The Best Ever Roast Chicken Recipe

The Best Ever Roast Chicken Recipe

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This recipe proves that sometimes the simplest recipes are the most delicious

This simple roast chicken recipe is delicious every time.

There’s nothing basic about this simple roast chicken recipe. It makes an amazingly crispy and flavorful chicken every time. Start by rubbing butter all over the outside of the chicken. Reach under the chicken’s skin (at the breast) and rub butter under the skin as far as you can reach without tearing the skin.

(Credit: Shutterstock)

Take sprigs of your favorite herbs (like thyme, parsley, rosemary, etc.) and bundle them together (tie them with kitchen twine if you have it). Then, put the bundle of herbs inside the chicken and season the outside of the chicken all over with kosher salt.

(Credit: Shutterstock)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, letting the chicken sit at room temperature while the oven preheats. Roast the chicken until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 170 degrees.


When the chicken is done roasting, let it sit for 5 minutes before you carve and serve it; this will help ensure that the meat is juicy.

(Credit: Shutterstock)

Click here for the full recipe.

Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.

How to Roast a Chicken So It's Juicy, Crisp, and Tender

Epicurious's best roast chicken recipe is also our most popular. Which is not surprising given the key words involved: "Thomas Keller" (people like Thomas Keller!) and "roast chicken" (literally everybody likes roast chicken!).

How to Live Your Best Roast-Chicken Life

Just how popular, though? The recipe's ranked four out of four forks by over 700 Epi readers who have made it at home—and 94 percent say theyɽ make it again. Pretty much everyone who wants to know how to roast a chicken was overjoyed with this method. The last person to add a review, in late January, offered a typical rave: "This is the BEST and SIMPLEST ROASTED CHICKEN RECIPE EVER!"

Well, then. What makes this bird so good? What, indeed, makes a roast chicken the best? Iɽ say it's a combination of crisp skin and moist, tender meat. (There's also the matter of where the chicken comes from—but that's in your hands.) Let's break down everything Keller tells us to do to get perfect roast chicken every time.

How to make the BEST roast chicken!

The best roast chicken has garlic herb butter under and on the skin, is stuffed with lemon and herbs, roasted until it’s crispy and deep golden on the outside, and juicy on the inside.

It’s really easy to prepare a whole chicken for roasting. The trick is to use an upside down dessert spoon to loosen the skin – the shape hugs the curves of the chicken and it doesn’t tear the skin.

Then simply spoon the garlic-herb-butter under the skin then spread it from the outside. OR hold it upright and drizzle in (see photos below) – whatever you find easier!

TIP: Use most of the butter under the skin, that’s where you get the most bang for your buck. Plus, garlic burns on the skin so you don’t want too much on the surface.

After the chicken is all buttered up, place it on a bed of garlic and onion. This serves two purposes:

Elevates the chicken off the base of the pan for more even cooking (otherwise the underside sits in the pan juices and will cook faster) and

Adds extra flavour into the pan juices used as the sauce for this recipe. OR used for gravy!

Recipe Summary

  • 1 large orange, juiced
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons dried Greek oregano
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 12 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 whole chicken

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Whisk orange juice, Dijon mustard, olive oil, Greek oregano, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Add potatoes and coat thoroughly with the mixture. Transfer potatoes to a large baking dish.

Stuff garlic cloves into the chicken underneath the skin. Place the chicken into the bowl with the remaining orange juice mixture coat thoroughly and transfer to the baking dish on top of the potatoes. Pour any remaining orange juice mixture over the chicken and potatoes.

Bake uncovered in the preheated oven until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, 60 to 90 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone, should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Check every 30 minutes while roasting and add a bit of hot water if the potatoes seem too dry.

Remove chicken from the oven, cover with a doubled sheet of aluminum foil, and allow to rest in a warm area for 10 minutes before slicing.

The Kitchen's Best-Ever Chicken Recipes

Fried, roasted, seared and grilled — there's no shortage of ways to prepare the humble chicken.

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Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 red potatoes, cut into large cubes
  • 1 (16 ounce) package carrots, cut diagonally into bite-size pieces
  • 1 stalk celery, cut diagonally into bite-size pieces
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced - divided
  • 1 (4.5 pound) whole chicken
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • garlic powder, or to taste
  • ½ cup cubed margarine, divided
  • 1 large lemon, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into 3 pieces
  • 1 ⅔ tablespoons minced garlic

Preheat oven to 385 degrees F (196 degrees C).

Pour olive oil into a large bowl toss potatoes, carrots, bite-size pieces of celery, and 3/4 of the sliced onion in the oil to coat. Set remaining onion aside. Transfer oiled vegetables to a large cast iron skillet.

Rinse chicken and pat thoroughly dry with paper towels. Generously season the chicken, inside and out, with salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Place the remaining 1/4 of the sliced onion, 1/4 cup margarine, lemon slices, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, and large pieces of celery into the cavity of the chicken.

