Simple and Tasty Roast Chicken!




About: I work at instructables by day, and turn into a stitch witch by night. follow me on instagram @jessyratfink to see what i'm working on! ^_^

Roast chicken is delicious and easy. A little bit of prep and an hour and a half later - you've got supper!

In this instructable I'll give you the basic formula, and some ideas to turn a simple roast chicken into something magnificent! :D

(Also, I apologize for the terrible pictures. Late night cooking as usual - blame my retail career!)

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Step 1: Ingredients.

A 5-6 lb. roaster chicken - preferably fresh, not frozen.
Butter or olive oil for a chicken massage.
Aromatics - onion, garlic, lemon, herbs, celery, apples, etc.
Salt and pepper!
A large roasting pan. (With or without a rack is fine!)
Spices are optional, but very good.
Butcher's twine or something similar for trussing the bird.
Veggies for the roasting pan.
A 425 degree oven.

For this particular chicken, I'm doing onion, garlic, ginger and lemon in the bird and potatoes, lemon, carrots, and onion in the roasting pan. I'm using salt, pepper and 5 spice powder for the massage. :)

Step 2: Preheat Your Oven and Get Your Bird Prepped.

Turn your oven on to 425 F.

Clean your sink and set the bird in it. Most times they come in a bag, so just slit the bag open in the sink - there will be a lot of liquid. Check the bird's cavity and pull out the little bag that hold the giblets. You can throw this away or keep it for stock!

You'll notice there's a lot of blood pooling in the cavity. Rinse the bird off thoroughly, inside and out.

If there's a lot of extra fat around the neck or butt, trim that off.

Get rid of any extra feathers - this particular chicken had a ton on the limbs. Just pinch the feathers and pull away from the skin. They should come out pretty easy. :D

Once the chicken is all clean, dry it off thoroughly with paper towels and transfer to the roasting pan, breast side up.

Step 3: Decide What Will Go Inside the Bird.

Aromatics are the key to a great roast chicken. Choose wisely!

Here are some nice combinations:
  • apple, onion and a cinnamon stick
  • onion, celery and rosemary
  • an onion pricked with cloves and lemon
  • lemon, apple and celery
  • garlic and lemon
  • garlic, ginger, onion and lemon

Keep in mind that onions and lemons are the best. Also, woody herbs like thyme and rosemary work very well.

You can really use anything that has a strong, pleasant smell - it'll make the whole house smell wonderful and flavor the chicken in a really lovely way. I like to think they also help keep the chicken moist! :)

My personal favorite is lemon and garlic, but this time I added ginger and onion to the mix!

All you need to do is cut everything up into large pieces (just smash the garlic with your knife) and stuff it into the cavity. Don't worry about onion or garlic skins - you won't be eating this part!

Step 4: Would You Like Roast Veggies With That?

Recommendations for veggies:
  • carrots
  • turnips
  • potatoes
  • sweet potatoes
  • onions
  • whole cloves of garlic, skins on
  • parsnips

Peel the veggies if needed and cut into large chunks (about 2x2 inches, at least). Keep in mind that they'll be cooking for 1 1/2 hours.

Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on them to get them going, but not too much. The chicken will be dripping fat onto them as well so you don't want to go overboard.

Salt and pepper them and throw them around the chicken.

Step 5: Truss the Bird and Begin the Massage.

Tuck the wing tips under the bird. Then, tie the legs together with twine. You'll want to cut off more than you think you need. Wrap it back and forth between and around the legs to keep them where they need to be. Cut off any excess.

(I'm going to go ahead and admit I didn't have any twine, so I used upholstery thread. Works just as well!)

Season liberally with salt and pepper, and any dried spice or herb that you like. Don't be stingy with the seasonings! Use more than you think you need to. :D

Then, pour a bit of olive oil in your hand (or get a dab of butter) and rub the chicken all over. Get into all the nooks and crannies - give it the best massage it's ever had!

Step 6: Cooking and Finishing the Chicken!

Cook for 45 minutes in a 425 F oven.

Then, take out and mix the vegetables around so they don't get burnt. If you're using a rack, take the rack out and place it on a cutting board with the chicken in it while you mix. Much easier! The chicken should be slightly browned at this point and looking pretty tasty!

