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Classic Roasted Chicken

Updated on November 22, 2018
Samuel Barrett profile image

Samuel Barrett lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and has far too many hobbies, many of which you can read about here.


Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 15 min
Yields: 1 Whole Chicken

The Basics

This recipe is pretty basic at it's core, but the subtle details are what make this chicken stand out.The technique of inserting the garlic and herbs underneath the skin is an example of this principle. Most of the ingredients will be familiar to most cooks, and available in almost any grocery store. You can also find higher quality specialty ingredients at a local farmer's market or health food store.

Moisture is Key!

The basic principle of getting a chicken to be moist is to make sure it's been patted bone dry inside and out after being brined for a minimum of 8 hours. I prefer to brine it overnight, for about 12 hours. This allows the skin to form a crisp shell, keeping the inner moisture locked in. You will also end up adding moisture inside the bird with other ingredients, as you will see in the video.


  • 1 Whole Chicken
  • 3-4 med sized Lemons
  • 4-5 cloves Garlic, (about 2 tbsp when chopped)
  • 2 large sprigs Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/4 tbsp Salt
  • 1/2 tbsp Black Pepper
  • Water for roasting pan, (as needed)
  • Salted water for brine, (enough to cover chicken in large bowl)


  1. Submerge chicken in brine water and chill in the fridge for 8-12 hours, then drain brine water thoroughly.
  2. Pat chicken dry, preheat oven to 450° Pour 1 cup water into roasting pan, adding more as needed
  3. Prep ingredients: Zest and then half lemons, chop garlic and rosemary.
  4. Coat chicken sparingly with the salt, (the brine will have provided most of the salt needed) and the herbs and spice mixture, applying above and below skin.* Add lemon zest *if you wish to add butter under skin do so at this time.
  5. Put rosemary stems and lemon halves inside the bird
  6. Place in oven uncovered for 15 minutes
  7. Remove chicken from oven, turn oven down to 350°
  8. Using tongs or other appropriate kitchen utensils, flip entire chicken upside down. Tent chicken with aluminum foil and return to oven for 40-60
  9. When there are 10 minutes of cooking time remaining, remove the tent and turn oven up to 375°
  10. Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. This ensures it will be very tender and have a much better texture.
  11. Serve immediately after resting for best presentation and flavor.

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