Simple Whole Roasted Chicken

In this post we will be sharing our favorite recipe for making a simple whole roasted chicken at home. Each time we make this meal for company, our guests are so impressed with how beautiful and delicious it is.

Our Roast Chicken Inspirations

Many years ago Starla got a video tape from Andrew Zimmer called “Cook Like a Parisian” where he shares many traditional Parisian dishes. Among the many recipes was the classic French roasted chicken. Watching that chic woman effortlessly make this beautiful roast chicken in her little Parisian kitchen, without making a mess, was mesmerizing. 

One of our favorite cooks, Ina Garten, makes roast chicken for her husband Jeffrey, as it’s one of his favorites. It’s one of her staples for guests because it’s simply the essence of hominess. Wisely, Ina Garten suggests never serving guests a “new” recipe- stick with what you are good at, the tried and true recipes that never fail you.

Another one of our favorite’s, Nigella Lawson, always roasts two chickens at a time. She’s one of those greedy cooks that wants leftovers for a midnight snack. I love that.

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The Perfect Pans for Simple Whole Roasted Chicken

To make the best simple roasted chicken you really need to have a good pan. We generally like to use cast iron enamel pots and pans when we cook. It really seals well and holds the heat in, and it’s easy to clean. For this recipe we have used a Le Creuset cast iron enamel roasting pan. Le Creuset is very expensive, (we got ours second-hand on Ebay, click here) but Lodge sells a great cast iron enamel dutch oven that would work just as well. You can find Lodge brand cast iron enamel at your local Walmart store.
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Sourcing Your Chicken

This recipe for simple whole roasted chicken is for any budget. If you can afford a locally sourced, farm raised chicken, by all means use that! If you can only afford the $.98 a lb chicken from your local Aldi, it will be delicious as well! That is the beauty of this recipe. We have tried it both ways many times over the years, always with success. 

Tips and Tricks

It is best to have the chicken thawed to room temperature before roasting. Trying to roast a cold bird will make the bake time much longer. The chicken may need quite a lot of extra time, while the veggies may overcook because they’re done roasting before the chicken
If you are ever in a pinch and your chicken is not completely thawed or at room temperature, try spatchcocking (butterflying) the chicken down the breast. The cook time will be much quicker, and the flavor will be just as good. 
Rinse the chicken well and then pat it dry before preparation. If the chicken is wet, you will struggle to handle it, you will struggle to spread the butter onto the skin, and it won’t roast well.

Recipe for Simple Whole Roasted Chicken

1 medium (4-5 lbs) roasting chicken (thawed, dried, and at room temp)
5 or 6 carrots
2 onions
3 large potatoes (or 4-6 smaller ones)
1 stick of room temperature butter (plus extra if desired)
5-6 cloves of garlic
spice mix 
Spice mix:
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
First, cut your potatoes into 1-1.5 inch chunks, place them into the bottom of your roasting pan. Cut your carrots into thirds and then into sticks, then add those to the pan. Next, Cut 1 1/2 onions into thin half moons and add those to the pan. Add a tsp of the spice mix to the top of the veggies. Add the garlic cloves and the reserved 1/2 onion (roughly chopped) to the cavity of the chicken. Pour a tsp of the spice mix into the cavity as well. Next, place the chicken on top of the veggies in the pan, breast side up. Spread the softened butter over the top of the chicken, then sprinkle the remaining spice mix over the top. Extra butter can be added to the sides, over the veggies, if desired. 
Lastly, place the lid on the pan, and put it in the oven for 1.5 hours. At the end of the 1.5 hours, take off the lid and place the pan back in the oven for 10-20 minutes to make the skin crispy and golden.
When you take the chicken out of the oven, allow it to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serve and enjoy!
This recipe will serve about 6.
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Simple Whole Roast Chicken Recipe Variations

Sometimes it’s fun to mix up this recipe for simple whole roasted chicken! Why not try sweet potatoes instead of regular Yukon gold or russets? Sometimes we leave out the carrots and just indulge in potatoes. Throw a lemon into the cavity with the onion for a more Mediterranean twist. Try substituting cauliflower for potatoes for a more keto-friendly option. We have even tried it with butternut squash in the autumn and it was really nice!
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Uses for Leftover Chicken

No part of your simple whole roasted chicken needs to go to waste. If you have leftovers the next day, you have many options to make a fun new meal! You can make chicken salad for sandwiches, white chicken chili, chicken flautas or enchiladas, shredded chicken sandwiches, cut it up for a nice salad topper, or simply heat it up for another hot meal.
The bones can be saved for making your own bone broth. For a simple recipe to make your own homemade stock click here. If you don’t have time or space to make stock right away, bones can be put into the freezer for a later date. Don’t waste that goodness! Chicken stock can be used in so many ways, including sauces, soups, gravies and spaghetti bolognese. And it is so good for your health. 
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