Put in the oven for another 45 minutes, and then it's going to rest for a bit! I typically just pull the pan out of the oven and cover it with foil. I am too lazy to do much more. :D

If you'd like to check for doneness, prick the chicken under the "drumstick" in the thigh. If the juices run clear, you should be good to go! If not, give it another 15 minutes.

Rest for a least 10 minutes and then cut and serve. Hooray!

(You can also heat the pan up over the burners once the chicken and veggies are out and make yourself a gravy with a little butter and flour and stirring, but I'll admit to never doing this. I am often far too hungry at that point.)

(Also, save the carcass to make stock!!! My Sisters Kitchen has an excellent instuctable up for it!)

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21 Discussions


4 years ago on Introduction

The usual loved ones roast is a brilliant time to get everybody circular and have a good historic chinwag over some scrumptious food. Once I was a scholar, my housemates and i'd celebration every few weeks or so and put togeth zarda recipe. It was a satisfactory bonding time and people moments are nonetheless talked about today.

The Big Plugowski

8 years ago on Step 3

i would love to see what you could do with a chicken plug roaster!


10 years ago on Step 5

I have never tried rubbing herbs on the outside of the bird-- does this flavor the meat as well, or is this primarily to add flavor to the skin? I ask because I love skin, but my man won't touch it. Your method looks like less trouble than mine, and I think I will try that if it will flavour the meat as well as mine.

I normally put my spices (woody stuff like thyme and rosemary, although primarily thyme) under the skin along with butter. I've tried oregano too, which was pretty cool, but it was a real hassle to get it under there in one piece. Method was ripped-off from a french chef on Youtube, so I take no credit. I suppose you could omit the butter for health concerns, but I think it helps smear the herb flavour around.

For those interested:

To get under the skin, go by the neck to reach the breastmeat, and go by the butt to get at the thighs. For the breast, stick your finger between the neck flaps and the meat... there will (probably) be a bit of a membrane, but that will tear easily enough from a sharp poke with a knife. Work that finger in there, you should notice that once that initial membrane has been torn it's pretty easy to put stiffer herbs all the way in (put the herbs bottom-end first... top-end first and they'll just bunch up). I'll add one of two branches of thyme, then two very small pats of cold butter (spaced out) per side. Putting herbs under the thigh skin works about the same... cut membrane, stuff with herbs, add butter. I cheat sometimes and cut a small slit in the thighs if the loose skin around the cavity isn't cooperating. No one ever notices >.>

I'll melt butter in the microwave for about 30 seconds, and them smear my trussed & pre-salted bird with it with one of those silicone BBQ brushes. Now that I think about it, maybe rubbing it with warm butter by hand is less trouble than trying to wash melted oil off a brush. Food for thought!

On the bright side, you get a crispy golden bird with a cool herb pattern. The thyme seems to darken during cooking, despite not being directly exposed, so you end up with a funky tattoo-like design showing through the skin. Also, the flavour the meat ends up with it really intense, which I suppose is a gray area that would depend on just how much you like thyme.


10 years ago on Step 1

man...I've never seen a whole chicken for $5.00! You lucky beastie!


10 years ago on Introduction

Very tasty looking meal. And you cook with ginger. I LOVE ginger.


10 years ago on Introduction

I'm making this tonight. YAY! Don't you feel loved, Finky?


10 years ago on Introduction

The best advice on that is to join a Mushroom Collecting group in your area, and go out with someone who knows exactly what is edible and what isn't. Just doing it from pictures in a book could possibly be confusing, and could lead to an upset stomach, or worse. I joined a group in Colorado Springs, myself.

1 reply

Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

This was supoosed to be in reply to Jessyratfink's comment on looking for wild mushrooms below.


10 years ago on Step 6

this instructable made me sooo hungry. it looks delicous!


10 years ago on Introduction

How did you know I had a roast chicken Instructable in progress?!? Awesome. ;) Mine is a slightly different (much simplified) version, so it will be up soon. Yours looks tastier, especially the piles of garlic.

1 reply

Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

Haha, seriously? I look forward to seeing it! I decided to document this recipe because ibles was severely lacking in regards to this topic. :D


10 years ago on Introduction

Nice Ible. Yours always make me laugh. I'm now inspired to do one for roast tatties. My housemate makes the best EVER and I think it needs sharing. *whisper*the secret's in the pre-boiling then shaking them in the pan*whisper*

1 reply