Tender and juicy oven roasted chicken made with a whole chicken, slathered and basted in savory herb and garlic infused butter, and roasted to a golden brown perfection!
Roasted chicken is such an easy and bountiful entrée to prepare for dinner. A whole chicken can be purchased for well under $10, and can feed a large family!
Table of contents
- Is it hard to cook a whole chicken?
- What is the difference between roasting and baking a chicken?
- Let's talk about preparing the Tender and Juicy Oven Roasted Chicken:
- Pro tip: Brine the chicken overnight
- How to prepare the whole chicken:
- Basting the Oven Roasted Chicken is a MUST!
- Ideas to use leftover chicken:
- Can I freeze leftover cooked chicken?
Considering we have "said" large family, it's a no-brainer that I have perfected my roasting of a whole chicken!
Is it hard to cook a whole chicken?
With this recipe and the method I show you, it is basically foolproof. All you need is a little time on your hands, some good seasoning, and the key to the juiciness- BUTTER!
Roasting a whole chicken can be pretty intimidating, much like the turkey during Thanksgiving! Maybe it's the fear of overcooking it, the fear of under-cooking it, or maybe it just not tasting good!
What is the difference between roasting and baking a chicken?
One of the main differences between roasting and baking is the temperature the oven is set at. Although both methods take place in a hot, dry, heated oven. Roasting requires a higher heat setting, which helps achieve a crisp golden brown exterior.
Basting the chicken:
Basting is a method used to help lock in the moisture when roasting at a high heat. This is why you will see quite a bit of butter used in this and many other roasting recipes.
Once the butter is added to chicken, it melts and creates a pool of deliciousness around the chicken. A basting tool is essential for ensuring the outer skin stays moist
Let's talk about preparing the Tender and Juicy Oven Roasted Chicken:
First-thing-first, be ready to put on some gloves and get down n’ dirty! Seriously though, wear gloves when handling raw poultry. Then open up that chicken, and give em’ a good cleaning.
Some, well almost all, whole chickens come with stuff on the inside. By stuff I mean hearts and gizzards, and well- guts! Sounds super nasty, but it’s not that bad I promise. A lot of chicken companies place the hearts and gizzards in little packages now and just stuff them inside the chicken.
Pro tip: Brine the chicken overnight
This one step makes a HUGE difference! If you do not have time to brine it overnight, at least brine it for 2-3 hours. When you're ready to season, rinse the chicken very well to help get rid of the saltiness.
How to prepare the whole chicken:
If your oven has a roasting setting- put it on that at 375°; if not, just your oven to 375°, and the last 30 minutes you’ll turn it up to 400°.
Once you dig in and clean out the cavity of that chicken REALLY well, it iis time for the fun part. We shall make that chicken delicious now! Separate the skin as much as you can from the actual chicken. Do not remove it, just place your fingers under the skin to form sort of "pockets."
Now season away! Use your seasoning liberally, because depending on the size of the chicken, it can handle a lot of seasoning! Add seasoning under that skin that you just separated as well. Next, add the pads of butter (about ½ tablespoon each) under the skin of the chicken, in as many places as possible.
After you seasoned away, including inside the cavity, add your lemon halves into it. Place your veggies into your pre-greased baking dish. Veggies serve as a sort of "roasting tray" by lifting the chicken off of the dish a bit. Cover the chicken with foil, not closing it tightly- just a sort of tent. Place it in the preheated oven for one hour.
Basting the Oven Roasted Chicken is a MUST!
Take the chicken out of the oven after the first 30 minutes and baste it with the juices surrounding it. Baste it really good, getting between each crevice and wing!
Put the chicken back in the oven for the additional 30 minutes. Once that 3o minutes pass, repeat the basting process.
Now remove the foil from the chicken and place it back in the oven to roast away for another hour. Remove the chicken every 30 minutes to baste it using the juices from the chicken and the butter.
This basting step is important to help lock-in the juices of the chicken. Once the full two hours have lapsed, remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to rest for 15 minutes
Ideas to use leftover chicken:
One of the beauties of roasting your own whole chicken is the volume of meat that comes from it. There are limitless options for using the chicken, which is a great thing!
- Chicken enchiladas are an amazing use of leftover chicken.
- Creamy chicken salad: make sandwiches with it, eat it with crackers, or all by itself.
- Soup: this low-carb chicken potpie soup is delicious.
- Make some chicken alfredo
- These Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas are always a hit.
- Homemade Chicken Chalupas are out of this world!
- Sandwiches- simply use the leftover chicken meat for sandwiches.
Can I freeze leftover cooked chicken?
Another great thing about making a whole roasted chicken is that you can freeze any leftover meat. Anytime I roast a whole chicken, or even our Thanksgiving turkey, I save the bones and any leftover meat.
Add the bones and meat to a freezer bag, and store it in the freezer for up to six weeks. Pull it out when you're ready to use it, and let it thaw. Once it is thawed out, you can use it in almost any recipe that calls for chicken.
- 1 whole Chicken, 2-3 pounds
- 1 stick Butter, unsalted
- 2 cups Baby carrots
- 2 stalks Celery, chopped into large pieces
- ½ med Onion, chopped into large piece
- 1 whole Lemon, cut in half
- 2 tablespoons Seasoning salt
- ½ tablespoon Paprika
- ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning
- ½ tablespoon Garlic powder
- ½ tablespoon Onion powder
- Preheat the oven to the roasting setting if it's available at 375 degrees. Cut the stick of butter into about ½ tablespoon pieces.
- Combine all of the seasonings into one medium size bowl, and stir them so that they are evenly mixed together. Spray a 9x13" baking with non-stick cooking spray.
- Clean the chicken very well by rinsing it with cold water and removing anything out of the cavity. Loosen up the skin by placing your finger between the skin and the meat of the chicken.
- Place all of the vegetables in the bottom of the baking dish to help lift the chicken off the bottom of the pan.
- Sprinkle the season liberally underneath the skin of the chicken, on top of the skin, and even in the cavity of the chicken until it is fully covered with the seasonings.
- Place the pads of butter underneath the skin of the chicken in as many places as possible, near the breast, the wings, and the legs. Save at least 2 tablespoons of butter to place directly on top of the chicken.
- Put the lemon halves directly into the cavity of the chicken.
- Tent foil over the dish and place it in the oven. Roast the chicken for 30 minutes, remove it from the oven and baste it with the juices around the pan.
- Place the chicken back in the oven for another 30 minutes, remove it and repeat the basting process. Remove the foil and place the chicken back in the oven.
- Roast the chicken for one additional hour without the foil on it. Be sure to remove it every 30 minutes to baste it with the juices.
- After the two hours, remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting it.
If the roasting setting isn't available, set oven to 375 degrees for the first hour and a half, then up the setting to 400 degrees for the last 30 minutes.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 310Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 1805mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 22g
This website provides approximate nutrition information as a courtesy and for convenience only.