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.
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 helps the chicken cook evenly.
- 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
- Ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- Butcher's twine, for trussing
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- When chicken is cooked through, remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.