Simple Recipes for Roast Chicken

The roast chicken is an age-old meal staple. As time and tastes have changed over the many years, roast chicken has held its place in households across America. Perhaps this is due to the classic roast chicken flavor, or the comforting scent as it wafts through our houses on a Sunday afternoon. Ultimately, however, it’s simply still popular because of the tradition that comes with it: roast chicken is a meal to share with friends and family 

Over the years, the roast chicken recipe has evolved. Amateurs and professionals alike have put their spin on the traditional dish. Roast chicken can be done in the oven, in an instant pot, or even on the barbeque. You can roast the chicken breast, the chicken legs, and the chicken thighs. In terms of cooking ingredients, there is roast chicken with lemon, roast chicken in brine, and herbed roast chicken and stuffing for roast chicken. And if you cook too much one evening and need some recipes for leftover roast chicken, there are ample recipes for that too. 

We’re exploring all these different types of simple recipes for roast chicken. We’ll look closely at the methods, the ingredients, and how to choose the right simple recipe for roast chicken for you. Read on for our tips, tricks, and recipes. 

The Classic Roast Chicken Recipe

If you’re looking for a classic roast chicken in oven look no further. This simple roast chicken recipe draws together the flavors Americans have loved for centuries. So we figure, why mess with a good thing?  

You are going to need:

➔ 1 medium-sized chicken (around 5-7 pounds)
 Salt; pepper
 Large onion, cut into round slices
 4 carrots, peeled and cut into your preferred shape
 2 celery sticks, cut into your preferred size
 ½ pound of potatoes, cut into chunks
 1 clove garlic, halved
 3 tbsp. melted butter
 1 medium to large lemon
 1 handful of fresh thyme


Step 1) Preheat your oven to 450°F. Pat the chicken dry using a paper towel. Once dry, season the entire chicken with salt and pepper. 

Step 2) In a large roasting pan, place all the vegetables. Make sure they are nicely spread out amongst each other. Place the chicken on top. 

Step 3) Using your hands or a culinary paintbrush, cover the chicken in the melted butter. Place the lemon and the thyme inside the chicken via the cavity. 

Step 4) Place the chicken on the middle rack in your preheated oven. Roast the chicken for 50 minutes and then check if the juices run clear by cutting a small portion. Leave in for another 10 minutes if not and continue checking every 10 minutes after. Once the juices run clear, remove the chicken and place the pan on a cutting board. 

Step 5) Tent the check by placing aluminum foil over it. Let it sit like this for 20 minutes.

Step 6) Remove the foil when ready to serve and add any leftover thyme, salt, and pepper for garnish. Serve the dish as is and make sure everyone gets a good variety of roasted veggies!

How long do you roast chicken? (Roast Chicken Cooking Time)

One aspect of cooking many people tend to forget when starting has to do with timing. Have you ever started your cooking prep a few hours before your dinner guests arrive thinking you had ample time only to read the recipe and realize it requires 6 hours in the oven? This isn’t uncommon. So, let’s discuss roast chicken cooking time so you know right from the beginning how long your chicken will take and can plan accordingly!

How long do you roast chicken? The roast chicken cooking time depends on a few important factors. Your cooking time is primarily impacted by the method of cooking you choose, the size of your chicken, the part of the chicken you are cooking, and if you are brazing or boiling the chicken at the beginning. For instance, a sizable chicken will take much longer than just one breast or thigh to be cooked through. Additionally, some recipes will require you to sear the chicken in a pan first and then roast it in the oven at a low temperature for a very long time. While the roast chicken in brine may take upwards of 3 or 4 hours! On average, a medium-sized whole chicken will take around an hour and a half to roast.

Which part of the chicken should I use? 

When it comes to roasting chicken, some parts are better than others. However, the most important aspect is your personal preference and of course, that of your dinner guests. For instance, the breast is a crowd-pleaser. Few people will attest to a well-cooked chicken breast. While thighs and wings may put some guests off because of the bones. Our advice? Go for a whole chicken so your family and guests can choose the parts they like.

Roast Chicken with a Beer Can

Now if you’re one for adventure and the traditional roast chicken isn’t interesting enough for your tastes, why not try out beer can chicken? Beer can chicken may be unconventional but its flavor is undeniable. Many people knock roast chicken because it can be dry if not cooked well. The beer seeps into the chicken as it cooks giving it a remarkably moist texture. If you don’t believe us, try it for yourself. You can cook this type of chicken in the oven or on the barbeque!

You are going to need:

 Small to medium-sized chicken
 Your favorite beer (in a can)
 Olive oil
 Garlic powder


Step 1) Mix the salt, pepper, and garlic pepper in a small bowl to be used as a rub.

Step 2) Preheat the oven or barbeque to 425°F. Open the beer can and empty half of it (you can drink it if you like!). Place the half-filled can in a roasting pan or a device made specifically for “beer can chicken”. Lower the chicken onto the beer can through its cavity so that it is sitting upright. 

Step 3) Using a culinary paintbrush or your hands, rub the chicken with olive oil until each part is covered. Next, put the rub of dry ingredients on the chicken using the same method. 

