Easy & Delicious Roast Chicken Recipe


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This easy & delicious roast chicken recipe is the best one pot meal. You’ll love this versatile and budget friendly roast chicken. It’s perfect for meal preps and you’ll get more than one meal out of only one chicken!

Whole, organic chickens are a relatively inexpensive source of protein.  One chicken feeds my family of 6 for up to 3 meals.  At $2.49 per pound, chicken is one of the more frugal organic meats, as long as you get the whole bird instead of only chicken breasts. That’s a pretty good use of $12.

golden roasted chicken and roasted vegetables on white platter with green side salad and yellow lemons on counter

Not only do you get on Roast Chicken out of this recipe, you’ll also have the fixins for planned leftover meals, like this Chicken Wrap, AND you can make homemade chicken broth too!

Do you know the difference between baked vs roasted chicken?  I used to be a little scared of baking or roasting chicken because I could never tell when it was done. It also used to be difficult to balance the moistness of the meat with crispiness of the skin. After lots of trial and error, I’ve got a foolproof way for you to make the perfect chicken.

Baked vs Roasted Chicken

To be honest, most home cooks I know use baked and roasted chicken interchangeably.  While both methods involve cooking chicken in the oven, they differ in technique, flavor, and texture.  It’s important to know, though, that not everyone agrees on these differences in techniques. I’m going to explain baked vs roasted chicken the best I can, but I also use both terms interchangeably most of the time. 

Temperatures of Baked vs Roasted Chicken

Traditionally, roasted chicken was cooked over an open flame at a higher temperature.  Baking was done at a lower temperature in a conventional oven.  Today, we don’t use open flames as much, so you can both roast and bake in your oven.  It is considered roasting if you use high heat of more than 425 degrees F and baking if it is 350-375 degrees.  If your oven has a bake setting or roast function, these temperature difference might show up there. You can always adjust the temperature manually. 

Both roasting and baking chicken involve mid-to-high temperatures and dry heat.  The hot air circulates around the dish from the top and bottom throughout the cooking process.

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gold crispy skin on roasted chicken with potatoes, carrots, salad and lemons

​Is there a Difference in Baking and Roasting Pans?

Chicken is usually baked in a dish or on a baking sheet.  Roasted chicken sits on a rack inside an open pan called a roaster.  However, in a traditional baked chicken recipe (like I’ve written below), the vegetables sit under the chicken, acting like a rack. 

​The Main Difference in Baked vs Roasted Chicken

Because both baking and roasting use dry-heat cooking methods, the main difference is actually the definitions of the words themselves.  Baking is usually defined as changing the consistency or structure of something.  It takes pieces of other ingredients and combines them in the baking process, such as in a quiche or casserole.  Roasting refers to cooking food that is already whole, such as a chicken, roasted potatoes, or roasted Brussel sprouts.

Tips for a Perfect Roast Chicken Recipe

Achieving the perfect balance of crispy, golden brown skin and flavorful, moist meat in a roasted chicken requires a few key steps. Here are my best tips for making the perfect whole chicken.

Start by thoroughly patting the chicken dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. This increases crispiness during roasting.

Next, generously season the chicken with a blend of herbs, spices, and salt. Put the spices everywhere so both the meat and the skin have flavor.

raw chicken prepared for roasting with lemons and garlic stuffed in the cavity

Stuffing the cavity with lemons, garlic, or fresh herbs increases moisture in meat without affecting the crispiness of the skin. It also gives more flavor to the meat.

Use additional butter on and under the skin for extra crispiness. Roast the chicken at a moderately high temperature, around 375-425°F (190-220°C), and baste it with pan juices to further enhance flavor and moisture.

For ultimate crispiness switch to a broil setting for the last few minutes of cook time. This will give a beautiful color and crisp to the skin while keeping the meat juicy.

chicken, thyme, olive oil, potatoes, carrots, thyme, salt, pepper ingredients for roasted chicken

Ingredients for Baked Chicken

  • Whole chicken: Use a good quality, whole chicken. I buy organic whole chicken from Costco.
  • Fresh thyme: This is one of the easiest garden herbs to grow at home, but you can also get it at your local grocer. Thyme has a delicate aroma and flavor.
  • Lemon: Adds freshness and moisture to the meat.
  • Garlic: Use a whole head of garlic cut in half to put in the cavity of the chicken. It will flavor the meat alongside the onion.
  • Butter: Makes that skin a perfect golden brown and crispy.
  • Yellow onion: Flavors the other roasted vegetables at the bottom of the pan.
  • Carrots: Roasted carrots are so good! Earthy and sweet at the same time.
  • Potatoes: One of the easiest vegetables to roast. Eat them roasted or turn the leftovers into mashed potatoes. I like using small or baby potatoes for this recipe.
  • Olive oil: Use a good quality olive oil for the vegetables.
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper

Recipe Tip

Chop your carrots and potatoes in large chunks of approximately the same size. You don’t want one to cook faster than the other.

How to Make Baked Chicken or Roasted Chicken

Preheating your oven to 425 degree F is the first step.  You want the oven at a high temperature to crisp the skin and form a seal to keep moisture in the meat.  