Place the chicken atop the oiled vegetables scatter remaining 1/4 cup of margarine pieces and 1 2/3 tablespoon minced garlic in small amounts around the vegetables.

Roast chicken and vegetables in the preheated oven until the skin is browned and crisp, the vegetables are tender, and an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh reads 165 degrees F (75 degrees C), about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Let chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving with vegetables.

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Recipe Summary

  • 1 (3 pound) whole chicken, giblets removed
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder, or to taste
  • ½ cup margarine, divided
  • 1 stalk celery, leaves removed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Place chicken in a roasting pan, and season generously inside and out with salt and pepper. Sprinkle inside and out with onion powder. Place 3 tablespoons margarine in the chicken cavity. Arrange dollops of the remaining margarine around the chicken's exterior. Cut the celery into 3 or 4 pieces, and place in the chicken cavity.

Bake uncovered 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven, to a minimum internal temperature of 180 degrees F (82 degrees C). Remove from heat, and baste with melted margarine and drippings. Cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest about 30 minutes before serving.

Read our picks for the best kitchen tools to make cooking your favorite recipes that much easier.

The Best Roast Chicken Ever?

Is the pinnacle of poultry cookery a whole roasted chicken? If the statement is true, I&aposve found a revelation in roasting the humble bird. well for now anyway. With no shortage of ways to cook chicken, the simple roasted version has always been my favorite and yet the most difficult to get consistent results. In fact, for years, I&aposve continued to alter my preparations, methods, and seasonings in hopes of creating my version of pure culinary bliss.

Finally, I discovered a way to get my ideal results consistently. The secret: Give your bird a coating of chicken base before roasting. Yes, that chicken base. The kind that comes in jars and is used in soups, stews, and broths.

My new recipe was inspired by a story our Test Kitchen director, Robby Melvin, told about a chicken he tasted made by a former colleague of his who simply heavily coated a chicken with a seemingly obsessive amount of chicken base and roasted it. The result was said to be a bird with juicy, succulent meat and robust flavor he described as "chickeny." I was intrigued by the idea and happened to be testing a host of chicken bouillons, broths, and bases, and had plenty of chicken base to play with. I purchased a chicken, gingerly painted the bird with Better-Than-Bouillon chicken base, placed it on a pan, and roasted it at 375 degrees for about an hour, basting about every 20 minutes. The result was exactly as Robby described: succulent and "chickeny" with one of the most golden roasted colors I had ever seen (almost cartoonish), but I wasn&apost sure about it being superior to the roast chickens I usually make.

I offered the bird up to my fellow Test Kitchen mates, and they agreed with my assessment that it was okay but not necessarily an improvement. However, after about 10 minutes of standing around "sampling," we left a carcass picked bare. This was obviously no ordinary-tasting chicken. Realizing that there was something valuable in using chicken base in the roasting process, I highlighted my ideal characteristics of a roast chicken (a golden bird with crisp skin that eventually softens from the tender and moist meat found below with enough pan jus left behind that one can drag a few roasted potatoes through it or serve on the side to be spooned over the meat) and set out to make a better roast chicken.

I landed on a recipe that I feel is truly Better-Than-Chicken Chicken. This method creates a roast chicken that represents itself honestly and actually tastes like chicken. The color is always photo worthy and accompanied by a rich, savory chicken flavor, enhanced by an umami sensation that I can only describe as divine. If you aren&apost intrigued by now, I suggest you go pick a chicken and some chicken base, follow the simple recipe, and tell me it&aposs not one of the tastiest chickens you&aposve ever had.

Better-Than-Chicken Chicken

1 (4-lb.) whole chicken 2 Tbsp. jarred chicken soup base Kitchen string (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°. If applicable, remove giblets from chicken and reserve for another use. Rinse chicken, and pat dry with paper towel. Brush soup base over entire chicken. Tie legs with kitchen string, and tuck wingtips under, if desired. Lightly grease a wire rack with cooking spray. Place rack in an aluminum foil-lined jelly-roll pan. Place chicken, breast side up, on rack. Bake 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in thigh registers 165°, shielding with foil to prevent excessive browning, if necessary. Remove from oven, and let stand 10 minutes before carving.

How to Roast a Chicken

Even though you can find plenty of pre-roasted chickens for sale at just about any grocery store, making it from scratch is much tastier! Here’s how to do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a small roasting pan or baking dish, toss carrots, celery, and onion with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper and place into the bottom of the pan.
  3. Pat entire chicken dry with paper towels, add garlic bulb into the cavity of the bird and tie legs together with kitchen twine (or use a small rubber band). Brush with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Place overtop veggies and roast 60-90 minutes or until golden brown and registers at 165 degrees in the thigh.
  5. Remove from oven, cover with foil and rest roasted chicken for 20 minutes. Carve the entire bird and serve.