Roast chicken is a basic staple in our household. It’s delicious. It’s easy to make. And the leftovers can be used for quick meals throughout the week. Roasting a whole chicken is my favorite real food kitchen hack. With just a few minutes of prep, you can enjoy a delicious dinner that basically cooks itself.
Now when it comes to roast chicken, one thing I cannot stand is a dry bird. I like my chicken moist and tender. I have spent many years and many birds perfecting my technique. Since I roast a whole chicken almost every week, I have had a lot of opportunity to practice.
My secret: a dutch oven. Well, any large pan with a heavy lid will do. I have a thing for fancy cookware, so THIS is the one that I use. Isn’t the color SO cute? I look at my pots and pans as kitchen accessories and like to match them to my decor. (Yes, I might be a total foodie geek!)
I also like to cook my chicken at a lower temperature. This slow cook leaves the meat tender and juicy. Like I said: no dry birds for me. The usual recommendation is to cook a whole chicken at 350’F for 20 minutes per pound plus an extra 15 minutes. I bring the temperature down a bit and extend the time. Perfect every time!
Oh, and another trick that I have learned is to shove the rosemary and garlic under the skin of the chicken. This allows the flavors to seep into the meat more easily. Using your fingers, simply loosen the skin at the top of the breast (where the big hole in the bird is) and slide the herbs in. You’ll notice that I like to tie the legs of the chicken together with 100% cotton cooking twine. This makes for more even cooking.
My recipe is super simple. A little ghee or butter, some salt and pepper, a few sprigs of rosemary, and a lemon. Feel free to add any of your favorite herbs or spices to change it up a bit. Oh, and don’t forget to use the leftover bones to make homemade bone broth.
- one whole chicken, rinsed and patted dry (I usually use a 3–4 pound chicken.)
- 2 tbsp butter or ghee, softened
- 1/2 tsp unrefined salt
- a pinch of black pepper
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped chopped plus one extra sprig
- 2–3 cloves of garlic, minced.
- one lemon
- Preheat oven to 300’F. Place chicken into a large dutch oven or pan with a heavy lid and tie the legs together with 100% cotton cooking twine.
- Zest the lemon and combine zest with butter/ghee, salt, and pepper. Rub this mixture all over the chicken.
- Combine chopped rosemary and minced garlic. Gently peel the skin of the chicken away from the body at the top of the breast and push the rosemary/garlic mixture under the skin. You can sprinkle a bit of the mixture in the outside as well.
- Squeeze the entire lemon all over the chicken and slip the lemon halves and another full sprig of rosemary into the cavity of the chicken. Place heavy lid onto dutch oven/pan.
- Roast chicken for one and half hours, covered. Then pull out of oven and carefully ladle some of the juices from the chicken over the top to moisten it. Cover and return to oven.
- Increase heat to 375’F and continue to roast for another 35-45 minutes, until juices run clear. Internal temperature should be at least 165’F.
- For a browner, crispier skin, remove lid and broil top of chicken for 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to sit for 10 minutes, and enjoy!
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