Whole Roast Chicken is my absolute favorite thing to cook.
It frequently goes on sale for $5 or under where I live, it tastes delicious, and it cooks up in the oven without me having to babysit it.
Tender, juicy chicken well-seasoned with rosemary, thyme, paprika, parsley, lemon, and rotisserie chicken seasoning. Cooks along with carrots, celery, and onion for flavoring (and also, for eating).Jump to Recipe
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What Makes Whole Roast Chicken so Good?
- Roasted rotisserie-herb flavored chicken is so comforting. It's warm, juicy, tender, and makes the house smell like a home. I make this dish year-round and stock up on 3 whole chickens at a time whenever they go on sale. Tip: If making from frozen; allow to thaw two days in original packaging before cooking. I sit mine in a baking dish in the refrigerator. If you don't let it thaw completely, you will have a really tough time getting out that paper packet stuffed inside the cavity of the chicken. (I know that from painful experience.) Your chicken may also cook unevenly.
- Your vegetables for the night get cooked in the same pan and at the same time as the protein. Ah, I love goofing off while dinner cooks itself.
- It's so cheap. Like I said, I buy my chickens for $5 and under a piece. Don't believe me? Here's my proof:
- I get multiple uses out of one chicken. Most often, when I'm cooking a whole chicken I turn it into multiple meals. The first night, my fiancée and I eat the drumsticks and wings of the chicken along with the roasted carrots and onion (like pictured). I will also add a side to this, such as peas, baked bread, mashed potatoes, or rice. Then, after we're done eating and the chicken has cooled, I will shred the breast and thigh meat of the chicken (and anything good left on that thing) and store it in the fridge to be turned into something tomorrow. With the leftovers I've made rotisserie chicken and rice soup, shredded chicken burrito bowls, and rotisserie chicken salad. That usually lasts us another two days... and that's not all. The same night that I shred the chicken, I also strain the broth that the chicken made in the pan and store it in a plastic bag to be frozen. It becomes the base for many of my soups. That's three uses out of one less than $5 chicken, y'all! It doesn't get any better than that.
How to Make Whole Roast Chicken:
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Prep veggies. Peel and slice carrots into 2-3" pieces. Chop celery into large 2-3" pieces. Quarter onions. Quarter lemon.
- Rinse chicken. Important: Remove the packet stuffed inside of the chicken's cavity before seasoning and cooking. (It contains the organs -- I sincerely apologize for even having to write that word onto this blog.) But, if it's your fancy you could boil and make a broth for stuffing or dressing.
- Pat chicken dry and place in a large baking dish along with ½ cup of water.
- Place onions, celery, and carrots around the outside of the chicken. Stuff lemon quarters inside of the chicken's cavity. Optional: You can also put fresh sprigs of herbs along with it.
6. Drizzle chicken with olive oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper, thyme, parsley, rosemary, paprika, and rotisserie chicken seasoning. Rub seasonings into the skin, making sure to coat all sides and get underneath of the legs and wings.
7. Sprinkle another round of rotisserie chicken seasoning. (I like my chicken well-coated, but you can use less. Just keep in mind that you're only seasoning the skin, not the meat underneath so it does take more seasoning than your typical chicken breast situation.)
8. Place pats of butter on top of the vegetables.
9. Roast for 2 to 2 and a half hours uncovered, or until a meat thermometer reads 165 F at the thickest part of the chicken. Juices should be running clear, and not have a pink tinge. Tip: Roasting chicken uncovered is important for crispy skin to develop. I find mine browns perfectly in this time and does not get burnt. If you suspect your chicken is browning too quickly, you may cover it with foil. However, you may want to take off the last 10 or so minutes so the steam doesn't make the skin soggy.
10. Serve along with carrots and onion.
Tips for Making:
- While I always achieve great results with olive oil, you can also substitute it for melted butter. If you want to season the meat underneath; separate the skin from the meat and rub melted butter both underneath and on top of the skin.
- Always pour ½ cup of water into the bottom of the baking dish so the chicken stays super juicy. Tip: Never pour more than one cup of liquid into the pan. The chicken will make a lot of its own broth as it cooks. I have made excellent rotisserie chicken and rice soup with it in the past.
- Buy several whole chickens at once when they go on sale and freeze them. This can save you a ton of money and I love always having a couple of whole chickens on hand.
- Always remove the organ packet inside the chicken's cavity before cooking.
- Not a huge fan of turkey? You could make a couple of whole chickens for Thanksgiving! That's what my fiancée and I intend to do by switching up the seasonings a little and making stuffing out of the base recipe from my Gluten Free Seasoned Croutons – Perfect for salads, soups, and stuffing!
- I do seasonings to taste, this recipe is a rough estimate. I highly recommend you stick to amounts you're comfortable with, especially regarding salt content. Keep in mind, the seasonings required for a whole chicken will be heavier than if you were cooking chicken breasts. You are only seasoning the surface of the chicken, not the meat underneath. However, the lemon and fresh herbs stuffed inside the cavity will subtly permeate throughout.
- Serve along with Gluten Free Dinner Rolls (that rise!) – Great Value Recipe.
Whole Roast Chicken
- 5 lb whole chicken rinsed, patted dry, packet removed from cavity
- ¼ stick of unsalted butter
- 1 large yellow onion quartered
- 4 large carrots (cut into 2-3" pieces)
- 2 stalks of celery (cut into 2-3" pieces)
- 1 lemon quartered and stuffed into cavity
- ½ cup water
- 1-2 teaspoon rotisserie chicken seasoning (I use McCormick's)
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- sprinkle of parsley
- ¼ teaspoon rosemary (or 1 sprig fresh, stuffed into cavity)
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil for drizzling
- (optional) seasoned salt to taste I use Season-All
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Prep veggies. Peel and slice carrots into 2-3" pieces. Chop celery into 2-3" pieces. Quarter onion. Quarter lemon.
- Rinse chicken. Important: Remove the paper packet containing the organs that are sometimes stuffed inside of the chicken's cavity and discard or boil to make a stuffing.
- Pat chicken dry and place in a large baking dish along with water.
- Place onions, celery, and carrots around the outside of the chicken. Stuff lemon quarters inside of the chicken's cavity. Optional: Stuff a sprig of fresh rosemary inside the cavity with the lemons.
- Drizzle chicken with olive oil. Season chicken with seasonings (rotisserie chicken seasoning, paprika, thyme, rosemary, parsley, S&P, seasoned salt). Rub seasonings into the skin, making sure to coat all sides and get underneath the legs and wings. Sprinkle an additional ½ teaspoon of rotisserie chicken seasoning on top of the chicken. Do not rub in.
- Place pats of butter on top of the vegetables.
- Roast uncovered for 2 to 2 and a half hours, or until a meat thermometer reads 165 F at the thickest part of the chicken. All juices should be running clear.
- Serve along with the carrots and onion. Enjoy!
- I do seasonings to taste, this recipe is a rough estimate. I highly recommend you stick to amounts you're comfortable with, especially regarding salt content. Keep in mind, the seasonings required for a whole chicken will be heavier than if you were cooking chicken breasts. You are only seasoning the surface of the chicken, not the meat underneath. However, the lemon and any fresh herbs stuffed inside the cavity will subtly permeate through.