How to Roast a Chicken

Easy Roasted Chicken 2

In this post I want to show you how to roast a chicken — a perfectly moist and flavorful bird. This particular recipe is extremely easy. All you need are 4 ingredients.

Roasting a chicken can be tricky as you can end up with dry breast meat if you are not careful. The way I deal with that is by starting my roast with the bird breast side down for a while. This way the juices moisten that meat as it cooks. I then flip it and finish the roast. I have also been known to roast a chicken on it’s side. Both methods work beautifully.

As a general rule you will need about 20 minutes per pound to cook a chicken. This is assuming you are cooking it at about 350 degrees F (175 C). I have other recipes on this site where I start and finish the roast at a higher temperature. Naturally, those chickens cook faster.

The important thing is that the chicken be cooked all the way through — raw chicken can make you sick — and that the meat does not dry out.

One beautiful way to assure moist and flavorful meat is to dry brine it. This method is infallible and, I must admit, my absolute favorite way to cook chicken. However, it requires 24 hours and we don’t always have that extra time.

The following method is ultra simple but the result is perfect. You will end up with a bird with crisp skin and moist meat. We are going to roast the chicken on top of a rack that is on top of a bed of coarse salt. The chicken will be dried thoroughly and will have a halved lemon in the cavity. By placing the pan into a hot oven we are going to allow the moisture in the lemon to attract the evaporating salt on to the chicken skin. This salt will them proceed to penetrate the meat, perhaps not as diligently as a dry brine but pretty close.

You do not need to add salt to the chicken. The process will be enough — and it will not be salty. This is a great recipe for people who do not know how to roast a chicken. Super easy starter recipe. If you want other recipes for roasted chicken with herbs and spices please search in the search box on the top right of this webpage.

This is how to roast a chicken:

Serves six
1 whole chicken, about 3.5 pounds – thawed, no neck or giblets
Coarse salt – do not use plain table salt for this, it will not work
Black pepper
1 lemon – halved

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).

Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil – this is optional but will make your cleaning a lot easier. Cover the bottom of the pan with coarse salt.

Place a roasting rack on top of the salt.

Rinse the chicken and place it on a plate. You have to thoroughly dry the chicken – get under the wings and between the thighs. Dry both sides.

Place the chicken on the rack and continue dabbing if necessary. Place the halved lemon in the cavity and flip the chicken so it is breast side down. Add more black pepper to the chicken. Place the roasting pan into the oven and roast for 30 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the oven and flip it very carefully – do not burn yourself please.

Return the pan to the oven and finish cooking the chicken for about another hour. The general rule of thumb is 20 minutes per pound. There are two ways to know if the chicken is ready – carefully separate the leg and thigh from the body and if the juices are running clear (no blood) it is ready OR insert a meat thermometer in the thigh area, close to the bone and it should read between 165 to 170 degrees. Please DO NOT eat raw chicken.

Allow the chicken to rest for about 10 minutes and carve. This will let the juices settle. Carve and serve. Enjoy!

CALORIES 225.15; FAT 9.68 grs (sat 3.04; mono 4.26; poly 2.38); PROTEIN 33.82 grs ; FIBER 0.28 grs; CARBS 0.70 grs; CHOLESTEROL 132.26 mg; IRON 4.54 mg; SODIUM 364.93 mg; CALCIUM 50.18 mg

Print the Easiest Roast Chicken in the World Recipe Here

My name is Mary Ann Allen and I am here to help you get organized so you can save money on groceries and feed your family healthy, nutritious food. My multi-cultural cooking background comes from being born in the US and raised in Bolivia. I have 5 kids and own around 400 cook books. I absolutely love to cook!

2 Comments

  • February 17, 2014

    Rosa @HHR

    I also accidentally roasted my first whole bird (I think it was a turkey, though, not a chicken) breast-side down and I’ve also been doing it that way ever since.

  • February 19, 2014

    theFrugalChef

    Hi Rosa!
    I love it! I roast my turkeys this way as well. Thank you very much for stopping by!
    Mary Ann

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