Step 4) Carefully carry the pan to the oven or barbeque making sure the chicken doesn’t fall over. Place it in the oven or on the barbeque and leave it for one hour. 

Step 5) After an hour, check to see if the skin is braised and cut a slice to see if the juices run clear. If not, leave it for another 10 minutes and continue with 10-minute intervals until it is cooked through. 

Step 6) To serve the chicken, you will want to carefully remove it from the beer can. Use oven mitts and caution as the beer will be boiling. Once removed, place the chicken on a serving platter whole or carve it in advance for your guests. We recommend serving it with a fig chutney or crab apple jelly as these pair wonderfully with the moist chicken.

Herbed Roast Chicken

herbed roast chicken

Looking to take your roast chicken up a notch? Give this spicy herbed roast chicken recipe a try. If you’re not afraid of heat and enjoy exciting flavors, this recipe is for you. Best of all, it can be served on any side. You could pair this spicy chicken with some fresh guacamole or roasted shishito peppers to add some green and more kick to your plate. Remember, this dish tastes best when the chicken has a few hours to marinate in the sauce, so we recommend starting early!

You are going to need:

Medium-sized whole chicken or the parts you prefer (this recipe suits chicken breasts, thighs, and legs). If you opt for boneless chicken, make sure to reduce the cooking time slightly and check on your dish more frequently as it cooks. 

 ½ cup Vegetable oil
 ¼ cup Orange juice
 Juice of 2 Limes
 White wine vinegar
 Red pepper flakes
 Achiote powder
➔ Cilantro (1 bunch)
 Lime slices (for garnish)
 Chilli flakes


Step 1) In a bowl, mix all the ingredients less the chicken, cilantro, and lime slices. 

Step 2) Place the chicken in a large baking pan and pour the mixture on it. Leave this to sit in your fridge for a few hours so the juice can soak into the chicken. 

Step 3) Preheat your oven to 425°F.

Step 4) After the chicken has marinated for 2-3 hours, heat a skillet with a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil. Once heated, place the chicken into the pan and let it simmer for a few minutes, turning so that all sides are seared. 

Step 5) Place the seared chicken into a large baking pan and pour the marinade over it. If the chicken is whole, leave it to cook for 45 minutes. If you are cooking breasts, thighs, or legs, leave it for 25 minutes. After these allotted times, check on the chicken and cut it to see if the juice runs clear. If not, put it back in the oven for 10-minute intervals. 

Step 6) Once cooked thoroughly, place the roasted chicken onto a serving dish and scatter some cilantro, lime, and chili flakes for garnish.

Making Gravy

If you’re intimidated by the concept of making gravy, we’re here to reassure you. It’s not complicated and it’s well worth it if you’re looking to add some moisture to your roast chicken. 

After removing the roast chicken from the baking pan, place it on a burner on low heat or transfer it to a pan that can go on the stove. Stir in one tablespoon of flour. Stir it until the mixture has somewhat of a paste consistency. Slowly add in the chicken stock. About half a cup will do. Continue stirring consistently and the sauce will begin to thicken. Once thickened, leave the sauce to simmer for about 2-3 minutes. Finally, strain the sauce into a saucepan and add salt and pepper to taste. Once seasoned, let it simmer on low heat until you are ready to serve the chicken. 

Making Chicken Stock

Another benefit to roasting chicken is that you can make some delicious chicken stock from the carcass. If you’re an avid soup maker, the homemade chicken stock will provide an excellent base to any and every soup in your repertoire. 

Simply take the chicken carcass after the meal has finished and put it in a large pot of boiling water on the stove. Let it boil and turn it down if it begins to bubble over. Season to taste as it boils and add any vegetables you have laying around for extra flavor. After a few hours, you can remove the carcass and there you have delicious chicken stock. You can even freeze it to use later!

Stuffing for Roast Chicken

stuffing for roast chicken

Stuffing for roast chicken is a comforting and delicious treat on holidays. We recommend buying fresh bread and letting it sit out for 12-24 hours so it becomes somewhat stale. Then, cut it into small cubes and mix it with chopped celery, sage, salt, pepper, olive oil, and any other herbs of your choice. Once mixed, place it into the bird’s cavity and you have stuffing for roast chicken.

Roast Chicken Leftover Recipes

Now, if you made too much chicken, have no fear. The leftovers won’t go to waste! With any of the recipes above, you can create a mean chicken sandwich the day after. 

Simply buy your favorite type of bread, though we recommend a fresh baguette for optimal taste. Lightly toast the bread so that it has that perfect crunch to it and re-heat your leftover roast chicken in the oven or microwave. Do up the bread in your favorite condiments. Mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, fig chutney, or perhaps some leftover guacamole! Add lettuce, tomatoes, or any other veggies you desire. We also recommend adding a pickle just for that extra salty crunch! Finally, place the warmed chicken onto the bread. And remember that it will be easier to eat if you slice the chicken before putting it on the bread. If you would like an extra punch, you could add your favorite type of cheese to the sandwich as well.

Roast chicken doesn’t need to be complicated. It’s a classic dish in American households all over the country because it never fails to satisfy our tastebuds. Whether it’s a traditional roast chicken, one cooked in beer, or a spicy twist, serve it up hot to your loved ones and you will have one happy table!

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