Best Whole Chicken Recipe

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Best Whole Chicken Recipe

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Best Whole Chicken Recipe

Embark on a culinary journey with the ultimate whole chicken recipe, a timeless classic that transforms a simple bird into a masterpiece of flavors. Roasting a whole chicken is an art and a science, yielding crispy skin and juicy, tender meat. This recipe, perfected over time, marries simplicity with elegance, ensuring a delicious centerpiece for any meal. Here’s how to create the best whole chicken that will have everyone at the table asking for seconds.


  • 1 whole chicken (about 4 to 5 pounds), giblets removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth


Preparing the Chicken:

  1. Preheat Oven: Start by preheating your oven to 425°F (220°C). This high temperature is key for achieving crispy skin.
  2. Prepare Chicken: Rinse the chicken under cold running water, inside and out. Pat it dry with paper towels. The drier the skin, the crispier it will be after roasting.
  3. Season Generously: Rub the entire chicken with olive oil. Season the chicken liberally inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with lemon halves, smashed garlic cloves, and about half of the thyme.

Roasting the Chicken:

  1. Vegetable Bed: In a roasting pan, create a bed with the onions, carrots, and celery. This will not only prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan but also flavor the broth.
  2. Position the Chicken: Place the chicken on top of the vegetables. Tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken to prevent them from burning.
  3. Add Broth: Pour chicken broth into the bottom of the pan. This will keep the oven moist and make the chicken juicier.
  4. Roast: Roast the chicken in the preheated oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C).

Resting the Chicken:

  1. Rest Before Carving: Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring it stays moist.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Carve and Serve: Carve the chicken and serve it with the roasted vegetables. The lemon and garlic inside the cavity can be squeezed over the carved chicken for extra flavor.
  • Make a Gravy: Use the pan drippings to make a delicious gravy. Strain the drippings, skim off the excess fat, and cook in a saucepan with a bit of flour until thickened.

Tips for the Perfect Whole Chicken:

  • Let the Chicken Stand: Bring the chicken to room temperature before roasting to ensure it cooks evenly.
  • Check the Temperature: Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken.
  • Herb Variations: Feel free to experiment with different herbs like rosemary or sage for a twist on flavor.


This best whole chicken recipe is a testament to the beauty of simple ingredients coming together to create a feast for the senses. Perfect for a Sunday dinner or a special occasion, this dish is sure to impress. The key to perfection lies in the preparation and patience — the results are well worth the wait.