Over the weekend, I did something I do a lot – I roasted a whole chicken so we’d have lots of leftovers for the week. Sounds like a lot of work, right? Wrong.
Roasting a whole chicken is one of those things that sounds really difficult, but actually isn’t…and it’s well worth the little bit of prep time it takes! It occurred to me that a lot people probably don’t know how to roast a chicken, so I thought I’d share my recipe. Enjoy!
Easy Roast Chicken
- One whole roasting chicken (mine was about 6 pounds)
- 4 Tbsp of butter
- 1 Lemon
- 1 small onion (or half of a large one, like I did)
- Olive oil (admittedly, I didn’t measure this, but it’s less than 1/4 cup)
- Fresh Rosemary
- Fresh Thyme
- Salt & Pepper
- Italian Seasoning
- Twine (for tying the legs together – if you don’t have any, not a big deal)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a roasting pan with nonstick cooking spray. (Confession – I usually just use a foil roasting pan. It helps with the cleanup, and it fits inside my oven a bit better).
- Chop the onion into large chunks; set aside.
- Start prepping your rub. Set aside 3-4 sprigs each of rosemary and thyme (these will go inside the bird). Finely chop up a big handful of each to go in the rub.
- In a large bowl, melt the butter until just melted (in the microwave). Add salt, pepper, and italian seasoning – probably about 1 tsp of each – I usually just eyeball it. Add the chopped rosemary and thyme.
- Cut your lemon in half and squeeze the juice of one half of it into the butter-herb mixture. Make sure to put your hand underneath the half you’re squeezing to catch the seeds. Set aside both lemon halves.
- Add olive oil to the mixture as needed. It should be pourable but not runny – you’re going to rub it all over the chicken and you want it to stay put!
- Wash the chicken really well under cool water. Make sure you pull the giblets out of the inside of the bird – usually the neck, liver, and heart are in there. You can cook these and use them for gravy, but you don’t need to.
- Pat the bird dry, then put it into the bowl with the butter-herb mixture. Rub the mixture all over the bird, including the inside. Make sure to separate the skin from the breast and stuff some of the mixture in there too – it does a great job at flavoring the breast of the chicken, which can be dry if you’re not careful.
- Set the bird in the roasting pan. Stuff both lemon halves, the onion chunks, and the sprigs of rosemary and thyme inside. If you have twine in the house, tie the legs together to keep everything in. If you don’t, not a big deal. Sprinkle paprika all over.
- Bake for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, depending on the size of the bird. I try to baste it every 45 minutes or so, but I’ve completely forgotten before and it’s been fine. At 375 degrees, my 6 pound bird took about 2 1/2 hours.
- The bird’s done when the internal temperature hits 165 degrees…but I’m lazy and usually go by the handy button grocery stores add to a roasting chicken. It’s yet to steer me wrong.
- When the chicken’s done, let it rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes before carving.