Roasted chicken is a classic comfort food staple, and a recipe that everyone should have in their kitchen. But sometimes, 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.
Here are two important tips for making a great roasted chicken every time:
- 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.
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 90 minutes before going in the oven. This step helps the chicken cook evenly.
What You'll Need:
- 1 3-4 lb. whole chicken
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 yellow onion, quartered
- 6 small red potatoes, quartered
- Salt and fresh ground pepper
- Butcher's twine, for trussing
- Instant-read thermometer
What to Do:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Toss the vegetables with 1 tablespoon of 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.
- Season the cavity of the chicken with a salt and pepper. Use the butcher's twine to truss the chicken. (Not sure how? Check out my step-by-step photo tutorial on how to truss a chicken.)
- Brush 3 tablespoons of olive oil over the outside of the chicken. Season with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, and dried thyme. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables.
- For a 3 to 3 1/2 pound chicken, cook for 75-80 minutes. For a 3 1/2 to 4 pound chicken cook for 80-90 minutes.
- To check if the bird's done cooking, remove the chicken from the oven and insert an instant-read thermometer into the meat between the leg and the breast. The thermometer should read165 degrees F.
- When the chicken is cooked through, remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.