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Whole Roasted Chicken is surprisingly easy to make. This recipe is nice and basic, while still being delicious. The meat comes out so flavorful and juicy. With just a few simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. If not, you’ll be able to find them easily at your local grocery store.
This recipe is based on a 4-pound chicken, it works no matter what size of chicken you use, just adjust the cooking time. At 350° you need to roast whole (thawed) chickens for 20 minutes per pound, plus an additional 15 minutes. I made this one with a 6.5lb chicken so the cooking time was longer, around 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Remove the giblets from inside the chicken cavity and dry off the skin using clean paper towels. Dry skin results in crispier baked skin. Season the chicken inside and outside with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Don’t be afraid to use generous amounts!
Most recipes say to cook a whole chicken breast side up, for a beautiful presentation. Cooking the chicken upside down actually protects the breast and keeps it from drying out. The fattier dark meat is basting the breast the entire time. Although the skin of the breast meat doesn’t brown as much, the skin on the back gets nice and crispy. It may not look as pretty as a chicken with the breast side up, but it will taste delicious. It’s your choice whether you cook this chicken breast side up or down.
It’s all about the butter! Stuff the seasoned cavity with 3 tablespoons of butter, celery, and garlic cloves. Slide some butter under the skin and then place slices of butter on top of the skin. Roast the chicken by itself on a roasting rack or surrounded by coarsely chopped vegetables. Bake according to the weight of the bird.
To be on the safe side, I like to take the temperature both at the thickest part of the breast and at the thickest part of the thigh. Once you’ve reached 165° F, the chicken is done. Cover the chicken with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes. This redistributes the juices and results in moister chicken.
Gravy – If you want to end up with gravy for this chicken, add about 1/2 cup of chicken broth or water to the roasting pan before placing it in the oven.
While your chicken is resting, pour the drippings into a measuring cup and skim the fat off the top using a spoon. Add the drippings to a saucepan.
Combine 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon cold water, add to the pan, whisk and cook until everything thickens. You can add more or less cornstarch depending on how thick you’d like the gravy. Simmer over medium-high heat, until thickened.
Juicy Roast Chicken
- 1 4 lb whole chicken, giblets removed
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder, or to taste
- ½ cup butter, divided
- 1 stalk celery, leaves removed
- 4 cloves garlic, whole
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Season chicken generously inside and out with salt and pepper and garlic powder. Place 3 tablespoons of butter in the chicken cavity. Cut the celery into 3 or 4 pieces. Place celery and garlic cloves in the chicken cavity. Arrange dollops of the remaining butter around the chicken's exterior and under the skin. Place chicken in a roasting pan.
- Bake uncovered for 1 hour and 35 minutes in the preheated oven, to a minimum internal temperature of 165°. Remove from heat, and baste with the drippings. Cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest 10-15 minutes before serving.