Easy Oven Roasted Chicken~whole chicken recipe
Easy Oven Roasted Chicken
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook Time: Approximately 80 mins.
Oven roasted chicken is one of those foods that screams comfort and simplicity, but for me it also means fancy. Don’t get me wrong, nothing about this dish is fancy or complicated, but it is still a very fancy dish in my mind! Growing up I was one of 7 kids and because of this, my Mom never made whole roasted chickens. With a family of 9, it was simply not a practical thing to make since it would take multiple birds, multiple pans, and she could make a dozen other chicken dishes that would fit us better. When I was 8, I took a huge interest in cooking and would beg my Mom to let me make breakfast or cookies with her, and she always let me. She used it as an easy way to teach me fractions, creativity, and an all around life skill. Somewhere around age 9-10, I began a tradition where my Mom and I would make Valentine’s dinner together for my entire 9 member family. She let me plan everything from the menu to the decorations, helped me compile a shopping list and guided me through the time management for each dish. I made cards for every member of the family, set out chocolate, place cards, a floating candle display, anything my little heart wanted, she made sure it happened. These dinners began the start of many special “Tia things” like breadsticks, rich brownies, and you guessed it, an oven roasted chicken. In my 9 year old mind, that was the very height of fanciness, the top dog of foods; I could do no better than that! To this day I reserve this dish for days that I want to be a little extra special, when I have a little extra family gathered around my table, and for when I’m feeling a little extra fancy.
All that to be said, its not a fancy dish. But its a super easy comfort food that will leave you with some great leftovers. So grab a few potatoes and a chicken or two and lets get to it!
1 3-4 lb Chicken
4-5 Medium sized potatoes
2 C Baby carrots
4-5 Celery stalks
1 Red onion
Onion powder(only add if you LOVE the taste of onion, which I do!)
1/2 Stick of butter
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and start chopping your veggies. I use a 3-4 lb. chicken for this recipe so I cut my veggies in 1” chunks and sliced my carrots in half. If you are using a bigger bird, cut them a bit larger to allow for a longer cooking time. Nothing is worse than mushy potatoes and carrots…nothing. Once everything is chopped, place in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil to coat them. I mix together a pinch of each of the seasonings and put in with the veggies and stir everything up to get them all covered. I promise you’ll just want to eat a plate full of them!
Next up is your chicken. Look at that beautifully wonky chicken. I love knowing where my food comes from and raising my own is even better! That chicken is the fruit of that labor, and heck I'm going to enjoy every bit of its lopsided self. No matter if you’re using a frozen bird or just one that has been refrigerated, its best to let it get to room temperature before cooking. This will allow it to cook more evenly, and don’t worry, nothing funky will happen to it while sitting out for 30 minutes! Baste with olive oil all over the bird, make sure to get in-between the wings and thighs. I use about 1/2 a teaspoon of all the seasonings for the chicken, but to be honest with you, I don’t really measure because its not necessary… just sprinkle away! I rub it into the skin a little bit but not really rough so you don’t break the skin. Cut a few tablespoons of butter into chunks and put inside the bird, this will help make sure it stays moist while cooking, as well as give it the heavenly taste of butter. The last step is to tie the legs of your chicken together with cooking twine.
“I don’t think this looks very good.”
At this point in the process don’t be surprised if your smaller kitchen helpers still don’t approve of supper…my nieces are good helpers, handing me potatoes or carrots, but it comes at the price o f them telling me EXACTLY what they think of every step!
This chicken can be cooked in a glass 9x13 baking pan, but tastes even better cooked in a cast iron skillet. Not everyone has one big enough to cook all of this in, but if you do, USE IT! Center the chicken in whatever pan you choose to use and put all the veggies around it. Take the last of the butter and cut into small chunks and place on top of the veggies. If you are using a chicken over 4 lbs, put the chicken in first to cook for awhile and then add in the veggies when there is only 45-60 minutes of cooking time left! The veggies will get too soft. Put in your 450 degree pre-heated oven for 12 mins.
Cooking your whole bird isn’t tricky but there is a science to it. By putting the bird into a high temperature oven for a short period of time, you are quickly searing the skin and locking in the juices. Once the chicken has cooked at 450 for 12 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and cook for an additional 20 minutes per pound of bird. If you are cooking a very large bird you may find that you want to cover the pan in tin foil for the last bit of baking time so your skin doesn’t get too brown, but thats completely up to your preference. I found a really handy chart online that I will put below for everyone who’s like me and doesn’t want to do the math!
CHICKEN ROAST TIMES:
3lb chicken: 12 mins. at 450 + 60 mins. at 350 = 72 mins. total
3.5lb chicken: 12 mins. at 450 + 70 mins. at 350 = 82 mins. total
4lb chicken: 12 mins. at 450 + 80 mins. at 350 = 92 mins. total
4.5lb chicken: 12 mins. at 450 + 90 mins. at 350 = 102 mins. total
5lb chicken: 12 mins. at 450 + 100 mins. at 350 = 112 mins. total
Cooking times can vary slightly so always double check using a meat thermometer. Inserted into the thigh without touching the bone, it should read 165 degrees. I will say that when cooking with the cast iron skillet, I do find I don’t need to cook my chicken as long. I cooked a 3.8 lb chicken for time allowed for a 3 lb bird in cast iron, but ALWAYS double check with a meat thermometer when you vary from the time!
Those faces are much better!
This is how you get 4 thumbs up and a sticker for supper! You’re welcome for the tip guys, it makes the time you spent making them food MUCH more tolerable.
Once its done cooking, make sure to let it rest in the pan for 10 minutes, and then rest another 10 mins on a cutting board, this will make sure all those yummy juices stay inside the meat and not just run out on the plate. Enjoy with some fresh bread and dig in! This chicken is seriously so moist and flavorful every time with yummy crispy skin.
Leftovers? No problem.
Make sure to remove all the chicken off the bone to shred for future meals! Use it for tacos or for an awesome quick salad with fresh greens! You can use the bones to make a delicious broth or stock as well. Chicken this good should be used entirely, down to the very last piece.