With its crispy skin and juicy, succulent meat, roast chicken is one of the tastiest, most satisfying main dishes you can make. If you've never roasted a chicken before, our recipe is a great starting place. Even if you're a seasoned cook, the simple technique and delicious flavors in this recipe will dazzle you. There's no need for tedious basting, as opening the oven every so often will only slow down the cooking process.
Included are instructions for making a quick gravy with the pan drippings. By adding a couple of ingredients to the roasting pan and heating it on the stove, you won't even end up with many dirty dishes. Serve the gravy on the side for drizzling.
- For the Chicken:
- 1 small onion
- 1 medium carrot (peeled)
- 1 celery stalk (trimmed)
- 1 whole chicken (4 to 5 pounds)
- 4 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
- Kosher salt (to taste)
- Black pepper (freshly ground, to taste)
- Optional: Fresh herbs (oregano, sage, marjoram, dill, parsley)
- Optional: 4 to 6 lemons wedges
- Optional: 4 to 6 orange wedges
- Optional: 2 cloves garlic (peeled, whole)
- For the Gravy:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 2 cups chicken stock
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
Make the Chicken
Gather the ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
Roughly chop the onion, carrot, and celery. Set aside.
Remove the neck and giblets from the bird's cavity and thoroughly pat the bird dry inside and out with paper towels.
Smear the outside and inside of the chicken with the butter. Season, inside and out, with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Stuff the cavity with fresh herbs and citrus wedges, if using.
Truss the chicken securely with cooking twine. This step is optional, but it will help your roasted chicken cook more evenly.
Scatter the chopped vegetables at the bottom of a roasting pan. Add the garlic cloves, if using.
Place the chicken breast-side-up onto a roasting rack and on top of the roasting pan with the vegetables.
Place the chicken in the oven. After the chicken has roasted for an hour and 15 minutes, check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, away from fat or bone. The thermometer should read at least 165 F. If not yet at temperature, continue roasting for 15 more minutes and check again.
When the chicken is done, remove the roasting pan from the oven. Transfer the bird to a clean cutting board and let it rest for 20 minutes, uncovered.
Make the Gravy
Place the roasting pan with the roasted vegetables on the stovetop. Add a tablespoon of butter and heat over medium heat until the butter melts.
Add a tablespoon of flour and stir to form a paste.
Pour the chicken stock or broth into the pan and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat until reduced and thickened.
Strain the gravy through a fine-mesh strainer and season it to taste with salt and pepper.
Once the gravy is finished and the chicken has rested, you can now carve the bird and serve with the homemade gravy. Discard the stuffing herbs and citrus wedges if used during the roasting process.
Think of chicken as a blank canvas. Here are a few ideas to flavor your roast chicken:
- Stuff the bird with fresh herbs or other aromatic items. Thyme, rosemary, sage, and marjoram are great choices, but any fresh herbs will do.
- Chop some fennel fronds and place them in the cavity.
- Push lumps of butter under the skin of the chicken before roasting it for an even juicier result.
- Instead of chopped vegetables, lay a few slices of bread at the bottom of the roasting pan. As the chicken roasts, the drippings will soak into the bread and the bread itself will turn toasty and delicious.