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The whole roasted chicken in a white casserole dish and the pan juices and roasted lemon slices and herbs.

Simple Roasted Chicken

This simple whole roasted chicken is a great family meal. With crispy skin and juicy meat this chicken recipe is delicious and versatile.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 399kcal
Author Elizabeth


  • 4 - 5 pound Whole Chicken patted dry and trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Salt we use kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 3 - 4 Thyme Sprigs
  • 3 - 4 Parsley Stems with leaves
  • 1-2 Rosemary Sprigs
  • 1 Lemon cut into thick slices


  • Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position so that the chicken is not sitting too close to the top element.
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F
  • Prepare the chicken by removing it from the bag. Check the inside cavity to see if it contains a baggie with giblets. Remove the bag and save for another use, if desired or discard.
  • Use paper towels to pat the chicken dry, including the inside cavity. If there are any loose pieces of fat cut them off.
  • Rub the chicken all over with the olive oil, including the inside of the cavity.
  • Rub the chicken with salt and pepper, including the inside of the cavity.
  • Tie the chicken’s legs using cooking twine and cut off any excess.
  • Tuck the wing tips behind the bird.
  • Place the chicken, breast side up, on a small roasting pan, casserole dish or other rimmed, oven-safe dish.
  • Arrange the thyme, parsley, rosemary and lemon slices around the chicken.
  • Place the chicken in the oven. Cook it for 15 minutes.
  • Lower the oven temperature to 375°F and cook for 75 -100 minutes or until the internal temperature on an instant read thermometer reads at least 165°F at the thickest part of the dark meat (check the thigh right between the leg and the breast).
  • If the chicken is not up to temperature then continue roasting for 15-20 minutes and check again.
  • When the chicken is out of the oven let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.
  • Serve with the pan drippings and your favorite side dishes.


  • The cooking time will depend on the size of the chicken. As a reference, our 4½ pound chicken took 75 minutes plus the initial 15 minutes.
  • Try not to open the oven during the cooking time so that the temperature stays constant.
  • Use a vessel that will collect the drippings and that is not too large. Keep it just a bit larger than the roaster. We used our trusty casserole dish that is 11x7 inches.
  • The number of servings will depend on the size of the chicken.


Calories: 399kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 1278mg | Potassium: 346mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 331IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 2mg