Super Easy Roast Chicken – Downshiftology

Susan S. Johnson

Roast chicken is the ultimate kitchen staple! And my version is so ridiculously easy to make. There are just three ingredients, yes three! With no stuffing of the bird required. Trust me, this recipe will become your go-to oven roasted chicken recipe.

Whole roast chicken in a skillet
Photo credit: Gayle McLeod

Growing up, my mom was always so adamant about making a whole roasted chicken. It was easy, economical, comforting, and offered a different tasting experience from baked chicken breasts (namely, I got dark meat and crispy skin!).

My mom loved to serve this recipe with a side of roasted vegetables for weeknight dinners, but I’ve found it can go far beyond that. You can zhuzh it up for a stunning Thanksgiving main (that’s not a turkey) or carve it up to make soups, protein bowls, or even breakfast hashes.

Moral of the story – learn how to roast a chicken! Because it’s…

  • Versatile: you can slice it, dice it, or shred it
  • Simple: only three ingredients (chicken, olive oil, seasonings)
  • Super flavorful: you can always switch up the seasonings
Ingredients for roast chicken on a table

Roast Chicken Ingredients

While some roast chicken recipes are fancy, with aromatics stuffed inside the cavity and the chicken sitting on a bed of vegetables, don’t feel obligated to make it that way. As I always say, simple is often best!

Plus, when you want to get a healthy dinner on the table with no-fuss, it’s hard to beat this recipe. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • For the chicken: grab a 4 to 5-pound whole chicken. If it’s smaller or larger, you’ll need to adjust the cooking time.
  • For the flavor: all you need are olive oil, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. If you don’t have an Italian seasoning blend, feel free to sprinkle on your favorite dried spices and herbs.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

Helpful tip: You can use any oven-safe pan (I prefer cast iron) or a large roasting pan (including the disposable holiday ones) to roast your chicken.

How To Roast A Chicken

First, pat the chicken dry and truss the legs (you don’t need to truss or tuck the wings). Trussing helps to cook the chicken legs and thighs evenly and avoid drying out the breast since the cavity will be exposed.

Helpful tip: If you don’t truss the legs, check on the chicken 10 to 15 minutes earlier, as it typically cooks faster.

Patting a whole chicken dry before roasting

Second, evenly rub the chicken with oil and pat in the seasoning. Don’t be afraid to add a bit more salt, as this will help crisp up the skin. As for the oil, make sure to rub it underneath the chicken as well, so all sides are fully coated.

Seasoned whole roast chicken in a skillet

Third, let’s get to roasting! Roast the chicken at 425°F (220°C) for about 70 to 90 minutes, or until it’s beautifully golden! To make sure your chicken is cooked perfectly, check out my tips in the next section.

A cooked whole roasted chicken in a skillet

The Best Time and Temperature for Roasting Chicken

After a few tests, I’ve found that roasting a 4 to 5-pound whole chicken is best cooked at 425°F (220°C) for 70 to 90 minutes uncovered. If you find that the chicken skin is getting burnt, you can quickly top it with aluminum foil for the last 10 minutes.

Just keep in mind that all ovens heat differently. So use a meat thermometer to check your chicken at 70 minutes to see if it has reached 165°F (74°C). Poke it halfway into the middle of the thigh for the most accurate measurement!

A whole roast chicken on a plate

How to Serve a Simple Roast Chicken

There are countless ways to serve roast chicken. And you can never go wrong serving it up on a plate with vegetable-heavy sides. But here are a few more ideas to use up the whole chicken throughout the week.

  • With roasted or mashed vegetables: These veggies are classics for a reason. I’m talking about roasted Brussels sprouts, glazed carrots, roasted potatoes, creamy mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, or mashed cauliflower.
  • Turn it into a salad: Slice pieces and layer on top of any salad for a protein boost – like this kale salad with apples and chicken.
  • Add it to a protein bowl: Start with a rice or leafy greens base, then pile on your favorite veggies, diced roast chicken, pickled onions, or even a dollop of hummus!
  • Make a breakfast hash: Dice it up into cubes and cook it with other seasonal veggies in a pan, then crack a few eggs on top for the final touch. You can use my turkey cranberry hash as inspiration!
  • Add it to a soup: Make a classic chicken soup out of it, or even my white chicken chili.

Storage and Meal Prep Tips

Let me emphasize again how great of a meal prep ingredient roast chicken is! Here’s how to store it in the fridge and freezer.

  • To store: Cut up any remaining chicken (into slices or cubes), and store in sealed containers in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. You can use this as a meal prep base for all the serving options above!
  • To freeze: Carve the chicken into individual pieces (i.e. chicken breasts, legs, and wings), then place them in a sealed container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Watch how I carve the chicken on the video below!

Roast Chicken Recipe Video

I’m confident this recipe will be on regular rotation in your kitchen! It’s so darn easy (really). Click play to see how I make it!

More Easy Chicken Recipes

Want even more amazing chicken recipes? Here are a few of my favorites. You can also take a glimpse at my roundup of chicken breast recipes and chicken thigh recipes for more ideas.

Believe me when I say this super easy roast chicken will be your new favorite way to prep a whole bird. Give it a try, and let me know your thoughts and how you served it in a comment below!

A skillet with roast chicken and herbs

Super Easy Roast Chicken

Learn how to roast a chicken! It’s the ultimate kitchen staple. And this easy roast chicken recipe only requires three ingredients! Watch how I make it in the video above.

  • I used an almost 5-pound chicken and it took 85 minutes to cook. If you’re using a smaller chicken, make sure to check the temperature early, so that you don’t accidentally overcook it and end up with a dry bird.
  • If you don’t have kitchen twine to truss the legs, not to worry. You can still roast the chicken and just the legs fall open. But I’d recommend checking on the chicken 10 to 15 minutes earlier, as it typically cooks faster.
  • If you don’t have Italian seasoning, just sprinkle of mix of individual spices such as dried basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary.
  • If you want a fancier roast chicken recipe, check out the one in my cookbook – it’s two whole roasted chickens (hello meal prep!) on a bed of fennel, pear, and onion. So delish!

Calories: 294kcal, Carbohydrates: 0.1g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 95mg, Sodium: 89mg, Potassium: 242mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 0.01g, Vitamin A: 181IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 17mg, Iron: 1mg

©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.

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