Roasting a Whole Chicken

Recipe category

Simple roast chicken only needs a couple sides, like steamed vegetables and brown rice, to make a meal a special occasion. Here's a basic recipe to get you started.

roasted chicken
Preparation Time
  • 5 minutes
Cooking time
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
Number of servings
  • 8
Serving Size
  • 1/8 of chicken


  • whole roasting chicken, about 5 pounds


  • Difficulty: Medium 

    1. If chicken is frozen, thaw in the refrigerator 24-48 hours before cooking. Before putting the chicken in the refrigerator, place the chicken on a pan or plate while thawing, so juices do not drip on other foods.
    2. Wash hands with soap and water.
    3. Preheat oven to 375°F. 
    4. Removing chicken from packaging. Do not rinse raw poultry. Remove necks and giblets from both chicken cavities.
    5. In a roasting pan, that has 2” tall sides, place chicken breast side up. Wash hands with soap and water after handling raw chicken.
    6. Roast for 1 1/2 hours or until meat thermometer inserted into the chicken breast reaches an internal temperature of 165°F on food thermometer. The time will vary based on the size of the chicken and the oven. The drumstick meat will feel very soft when pressed between fingers. If chicken is browning too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil.
    7. Let the chicken sit for 15 minutes after removing from the oven before carving.
    8. Within two hours of taking the chicken out of the oven, remove any leftover meat from carcass and refrigerate. Save the bones to make stock.

    Flavor boosters:

    Before cooking, brush chicken skin with 2 tablespoons Italian dressing, or canola oil, vegetable oil or olive oil or melted butter.

    Before cooking sprinkle chicken skin with 1/2 teaspoon salt, garlic or onion powder.

    Wash and cut into quarters: 1 lemon, orange or small onion and put into the cavity of the chicken.

    Number of Servings 8, Serving Size 1/8 of chicken, Calories 160, Total Fat 4 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Trans Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 95 mg, Sodium 110 mg, Total Carbohydrates 0 g, Fiber 0 g, Total Sugars 0 g, Includes 0 g Added Sugars, Protein 29 g, Vitamin D 0mcg, Calcium 14 mg, Iron 1 mg, Potassium 344 mg


  • For a juicy, evenly cooked bird, prepare chicken by folding wings across back with tips touching. Tie or skewer drumsticks to tail.

    Use a V-shaped rack in the roasting pan. Put the chicken on the rack to cook.

    Use the leftover bones to make a broth.

    Use giblets to make gravy.