Knowing How to Roast a Chicken is something everyone should know, and frankly I’d advocate that it be taught in school as part of the standard curriculum.   While so so simple, a roast chicken when done well, is truly a thing of beauty, with crispy deliciously browned skin, and moist tender meat.  And while chicken’s are not all that hard to roast, if don’t follow a few required basic steps, you’ll easily end up with either a dry, or worse, and undercooked bird.  Here is my simple cooking class, where we hit the basics for roasting that chicken - master these and you’ll be able to put 50 different spins on this classic recipe.

How to Roast a Chicken - A One Minute Cooking Class

  • First off, buy a good bird, from a reputable store.  if you want organic, free range, etc…go for it, I think the “normal” ones, turn out just as well
  • Remove the chicken from it’s packaging, I like to keep paper towels around to catch any liquid that slashes
  • Reach into the cavity and pull out the liver, heart, gizzard, etc….they can certainly be cooked and eaten, but that’s a different cooking class, and you don’t want to cook them in the chicken
  • I don’t “wash” the chicken in the sink, I don’t think it does anything necessary, and only serves to spread chicken juice all over your sink
  • Instead pat the chicken dry with paper towels, and allow it to sit out on cutting board, uncovered, and bring it up to room temperature
  • While that happens, heat your over to 425. That’s right, 425.  Cook the chicken at high heat to get the skin browned and crisp, and the meat cooked through before drying out
  • Before cooking, use some olive oil, and coat the outside of the chicken, then season liberally with salt and pepper
  • Use some butcher’s twine to tie up the legs and wings. Doing so makes the chicken more uniformly thick throughout, which will help ensure it cooks evenly
  • Put the chicken in an large oven proof frying pan, or baking dish, and move into the pre-heated oven
  • Now, leave it in there.  Don’t open the door, which lowers the oven temp for at least 45 minutes.
  • Depending on the size of the chicken, it should take about 50 - 1.5 hours to cook through.
  • A great investment is an instant read meat thermometer, which I use for all my roast chickens
  • Test the temp about about the 50 minute mark.  You want to get the temperature at the thickest part of the chicken (usually the thigh) to 160
  • If you’re below that, close the oven and check back about every 8 - 10 minutes
  • Once cooked, remove the chicken from the oven
  • It’s important to now let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes; if you cut it now, much of the nature juice you want in the meat, will run out into the cutting board.
  • Once rested, you can carve the chicken and serve it up.
  • Enjoy!
Total Time: 
120mins
Prep Time: 
30minutes
Cook Time: 
90minutes
Main Ingredient: 
Roast Chicken