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. #
    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — May 1, 2011 @ 9:52 am



  2. #
    Kelly — May 1, 2011 @ 9:56 am

    I would not have thought to make sure to roast it close to trash day – you are SO smart! :)

    It still looks scary though…..some day I’ll try it…..


  3. #
    Kelly — May 1, 2011 @ 9:58 am

    The pre-roasted chickens at the store are so overpriced. I buy them if I don’t have time to cook a chicken at home, but you get very little meat off of the stores ones. We roast ours pretty much the same as you, but we just put salt and pepper on it. We did one in the past stuffed with wedges of apple and onion – it was okay but we like the plain version better. And super easy to make gravy after if you so desire.
    By the way, thankful to say I’ve never had to pluck any stray chicken hairs still attached. Ew.


  4. #
    Nourhan @ Miss Anthropist's Kitchen — May 1, 2011 @ 9:59 am

    I love the crispy skin too! We have a grill (it’s those double grills where you close it and both sides are getting grilled) where we put our chicken parts…grilling tastes much better than roasting in my opinion :)


  5. #
    Jordana R — May 1, 2011 @ 10:00 am

    I always roast my own chicken. It’s not scary to me at all. Also, I’m kinda squeamish and picky aboutmy chicken, so I take all that yellow stuff, the extra feathers, and any extra fat or anything inside and get rid of it. I’m weird about it. Chicken can be gross and slimy!
    But you’re so right – simple IS delicious!!


  6. #
    Evan Thomas — May 1, 2011 @ 10:03 am

    I love when you roast a chicken and the whole house smells like herbs and onion–amazing. Whenever I roast one on my own I just end up standing over the carcass picking at it until a whole side is gone. When I roast one at my parent’s house my mother usually does that before me until it’s all gone. Like mother like son I guess.


  7. #
    Courtney — May 1, 2011 @ 10:03 am

    I always rinse inside my chicken too! So true, moms are always right :-)


  8. #
    Teags — May 1, 2011 @ 10:04 am

    I tried this for the first time a short time ago and couldn’t believe the difference from a bought cooked chicken. It’s definitely worth the effort, and the price difference (in Aus atleast) is next to nothing!


  9. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — May 1, 2011 @ 10:06 am

    moms ARE always right! i love roasting whole chickens…they’re amazing, and the skin? you’re right: utopia.


  10. #
    Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) — May 1, 2011 @ 10:10 am

    I roasted a turkey on Friday…it was an April Thanksgiving feast! Your chicken looks perfect!


  11. #
    Marisa @ Loser for Life — May 1, 2011 @ 10:12 am

    I actually do have roasted chicken on the menu this week! It’s the best!


  12. #
    Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy & Healthy — May 1, 2011 @ 10:15 am

    our mom’s must have been friends b/c I roast my chicken pretty much the exact same way :) The only difference is that I rub some olive oil and herbs under the skin over the breast meat b/c I’m freaked out out by skin (I know, I’m weird.) But that makes the breast meat even more flavorful which is my favorite part- the Chicken breasteses.
    Also your photos of this process are much nice than mine…but I’m learning, I’m learning.


  13. #
    Christina — May 1, 2011 @ 10:18 am

    I roasted my first chicken on Easter. I’m now OBSESSED. Why didn’t anyone tell me it was so good and so easy!?! LOVE.


  14. #
    Matt @ The Athlete's Plate — May 1, 2011 @ 10:23 am

    I freaking love roasted chicken.


  15. #
    Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food — May 1, 2011 @ 10:30 am

    Someday I may get here. I have recently just become comfortable working with chicken breasts! Haha! :-)


  16. #
    Christie {Nourishing Circle} — May 1, 2011 @ 10:34 am

    I am also not afraid of roasting a chicken. I have been roasting one once a week for as long as I can remember. I recently tried to do it in the crock pot because people were raving about it. It was disgusting – I have been spoiled by the oven roasted goodness that simply can not be beat. I love adding lots and lots of onions and garlic to the bottom and then serving them on the side.


  17. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — May 1, 2011 @ 10:40 am

    I still need to roast a chicken. Someday. :)


  18. #
    Holly @ The Runny Egg — May 1, 2011 @ 10:40 am

    I have roasted a whole chicken on my own last year — I won a chicken at Turkey Bingo :) I followed Ina Garten’s recipe that has you stuff the bird with lemon, garlic and rosemary. It tasted AMAZING but I like your more simple approach.


