Easy Whole Roasted Chicken
This easy whole roasted chicken recipe is juicy and delicious. Perfect as meal prep through the week or as a beautiful holiday meal. The skin is perfectly crispy on the outside while the meat is tender and juicy on the inside. Made from a few simple ingredients, this whole roasted chicken is guaranteed to be a family favorite.
How to Spatchcock Chicken
When prepping the chicken, you will want to remove it from the bag and rinse it under cold water. Be sure to remove any giblets and pat the entire bird dry with a clean towel or paper towel.
Next, using poultry scissors, remove the spinal column. Simply cut from the tail to the neck on the ride side of the spine. Then repeat for the left side of the spine. Once both cuts have been made you should be able to easily remove the spinal column. Save the spine and use it to make homemade chicken broth.
Why Spatchcock Chicken?
Spatchcocking is a cooking method by which you remove the spinal column of the bird. This method allows the bird to lay flat, resulting in faster cooking times. It also allows the chicken to cook more evenly in the oven. Another reason to spatchcock a bird is to get easier access to the inside cavity. You can season the entire bird more easily, resulting in a more flavorful roasted chicken.
About this Whole Roasted Chicken Recipe
Once you’ve spatchcocked the bird, you’ll season the entire bird with salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Be sure to remove the stems from the thyme. Next, place the bird in a container that can be sealed. Drizzle the bird with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Cover and refrigerate for 24 -48 hours before baking. Should you decide to marinate the chicken for 48 hours, please be sure to flip the chicken over half-way through.
Let the chicken rest at room temperature for 1 hour before roasting. Place the marinated chicken breast side up on baking tray that’s been lined with parchment paper. Roast the chicken at 350 degrees for 1 hour 25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to occasionally baste the bird in the pan juices. If you’re roasting a larger bird, you will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly. Click here to see food safety and roasting guidelines from the FDA.
One of my favorite things about this whole roasted chicken recipe is the pan gravy. It is loaded with flavor and tastes amazing with the tender, juicy chicken meat. For a thicker gravy, simply add a small amount of slurry to the pan juices. Slurry is simply a combination of water and flour. It forms a thick paste that can be used for thickening sauce, gravy or soup. Just know that a little slurry goes a very long way. I’d suggest using 1/2 tablespoon AP flour mixed with 2 tablespoons water.
Be sure to let the chicken rest for at least 25-30 minutes before slicing. This resting period allows the moisture to lock into the meat and will keep the chicken extra juicy. This recipe serves four people. Please see below for the nutritional information.
Store any leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to four days. Reheat in the microwave until heated through. Looking for more whole roasted chicken recipes? Try my whole roasted harissa chicken for a spicy and smoky twist on dinner.
Easy Whole Roasted Chicken
- 4-5 lb. whole chicken
- ¼ cup olive oil, divided, 2 tablespoons for marinating and 2 tablespoons for baking
- 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt, massage the entire bird with salt, all sides.
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, massage the entire bird with pepper, all sides.
- 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme, remove stems
- ½ teaspoon paprika , dust the entire bird before roasting
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped small
- baking tray
- poultry scissors
- airtight container
- Remove the chicken from the bag, rinse it under cold water, remove any giblets and pat it dry.
- Next, you’ll spatchcock your chicken. See above for step by step instructions.
- Massage the bird with salt, pepper, and thyme. I used kosher salt, but table salt is fine too.
- Next, drizzle the entire bird with a light coating of olive oil. About 2 tablespoons.
- Place the chicken in a covered, airtight container and marinate it for 24-48 hours in the refrigerator. If you opt for 48 hours, be sure to turn the bird over halfway through the marinating process.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- While the oven is heating, allow the bird to sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour before cooking.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Place the bird breast side up on the tray. Drizzle the bird with any leftover juice in the container and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Make sure to massage the oil all over the bird. Front and back.Next, you'll dust the chicken with the paprika, making sure the breasts and legs are well coated.
- Once well coated, place the chicken in the oven, breast side up and bake it for 1 hour 25 minutes for a 4lb. chicken. Larger chickens may take longer.
- Be sure to occasionally baste the bird with pan juice.
- If the wings begin to get too dark and crispy, cover them with a small amount of foil. This will prevent them from browning too much.
- Remove from the oven, rest for 25-30 minutes before slicing.