Follow our easy, step-by-step, photo illustrated recipe for making this deliciously simple Roast Chicken. Preparation is quick, and you can sit back and relax as it roasts in the oven. Your family will love this, and love you for making it for them. Printable recipe included.
Easy Roast Chicken Recipe
I love pretty much any recipe that includes chicken. How about you?
This Roast Chicken is super easy to make, and if you monitor the temperature as it’s roasting, it will turn out very moist and tender for you. You can thank me later. Smile.
Mama most often just fried chicken for us. Sometimes, she would place a little barbecue sauce on some chicken pieces and roast it up in the oven. I liked that too, but her fried chicken was always best.
I’ve written many times about Mama cooking Sunday dinner for about 12-15 family and friends each week. She’d get started before church, then finish once she got back home.
I have vivid memories of sitting around that large oval dining room table, filled with bowls of beans, potatoes and greens, and a large platter of fried chicken. And, let’s not forget those Buttermilk Biscuits.
Roasted chicken, or baked chicken as it’s sometimes called, just wasn’t one of those dishes she would prepare very often, for whatever the reason, but it was always mighty tasty when she did.
So, is it roasted, or is it baked? I had to look it up to see what the difference might be.
It seems that any food that has “solid structure,” like any type of meat or vegetable, is roasted. Other things that do not have that “solid structure” starting out, but will once cooked, are considered to be baked. This would include things like cakes, bread and casseroles. Who knew?
This then, is roasted chicken. Easy roasted chicken.
In order to keep it simple, I didn’t include roasting the chicken with vegetables in the printed recipe. It wouldn’t have added much more to it, but you can certainly just roast the chicken by itself if that’s all you need. You might prefer some other type of side dishes with your chicken instead.
As it would happen, I had a few vegetables on hand that I decided to toss into the roasting pan while the chicken was in the oven. It makes for a quick and easy meal, so do consider it at least.
Once the chicken is done, you could easily use the pan drippings to make gravy, but again, I didn’t include that in the recipe itself.
You’ll need a chicken that weighs about 3-4 pounds. The one that I found turned out to weigh in at a little over 6 pounds, but that just meant leftovers, and leftovers mean chicken sandwiches. How good is that?
So, if you’re ready for a really quick and easy chicken dish, one that you can place in the oven then sit back and relax while it’s roasting, then let’s head for the kitchen and… Let’s Get Cooking!
Easy Roast Chicken: You’ll need these ingredients.
NOTE: Your chicken needs to be about room temperature before it goes into the oven. You can let it reach this temp by letting it sit out for about an hour before you start preparing it, or you can let it sit out a bit once it’s prepared, before placing it in the oven. Thank you for listening. Smile
Open up your packaged chicken, and remove any giblets that might be stuffed in the cavity of the bird. Some will have the giblets, some will not. It just depends on the company you buy your chicken from. I also like to trim away any excess fat that might be around the opening of the chicken.
You can save the giblets, and the fat, for making stock or gravy later on if desired.
Place the chicken in your sink, and rinse it inside and outside using cold running water.
Be sure to rinse inside the neck cavity area too.
Grab a couple of paper towels, and pat the chicken dry. And yes, I did the inside.
Sprinkle the inside of the chicken with salt and black pepper.
I was using whole peppercorns in a grinder, which takes two hands to do. Thus, I didn’t get a picture of me actually adding the pepper. My camera has a timer, so I was able to use both hands to add the salt, the pepper just required a little more effort. But, you get the idea… right?
To truss – or – not to truss? That is the question.
I opted to tie up the legs of the chicken. Some folks prefer to just let them spread out, saying it helps the chicken thigh meat to cook more evenly. I don’t have any real facts on that being right or not.
If you decide to truss the chicken, use some kitchen twine, and wrap it around the legs, and the tail of the chicken and pull tight. Tie the ends together.
Vegetables are optional.
You can easily skip this part if desired. I didn’t include anything about vegetables in the ingredients or the printable recipe, but I had them on hand, so I decided to use them.
I’ve sliced an onion, and cut some small red potatoes into halves and added them to the pan I’m going to roast the chicken in. I also had some baby carrots, and tossed them in too.
Next, I drizzled a little olive oil over the vegetables, then added a sprinkling of salt and pepper. I tossed them around a bit to coat the vegetables with olive oil, then spread them out to use the onions to place the chicken on.
I always like to line my pans with aluminum foil for easier clean up.
If you don’t want to add vegetables, then just proceed to the next step below.
Place the chicken in your roasting pan.
Tuck the wings under the chicken.
I didn’t notice it until I started editing the photos, but the tip of the chicken wing had popped back out from under the chicken when I took the photo above. I fixed it before proceeding though.
It was just a little slippery.
Sprinkle the chicken lightly with salt.
Sprinkle the chicken with some black pepper.
Again, I’m using cracked black pepper from my pepper grinder. You could certainly use regular ground black pepper if that’s what you have on hand.
I might have even added a bit of Rosemary to the chicken, but only because I had just recently bought some of that as well.
Make the recipe your own by adding any spices you prefer.
Please note that I am NOT adding any oil, butter, or even covering the chicken before it goes into the oven. You don’t need to do either.
TO START: Place the chicken in a preheated 425F degree oven.
Roasting Instructions: Please follow carefully.
Start the chicken in a pre-heated oven set to 425F degrees.
Let the chicken roast for 15 minutes at this 425F degree temperature.
REDUCE the temp down to 350F degrees after 15 minutes, and let the chicken roast for about 20 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature of the thigh meat reaches 165F degrees.
A digital thermometer will be one of your best kitchen gadgets, so if you don’t own one, may I suggest you add one soon. If you overcook the chicken, the meat will be dry.
Check the temperature of the chicken by inserting a digital thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh meat. Again, the internal temp should read 165F degrees to be considered done.
When the chicken is done, remove it from the oven.
Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving. This will help the juices to redistribute inside the bird.
This turned out really moist and tender I thought. I do hope you’ll try our Easy Roast Chicken recipe and let me know how you like it.
And, you know me, the leftovers make some really great sandwiches. Smile.
Your Comments: Don’t you just love anything chicken? I’d love to hear your thoughts on our recipe. It will only take a minute or two for you to leave your comments in the section below. I’d love to hear from you.
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