  19. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — May 1, 2011 @ 10:50 am

    I think I’ll have to get a chicken next week to roast… it’s been a while and now you are reminding me how good it is!


  20. #
    The Mommy — May 1, 2011 @ 10:51 am

    I should roast a chicken this week, my husband would be beside himself with joy.

    Oh, and I, too, cannot handle the bag of crap that comes out of the chicken or turkey. I do use the neck (barf) in the bottom of my roasting pan to get extra flavour for the turkey gravy but otherwise all the giblets go.

    I kind of want roasted chicken for breakfast now…..hey, I’m pregnant, it’s not that weird :)


  21. #
    Jane B — May 1, 2011 @ 10:56 am

    Funnily enough, I am roasting a chicken this week! Great instructions by the way – more people need to roast chickens, the store bought ones don’t compare…
    And I am dying, dying for that dessert recipe. Can’t wait!


  22. #
    April — May 1, 2011 @ 11:19 am

    Your writing always makes me smile ~ love your site and your wit! :)
    Thanks for all the delicious recipe ideas!!


  23. #
    Gen — May 1, 2011 @ 11:22 am

    Yummy!! We all love a good roasted chicken in this house!!! Do you think that it would cook quicker in a gas oven????
    Also, can’t wait for the recipe!!! :D


  24. #
    Ashley H — May 1, 2011 @ 11:44 am

    There*s NOTHING I love more then A home made roasted Chicken and gravy!!!! What we do ((thanks to my Grandma*s instructions)) is we roast the chicken very simply with salt pepper and butter, we also do it in a smaller pan so the juices in the pan for the gravy don*t burn or boil away, we roast the neck with the chicken in the pan and all the nasty other things that come out of the Chicken ((people in my family eat them, **vomit!**)) but we put them in a pot with water or chicken stock and let them simmer on low the whole time the Chicken*s roasting. Then when your making your gravy from the pan juices you strain out the nastyness from the pot ((heart liver again..vomit)) and you add the water/chicken stock from the pot to your gravy. DELICIOUS!!!


  25. #
    Mara @ What's For Dinner? — May 1, 2011 @ 11:51 am

    My mom always says that chicken skin is the bacon of the poultry world. I have to agree :)


  26. #
    Erica — May 1, 2011 @ 12:00 pm

    LOVE this! Having a whole roasted chicken is so awesome for busy weeks. You can use the meat for so many different dishes. And you gotta love cooking/baking steps you do but you have no idea why. I never notice them until Josh asks and I’m like wellll I do that because…because….you’re supposed to :)


  27. #
    Stephanie@MyThornsHaveRoses — May 1, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

    Raising my hand.


  28. #
    Nicole — May 1, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

    Thanks for the play-by-play. I’ve been wanting to try this for the longest time, but it still makes me nervous. I must do it before the weather gets hot and I can’t stand the thought of the oven cranked at 425 for over an hour.


  29. #
    Kat @ Cupcake Kat — May 1, 2011 @ 12:13 pm

    I usually use a recipe for paprika roasted chicken. It is so good! Roasted chicken is perfect for summer picnics


  30. #
    Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) — May 1, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

    Convinced me! I’m definitely making one tonight!


  31. #
    Cait @ Beyond Bananas — May 1, 2011 @ 12:29 pm

    I have ALWAYS wanted to know how to do this.. and now I do! When I get adventurous.. I may just buy one of these and do this!


  32. #
    Celia W. — May 1, 2011 @ 12:30 pm

    Have you ever tried spatchcocking your chicken before roasting it? You basically cut out the spine with a pair of kitchen shears and lay the bird out flat. This decreases the roasting time a bit and actually cooks the bird more evenly.


  33. #
    Amanda- The Nutritionist Reviews — May 1, 2011 @ 12:30 pm

    Thanks a lot for the tutorial. It does not seem as scary now!


  34. #
    Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet — May 1, 2011 @ 12:59 pm

    As much as I love roasted chicken, I think I’d choose your dessert first. It looks like a cookie-cake filled with ice cream, and that sounds amazing!


