Making a terrific roasted chicken at home couldn’t be easier, and it’s a universally friendly, delicious dish to have in your cooking repertoire. While I’m partial to my Rosemary Lemon Roasted Chicken recipe, which calls for individual pieces of chicken, I also love this easy whole roast chicken. With the vegetables and a small salad, it’s almost a one-pot meal and a wonderful selection for a family dinner.
I like to use smaller chickens and try to find organic ones around 3.5-4 lbs., but you can also use the larger roasters that are usually found in most grocery stores. Any vegetables will work in this dish…for this one, I used what I had, which turned out to just be onions and carrots. But I would ordinarily add celery, maybe fennel, and sometimes potatoes. You’ll also need a lemon and fresh thyme and rosemary.
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator at least thirty minutes before cooking. Meat should always come to room temperature before you start cooking.
Preheat the oven to 475°. The high temperature initially will help give your chicken a nice crispy skin. Choose your vegetables, wash and chop into large pieces, then scatter them around in the bottom of whatever pan you’re using. I suggest a shallow pan, even a 9×13 baking dish if that’s all you have. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt, pepper and a tablespoon of Herbes de Provence. Then drizzle with olive oil and toss with your hands. You’ll also want to halve a head of garlic and put it in with the vegetables—that’s not in the picture because I forgot.
Remove giblets from chicken and discard unless you are making gravy. Pat the chicken all over with paper towels to try and get it as dry as possible. Squeeze lemon into the cavity of the chicken and then place the lemon halves, thyme and rosemary inside the chicken. Tuck the wing tips under and tie the legs with kitchen twine. Then melt a couple of tablespoons unsalted butter and brush over the chicken, covering all the sides. Sprinkle salt, pepper and a tablespoon Herbes de Provence over the chicken, then drizzle with a little olive oil. The butter and olive oil will ensure a nice, crackly, crispy skin. If you don’t have Herbes de Provence then just use a mix of Italian herbs.
Place the chicken on top of the vegetables and put the dish in the oven. Turn heat down to 425° and roast for 20 minutes. Remove the dish and flip the chicken over so it’s breast-side down and roast another 20 minutes. Then flip it back over, baste, and roast until done, about 45-50 minutes. The leg should move freely and juices should run clear when you cut into the thigh.
Check the vegetables periodically and if they start to look dry you may need to add a little water. Generally the chicken produces enough juice that the vegetables won’t need any help.
Once done, remove the chicken and vegetables from the oven and let sit for about 15 minutes before carving.
- 1 3-4 lb. chicken
- 2 carrots, chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 1 onion, chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 2 stalks celery, chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons Herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning, divided
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lemon, halved
- 6 stalks fresh thyme
- 2 stalks fresh rosemary
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 1 head garlic, top sliced off
Remove chicken from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking and set aside.
Preheat oven to 475. Place carrots, onion, and celery in a shallow roasting pan and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of Herbes de Provence. Drizzle olive oil over vegetables then toss with hands.
Remove giblets from chicken and pat chicken dry with paper towels. Place chicken on top of vegetables.
Squeeze lemon into cavity of chicken and then place lemon, thyme, and rosemary inside chicken. Tuck wing tips under chicken and tie legs together with kitchen twine.
Brush chicken with melted butter. Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper and Herbes de Provence. Drizzle chicken with olive oil. Place garlic on top of vegetables next to chicken and drizzle garlic with olive oil.
Place dish in oven and turn oven down to 425. Roast for twenty minutes, then flip chicken to breast-side down and roast another twenty minutes.
Turn chicken back to breast-side up, baste with pan juices and roast for another 50 minutes. Baste occasionally with pan juices.
- Check for doneness and if done, remove chicken from oven and let rest for 15 minutes before carving. Leg should move freely and thigh juices should run clear. You can also use a thermometer to check--breast should be 180 and thigh 190.