The Basics: How to Make a Whole Roasted Chicken

Whole Roasted Chicken

You'll need:

  • paper towels
  • a knife
  • a baking sheet
  • a timer
  • a meat thermometer
  • one whole chicken
  • one onion
  • one carrot
  • a couple of stalks of celery
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh herbs or a lemon (optional)

Step 1 of 8

Heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (it will take at least 20 minutes to warm up).

Step 2 of 8

Remove the neck and giblets from inside the chicken, if they’re there. Rinse the chicken inside and out, and pat it very dry with paper towels. Cut off any extra fat hanging around the body cavity.

Step 3 of 8

Coarsely chop the vegetables into large, same-size chunks, and arrange them on a baking sheet in an even layer.

Step 4 of 8

Place the chicken on top of the vegetables so it’s not touching the baking sheet. Drizzle oil on the chicken and rub it all over, inside and out, then season generously with salt and pepper, inside and out. If you have fresh herbs, you can stick them inside the chicken. Sliced lemon is also good. (Note: If you have the time and want crispier skin, salt the chicken the night before and leave it in the fridge uncovered. Let it come to room temperature a half hour before you’re going to cook it.)

Step 5 of 8

Put the chicken in the oven and set the timer for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes are up, turn down the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and set the timer for an hour.

Step 6 of 8

After an hour, take the chicken out of the oven and check the internal temperature by sticking a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the leg. It should register at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 7 of 8

If you don’t have a meat thermometer, an alternate way to check for doneness is to cut through the skin between the leg and the breast. If the juices that run out are clear rather than cloudy, the chicken’s ready.

Step 8 of 8

Let the chicken rest 20 minutes. Carve and serve.