  35. #
    Natalia - a side of simple — May 1, 2011 @ 12:59 pm

    Now I can spend my Sunday hitting “refresh” because I’m so anxious for your next recipe. Who says I’m not productive? ;)


  36. #
    Karrin @ breadwinner kitchen — May 1, 2011 @ 1:03 pm

    I hate taking the skin off a nicely roasted chicken too. Ever tried brining a chicken? It’s super easy and has incredibly moist meat / crispy skin in the end.


  37. #
    Alaina — May 1, 2011 @ 1:27 pm

    All of your steps sound like what I learned from my husband, who learned from his mom. I actually never cooked my own chicken/turkey until I was married. It does take more time (obv) but the kitchen smells soooo good when it’s cooking. :-)


  38. #
    Fallon — May 1, 2011 @ 1:27 pm

    That actually looks quite delicious and I like how simple you make it look. I’m going to be brave and try this for dinner one night. That way instead of boring chicken breasts for my boyfriend he can enjoy a thigh! That sounded funny, LOL.

    MMM Dessert looks like a pizzooookie!


  39. #
    Katrina — May 1, 2011 @ 1:39 pm

    I’ve never roasted a chicken. Weird.


  40. #
    Erin — May 1, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

    Oh, thank you for this! Your method is less frightening than my first experience, of my boyfriend trying to make me cut out the spine prior to cooking.
    I think I can handle dealing with the whole bird. I think. I hope. I’ll try.


  41. #
    Red Deception — May 1, 2011 @ 1:56 pm

    Thanks for the tips! I haven’t roasted a chicken in a long time, but I want to cook one for my man when I visit him! He’s going to be very happy :)


  42. #
    Mrs. Jen B — May 1, 2011 @ 1:59 pm

    Love a good roasted chicken. And frankly, if you buy a pre-cooked chicken (which, hey, comes through in a pinch just fine), you don’t get the amazing smell of roasting chicken throughout your house. Which is a crime. Because it smells so good! (and is so much more economical!)


  43. #
    Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen — May 1, 2011 @ 2:07 pm

    This looks delicious! I buy rotisserie chickens from the grocery store a lot, but I bet this is even tastier.

    By the way, my boyfriend is reading over my shoulder and started drooling at that cookie/ice cream concoction. Looks like I’ll be making it shortly after you share the recipe!


  44. #
    MJ — May 1, 2011 @ 2:27 pm

    Thanks so much for the play by play on this! I won’t lie roasting a chicken has always scared me a bit but after you explained it, I think I might just try it!


  45. #
    Ana Powell — May 1, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

    So perfect, next time try Piri-piri chicken ♥


  46. #
    Krista — May 1, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

    I simply love your website!! I stumpled across it a week ago, and I just had to read all of your entires!

    I love roasted chicken and cook it often, but I noticed you wash your chicken in the sink!! I used to do this with both chickens and turkeys untill a government health offical friend of mine told me all I was doing was spreading salmonella, and other bactiera all over my sink where I wash my dishes, and clean my vegies eww!

    I had simply never thougt of it that way before. As long as the poultry you are cooking reaches an internal temp of 180 degrees all of the potental germs and such are destroyed!

    If you do wash your chicken in the sink, give it a good scrub down with some anti-bacteral products to keep your self healthy!


  47. #
    Juli @ Sweet Little Chickadee — May 1, 2011 @ 3:26 pm

    I’ve been a reader for awhile, but I’m a first time poster!
    I love the roasted chickens from the grocery store for a quick dinner, but I just might have to try making one myself sometime very soon – your recipe looks delicious!!! Think my husband would love it! Thanks for the great descriptive pictures with the recipe – super helpful! :-)

    Do you have any tips on (good?) brands/places to get the whole chicken? I notice that the one you used is minimally processed.


  48. #
    Penny — May 1, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

    I never roasted a chicken before…but this last year I read a blog that said that you aren’t really a Mother until you can roast your own chicken! Seeing as I just had our first child I figured I had to learn quickly :)
    Jessica you are steps ahead of me! You already have at least one badge for motherhood…Chicken Roasting. It looks delicious and I agree, chicken skin. So good!


  49. #
    Molly — May 1, 2011 @ 3:45 pm

    I’ve been meaning to do this for so long! I may just pick up a roaster this week!


  50. #
    Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) — May 1, 2011 @ 4:10 pm

    Ive never roasted a chicken. Crazy but true. Thanks for being my own personal Ina G. Where’s Jeffrey? He loves roasted chicken! And so does Scott :)


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