Make the perfect roast chicken with juicy meat and crispy skin, using this easy step-by-step recipe. It is a comforting family favourite for a Sunday roast, or dinner or as a centrepiece for a birthday or any special occasion: Christmas, Easter or Thanksgiving.
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Why this recipe works
This Roast Chicken Recipe is a straightforward recipe that uses simple ingredients and is a crispy golden goodness that’s seasoned to perfection with herbs and spices. Perfect for a beginner or a seasoned cook, the result will always be the same: juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside, a recipe you will want to make over and over again.
Ingredients to make this Perfect Roast Chicken
Whole Chicken – Corn-fed, free range or organic would be ideal. The quality of the meat dramatically influences the taste of the overall dish.
Veggies – For this specific recipe, I have used a mix of red onions, carrots, zucchini, parsnips, eggplant, and red and yellow bell peppers.
Chicken Seasoning – I used a blend of crushed garlic, olive oil, mustard, white wine, lemon juice, rosemary, sweet smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
Gravy – This gravy was made with chicken stock thickened with a bit of flour on medium heat.
Vegetables – I never stress when it comes to changing the veggies surrounding the chicken, I always use whatever I have in my pantry: replace carrots for parsnips, add chunks of fennel or sweet potatoes, or include other root vegetables for variety.
Herbs: You can replace rosemary with thyme, oregano, sage, or a mix of your favourite herbs.
Garlic: If fresh garlic is not at hand, use garlic powder instead.
Olive oil: Use butter instead of olive oil, you can add some under the skin for a more tender chicken.
Roasting a chicken with the right seasonings can elevate its flavour to a whole new level. Rub the mix all over the chicken, both on and under the skin, but also in the cavity for an elevated flavour. Here are some classic and creative seasoning options for roast chicken:
Mediterranean Infusion: Mix olive oil, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, olives, garlic, and Italian herbs. Spread this mixture over the chicken before roasting for a Mediterranean twist.
Classic Herbs and Spice: A combination of olive oil, salt, black pepper, thyme, rosemary, sage, garlic powder or minced garlic, onion powder, and paprika (smoked or sweet).
Citrus and Soy Sauce Roast Chicken: Combine soy sauce, orange juice, grated ginger, and a hint of honey. Marinate the chicken in this mixture for a few hours before roasting it for a savoury and tangy dish.
Savory Blends: Mix olive oil or melted butter, salt, pepper, crushed garlic with one of these options:
- Herbes de Provence (a mix of thyme, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, and sometimes lavender)
- Poultry seasoning (a mix of sage, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, black pepper, and nutmeg)
- Italian seasoning (a blend of oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, sage, and marjoram)
Spice Rubs: Mix olive oil or melted butter with one of these pairings:
- Moroccan spice blend (cumin, coriander, cinnamon, paprika, ginger, cayenne)
- Indian spice blend (cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, chili powder)
- Cajun seasoning (paprika, cayenne, thyme, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder)
How to make this Simple Roast Chicken Dinner
Season the chicken: Mix all seasoning ingredients, including the juice from the roughly squeezed lemon, and rub inside of the chicken, outside the cavity and under the skin. Cut the lemon and a peeled red onion into quarters and put them inside the chicken. Cover the bird with cling film and let it marinade for a few hours in the refrigerator. After this stage, place it on the countertop and wait until it reaches room temperature.
Roasting the chicken: Preheat your oven, place the bird over a baking tray or roasting pan and cook it for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Adapt the roasting time to the weight of the chicken. The skin should be crispy and golden brown when cooked through.
Preparing the veggies: Now it is time to peel and cut all your vegetables. Adapt your veggie choices to your pantry. Baste the chicken halfway through cooking and place the veggies inside the oven to cook. The chicken is ready when crispy and golden brown. At this time remove it from the oven and leave it to rest for 15 minutes covered with tin foil.
Make the gravy: While the chicken is resting, you can begin to prepare the gravy. Transfer the juices from the roast chicken into a container and remove any excess fat. Combine the chicken stock and flour in a roasting pan and place over medium heat. Simmer for 2 minutes and stir continually using a balloon whisk. Gradually, add the remaining chicken stock and juices from the tray, season with salt and pepper and cook for 5-7 minutes until it reaches the wanted consistency.
Refrigeration: If you have leftovers from the roast chicken, place them in an airtight container or wrap them tightly with cling film. This process needs to be done within 2 hours of cooking. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Reheating: When reheating leftovers, use an oven, microwave or a skillet. They are great in various dishes like salads, sandwiches, wraps and stir-fries like rice, and noodles. Remove all the bones and you’re good to go.
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Perfect Roast Chicken Recipe
- Roasting Pan
- Basting Brush or a spoon: A basting brush is useful for applying marinades, sauces, or melted butter to the chicken during roasting. This helps keep the chicken moist and adds flavour.
- Carving Knife and Board
- 1,5 kg whole chicken corn fed, free range or organic would be ideal
- 2 red onions
- 2 carrots
- 2 zucchini
- 1 parsnip
- 1 red pepper
- 1 yellow pepper
- 1 eggplant
Seasoning ingredients :
- 5 garlic cloves crushed
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp rosemary
- 3 tbsp mustard
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 30 ml white wine
- 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 250 ml chicken stock made from 1/2 chicken stock cube dissolved in 250 ml hot water
- Start by washing the chicken and removing all the remaining feathers. Remove any excess water using paper towels.
- Mix all of the seasoning ingredients, including the juice from the lemon, and rub the chicken on the inside and outside the cavity and under the skin.
- Cut a lemon and a peeled red onion into quarters and put them inside the chicken. Place the bird in a roasting pan, cover it with cling film or aluminium foil and place it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to marinade. I usually leave it for about 3 hours.
- After this time, take the chicken out of the refrigerator and place it on the worktop until it reaches room temperature, for, around 30 minutes or so.
- In the meantime, preheat your oven to 200°C/ 400°F/ gas mark 6.
- Remove the cling film covering the chicken, place the roasting pan with the bird in the oven and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, peel and cut all your vegetables and season with salt and pepper.
- About halfway through cooking the chicken, remove it from the oven. Use a large spoon to baste the chicken with the juices collected in the pan. Repeat this process a couple of times to keep the meat moist and tender. At this point, add the prepared veggies to the tray for them to cook alongside the chicken.
- The chicken is ready when golden crispy brown. At this time remove it from the oven and leave it to rest for 15 minutes covered with tin foil.
- While the chicken is resting, prepare the gravy.
- Combine the chicken stock and flour in a pan and place over medium heat. Simmer for 2 minutes and stir using a balloon whisk. Season and combine with any remaining juices from the chicken.
- Serve and enjoy while freshly roasted!