The Perfect Roasted Chicken

Roasted chicken is a classic comfort food staple and a recipe that everyone should have in their kitchen. But handling a whole bird can be pretty intimidating. We promise—it's really not that tough. All you need is a big enough pan. My favorite roasted chicken is seasoned with salt, fresh ground pepper, and thyme, and cooked with root vegetables—it a simple, whole meal full of flavor.

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Here are two important tips for making a great roasted chicken every time:

  1. To get super crispy skin, let the chicken sit on a plate in the refrigerator (on a lower shelf, not touching anything else), uncovered for 24 hours before cooking. This helps to dry out the skin so it crisps nicely during cooking.
  2. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 90 minutes before going in the oven. This helps the chicken cook evenly.

10 Ingredients

  • 1 3-4 pound whole chicken
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered
  • 6 small red potatoes, quartered
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Salt
  • Ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • Butcher's twine, for trussing

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss vegetables with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, and spread evenly across the bottom of a large cast iron pan or large baking dish.
  3. Season chicken cavity with salt and pepper. Use butcher's twine to truss chicken. (Not sure how? Check out my step-by-step photo tutorial on how to truss a chicken.)
  4. Brush 3 tablespoons olive oil over outside of chicken. Season with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and thyme. Place chicken on top of vegetables.
  5. For a 3 to 3 1/2 pound chicken, cook for 75 to 80 minutes. For a 3 1/2 to 4 pound chicken cook for 80 to 90 minutes.
  6. To check if chicken is done cooking, remove from the oven and insert an instant-read thermometer into the meat between the leg and the breast. The thermometer should read 165 degrees F.
  7. When chicken is cooked through, remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
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