough stock or have room for it all.


      • beerwildered — January 3rd, 2012 @ 9:28 pm

        I cook a chicken about every week, except I just wrap the carcass and everything up in saran wrap and toss it in the freezer. Epic stocks when made with several chickens worth of bones!

  8. #
    Diana — January 3, 2012 @ 8:10 pm

    I literally just bought a whole chicken today. I have never prepared a whole chicken before but thought it was time I learn and I didn’t want to buy the already prepared roasted chicken at the supermarket. Have you ever prepped it in the crockpot? I think that is what I want to use since it is so hot out this week.


    • Jessica — January 3rd, 2012 @ 8:16 pm

      I’ve never done it in the crockpot, but have heard good things about people that do! The only thing I think that would be missing is the crispy skin. But I could be wrong.


  9. #
    Chelsea — January 5, 2013 @ 5:49 pm

    I have made this chicken several times in the last few months and it is delicious! Completely fool-proof. My chicken is roasting away as we speak. Excellent!


  10. #
    Lauren — March 18, 2013 @ 4:27 pm

    I have NO idea why, but for some reason, every time I roast a chicken, my smoke alarm goes off. The room’s not too smokey, but was wondering if you ever encountered this type of problem before? I’m considering trying a new roasting pan. I can’t give up roasting chicken.


  11. #
    Kristen — April 27, 2013 @ 9:07 pm

    I guess I found this post when you wrote it, or whenever you did your brown sugar chicken, and let me tell you, I became obsessed with roasting chickens. I’m 20 and all of my friends are petrified of whole chickens and I just get in there and become it’s friend and you taught me where to get started and how to be comfortable and let me tell you, you’re incredible. Thank you!


    • NativeNuYorker — July 26th, 2013 @ 3:55 pm

      I can’t imagine not washing/cleaning the chicken immediately after taking from the plastic bag.


  12. #
    Colleen — September 7, 2013 @ 8:23 pm

    This was the first time I’d ever roasted a chicken and this recipe was easy and delicious!


  13. #
    Bridget — November 5, 2013 @ 8:38 pm

    Thanks so much for an amazing and simple recipe – it was the key to a three-peat success for me. I have a terrible reputation for roasting poultry – and I totally redeemed myself over the last two weeks thanks to you!


  14. #
    DessertForTwo — January 30, 2014 @ 7:59 pm

    I made this, exactly as written, and LOVED IT. You’re the queen of roasted chicken!


  15. #
    Judy — February 26, 2014 @ 7:40 am

    I made my butter and gsrkuc chicken last night and roasted it standing on one of those special stand things for the chicken.
    I’ve never found stuffing the cavity does anything.
    Explain to me please.


  16. #
    Rose — June 5, 2014 @ 12:44 pm

    Hi Jessica,
    Lovvvve your recipes!!
    I’ve roasted a chicken using your method, but a problem I have is the bottom of the pan is like an inch or more of fat/juice.. so the bottom part is soggy. It’s juicy once the skin is off, and I use it in recipes skinless, but I wouldn’t want to serve it whole. I use a square glass pyrex dish.. is this my problem you think? Any tips on how yours is crispy all around? I’ve looked online to no help .. Since I use your method I was wondering if you knew how I could solve this to look more like yours!
    Thanks so much in advance.
    PS I am the same with bugs and plan my meals around trash day.. or my hubs drops it in the dumpsters in the plaza near us!! Eek that’s so bad but I can’t deal..when we moved into our house the previous owner left his Gnarly recycle bins and a week later we found them and our trash in the garage Crawling with maggots… uggggggh. My skin crawls just thinking about it still!!



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