A basic oven roast chicken should be in everyone’s repertoire, unless you are a vegetarian and never want to cook chicken of any kind, but that is a completely different discussion.
Roasting or baking a whole chicken in the oven is a simple as rinse, season, and roast. It’s that easy. If you want to start to get fancy, truss the chicken before roasting to plump up those breasts. It will taste better and look better.
For those who love a nice crispy skin, the key is to dry the skin as much as possible. When we have the forethought, we’ll salt the skin a few hours beforehand and then allow the chicken to air dry in the fridge for a few hours or even up to overnight. First rinse and pat dry the chicken. Next, salt it liberally with kosher salt to help dry out excess water from the skin. As it sits in the fridge, the moisture will come up to the surface allowing it to cook off in the oven.
Originally posted in January 2013, here’s an update with a new video.
Next, we like to give our chickens a nice rub of olive oil or butter, a final seasoning of fresh cracked black pepper, truss it, then roast in a hot oven (425-450°F). If you have a convection setting, all the better.
That’s it. Simple and easy roast whole chicken. Over the hour or so it is roasting, forget about it and get something else done in your life.
Here’s a video on How To Truss a Chicken before you bake it.
What to do with the leftover bones? Video: How to make Chicken Stock
An easy roast chicken makes dinner quick and effortless. It takes just a few minutes, then toss in the oven and forget about it until the timer goes off. For a crisper skin, salt and air dry the skin for a couple hours or up to overnight beforehand. For more information, please visit the write-up.
- 1 whole Chicken
- Olive Oil or melted Butter
- Kosher Salt
- fresh cracked Black Pepper
Preheat oven to 425°F. Pat dry the chicken. For the crispiest skin- see step 2 or for quickest preparation proceed to step 3.
- Sprinkle salt over all surfaces of chicken. Set on a plate, place in fridge and allow to air dry for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Remove from fridge and pat dry water that had come to skin surface.
- Oil or rub melted butter over chicken. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Truss chicken if desired. Place in a baking dish.
Roast for about 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 35 minutes or until juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh or the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F when probed with an instant read thermometer.
Remove from oven and allow to rest for about 10 minutes. Carve and serve.