Next, remove any giblets from inside the chicken.  These are usually in a small bag in the cavity.  The giblets contain the heart, liver, kidneys, etc.  

Wash and clean your chicken thoroughly.  After washing, pat chicken dry with a paper towel. Take your time during this step to dry under the wings and all the places.  Starting with a dry skin will keep it crispier in the baking process. 

halved lemon and garlic to put inside the cavity of a roast chicken

Salt and pepper the chicken all over.  Cut the lemon and garlic in half and place it in the cavity of the chicken.  This keeps the moisture in and adds an aromatic flavor to the meat. 

herbed butter for roasting or baking chicken

Mix the fresh thyme with softened butter.  Now it’s time to massage your chicken.  Lift the skin gently above the chicken breast and insert half of the thyme/butter mixture.  Spread it out and around as much as possible.  

Baste the entire chicken with the remaining melted butter.  Again, take your time.  Get all in the wings or any other hard to reach places.  This is the secret to crispy skin, so don’t skimp on this. 

chunks of peeled carrots on wooden cutting board prepared for roasting

Prepare your vegetables and cut them in half or quarters.  Ensure all the pieces are approximately the same size so they cook evenly.  Place root vegetables on the bottom of your baking dish. Add olive oil, salt and pepper to the vegetables and mix well. These act as a rack for roasting and baking.  They will absorb all the drippings from the chicken and be oh-so-yummy. 

chicken prepared for roasting on bed of vegetables with legs tied together and stuffed with lemon and garlic

Place your chicken on top of the veggies.  Tie the legs together and tuck the wings under the bird to prevent burning. 

I use my purple Le Creuset Dutch oven for roasting chicken. It is my most favorite pot ever.

Bake at the higher temperature of 425 degrees F for 10 minutes.  Then, lower the temperature to 350 degrees and cook for 1 hour and 10 minutes.  Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the bird.  The chicken is cooked thoroughly at an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes before carving. 

golden roasted chicken on bed of roasted vegetables with green side salad in the background

Variations of Baked Chicken

There are so many ways to spice up roasted chicken – literally.  Classic chicken rubs use rosemary, thyme and garlic.  Try citrus-marinated chicken by adding zestiness of lemons and oranges.  If heat is more your style, use a chili rub in the butter massage.

 It’s also fun to play with more ethnic flavors such as Middle Eastern-inspired za’atar-roasted chicken or Asian soy-glazed roast chicken. Experiment with these flavors and pick your favorites.  My family thinks it’s a whole new meal when I switch up the flavors, but really, it’s the same old recipe. 

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Can I Freeze Baked and Roasted Chicken?

Absolutely!  Freezing baked chicken is one of my favorite ways to get more meals for my family.  Let the meat cool completely.  Then, portion it into freezer safe containers or bags.  Remove as much air as possible.  Date and label the container.  When you’re ready to eat it again, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.  Reheat to 165 degrees for food safety. 

What to Serve with Roasted Chicken

​If you make the perfect roast chicken, you’ll already have root vegetables in the same pan.  In addition, I like to serve chicken with pasta, green salads, or fruit salad. 

What to Make with Leftover Baked Chicken

Oftentimes, I pull the meat from the roasted chicken and stretch it a little further by using it in other dishes such as Chicken Florentine Pasta, Chicken Wraps, or Chicken Lo Mein. Roasted chicken is also delicious in Chicken Noodle Soup.

More Chicken Recipes You’ll Love

Yield: 4

Baked Chicken Recipe

golden roasted chicken and roasted vegetables on white platter with green side salad and yellow lemons on counter

Roasted chicken comes out perfectly every time with golden crispy skin and juicy, flavorful meat

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes


  • 3 lb whole chicken*
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 4 Tbsp butter (room temp)
  • ½ large yellow onion
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1.5 lb bag small potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper


    1. Preheat oven to 425 degree F. 
    2. Remove any giblets from chicken.  Pat chicken dry with paper towel. Take your time during this step as it will result in a crispy skin. 
    3. Salt and pepper the chicken.
    4. Cut lemon and garlic in half and place in the cavity of the chicken. 
    5. Add thyme to butter and mix to combine.
    6. Lift the skin above the breast and insert roughly half the thyme/butter mixture. Spread the mixture as much as possible under the skin. 
    7. Melt the remaining butter and baste the entire chicken.
    8. Chop potatoes in half (or quarters depending on size), carrots into ½ inch pieces and onion into chunks.*
    9. Place veggies on the bottom of a baking dish. Add olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Mix to combine. 
    10. Place chicken on top of veggies. 
    11. To ensure an even bake on the chicken, tie legs together with baking string and tuck the wings under the bird so they don’t burn. 
    12. Bake at 425 degree F for 10 mins. Then, lower the temp to 350 degree F and cook for 1 hour 10 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the bird reaches 165 degree F.*
    13. Allow chicken to rest for 15 minutes before carving. 


    Additional notes: Cooking time will vary based on the size of chicken. The potatoes and carrots should be cut into similar ½ inch pieces so they bake equally.

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    About Michelle Marine

    Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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    1. There is nothing like a good old fashioned roast chicken, and your recipes sounds delicious. I have a Le Creuset Dutch Oven as well, and I must admit it really does a beautiful job of chicken!