Learn how to roast a whole chicken that is delicious and juicy inside, and golden brown on the outside. These easy steps will show you how, and ways to get the most out of this meal.

A wooden table with a candlestick, herbs in a bowl, a brown gingham cloth, and how to roast a whole chicken.
Roasted chicken in cast iron pan on a rustic wooden table.

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This meal tastes just like home. Okay, maybe I need to explain. Growing up, I always heard my Grandma talk about how special Sunday dinners were.

Every Sunday the family got together at someone’s house for dinner. Everyone was in their Sunday best. “Chicken wasn’t as cheap as it is now”, she would say. “So it was mainly saved for Sunday dinners.”

I can just picture everyone around the table, passing the side dishes around. Laughing and chatting over coffee and dessert. Hugs goodbye until next Sunday.

I am guilty of sometimes romanticizing a slower, simpler time. But I also know these times were not without their difficulty too.

There is just something about listening to the stories from a Grandma that makes everything sound so simple and carefree.

Where is the best place to buy a whole chicken?

So are you wondering how to roast a whole chicken? There are so many options when purchasing a whole chicken. Selecting the right size for your family is a key factor.

Any local supermarket or large retailer will have a decent selection of sizes and types.

Online retailers such as Azure Standard, Organic Prairie, and The Family Cow have whole chickens for sale.

Most areas even have farmers markets or local family farms where you can find your chicken as well. This is typically my go to when it comes to purchasing any kind of meat.

I like shopping local when I can and even better when you can get to know your farmer and see the farm in person.

Where do we prefer to buy our chicken? Why?

We have several places that we purchase meat from, specifically chicken. My first choice will always be a local farm I have visited for years.

I love to be able to support small, local businesses and see the farm firsthand. And I have discovered that often the farmer you support ends up becoming a dear friend as well.

When I am unable to purchase local, my second choice is a food co-op like The Family Cow. I have purchased from them for going on 10 years, and I know and trust that their products are all high quality and delicious.

Why do we choose local or farms we trust? Supporting the local economy is important to my family. Knowing where our food comes from is also important.

I was a vegetarian for many years. Finding local farmers who raise their animals with integrity and compassion is important to me.

I love the transparency that a local farm offers when it comes to their products.

We also have found better business practices, and quite frankly, better taste when buying from farms we know and trust.

Why should you roast a whole chicken?

There truly are so many ways to cook a chicken. But this method has proven to be the easiest and most flavorful, in my opinion.

Plus, preparing a whole chicken versus only purchasing parts such as wings or thighs provides the opportunity to create multiple meals at one time.

And don’t forget when you have used every last bit, you can still make broth from what is left! Homemade bone broth is a wonderful bonus when it comes time to make soups or even season rice.

How to Roast a Whole Chicken in cast iron pan on wooden table in front of wood stove.
Roast chicken in cast iron pan on table in front of woodburning stove.

What You Will Need:

  • Whole Chicken (this recipe is based on a 4lb. Pasture Raised Whole Chicken)
  • Cooking Oil (we prefer Avocado Oil, but you can use Olive Oil or even Butter)
  • Unrefined Sea Salt (we prefer Redmond’s Real Salt)
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • Chicken Broth or White Cooking Wine
  • Optional: herbs or seasonings to use as a rub (we sometimes will use herbs such as Rosemary and Sage)
  • Roasting Pan and rack or a Dutch Oven and lid
  • Foil, if using a Roasting Pan

What side dishes go with Roast Chicken?

The sky is the limit when it comes to what you can pair with this dish. Chicken is just so versatile!

Any of your favorite vegetables will be an excellent addition. We love Corn, Green Beans, Asparagus, Brussels Sprouts, and Potatoes.

Macaroni and Cheese, Collard Greens, Seasoned Rice, Applesauce, and Broccoli are also great options when choosing sides for your meal.

Because chicken is so versatile, it also pairs well with casseroles. You can even use the leftovers in casseroles!

Helpful Hints!

  • What size chicken to buy? A good estimate is about 3/4 pound per person.
  • This recipe is based on a 4-pound bird, you will need to adjust your cooking time for a larger one.
  • If frozen, place your chicken in the fridge for 24 hours before you intend to roast it.
  • First time roasting pasture raised poultry? The secret is the low temp and slow roasting to keep the meat tender and juicy. My local farmer tells everyone the key is “low and slow”.
  • Want to get that crispy golden look? Make sure to dry the chicken well after rinsing! I also take the tin foil off of the chicken about 10-15 minutes before it is due to come out of the oven to brown it a bit.
  • Is it done? A whole chicken is safely cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a kitchen thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh to check.
  • Make sure to save the carcass to make Homemade Broth with! If you prefer to make a big batch at once, you can place the bones in a freezer safe bag and place it in the freezer until you have a few to cook down at once.

That’s all there is to it! So tell me, have you tried to roast a whole chicken before? What are your favorite side dishes to go with chicken?

Roast Chicken in a cast iron pan on a checkered cloth on a wooden table with a rustic candle holder and wooden bowl

Easy Roast Chicken

Yield: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 55 minutes

A tender and juicy chicken that is golden brown and roasted to perfection.

Ingredients

  • 4 lb. Whole Chicken (pasture raised preferred)
  • 2T Avocado Oil (or cooking oil of your choice)
  • Unrefined Sea Salt (to taste) (we like Redmonds Real Salt)
  • Ground Black Pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup Chicken Broth or White Wine or Water
  • Optional: any herbs or seasoning you like (I recommend Rosemary and Sage)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Rinse the whole chicken and pat it dry.
  3. Drizzle avocado oil over the whole chicken and rub with unrefined sea salt and ground black pepper. To simplify, you can mix all three of the ingredients together and then rub on to the chicken.
  4. Place whole chicken onto rack in baking dish or roasting pan.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of broth, wine, or water to the pan.
  6. Place pan with covered chicken (cover to prevent drying out) into your preheated oven for 2 hours.
  7. Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for 30-45 minutes. I uncover mine when only 20 minutes is remaining.
  8. Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes before carving. This helps the meat to stay tender.

Notes

  • What size chicken to buy? A good estimate is about 3/4 pound per person.
  • This recipe is based on a 4-pound bird, you will need to adjust your cooking time for a larger one.
  • If frozen, place your chicken in the fridge for 24 hours before you intend to roast it.
  • First time roasting pasture raised poultry? The secret is the low temp and slow roasting to keep the meat tender and juicy.
  • Want to get that crispy golden look? Make sure to dry the chicken well after rinsing!
  • Is it done? A whole chicken is safely cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a kitchen thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh to check.
  • Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

    one last thing…

    Planning to try this? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below! If you loved this article, I would love it if you gave it 5 stars!

    Also, let me know what you think of it and what you will use it for by tagging me @_thecultivationofcozy_  on Instagram or at The Cultivation of Cozy on Facebook!

    Snap a photo and use the hashtag #thecultivationofcozy to join in the community! I can’t wait to see it!

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    8 Comments

    1. I can’t wait to try this! Thanks for the recipe!

      1. I am so glad this is helpful for you! You are quite welcome, Sadie!

    2. Sounds like a great way to do it, I have never used a wine to roast a chicken, I will have to try this, thank you!

    3. I have never roasted a chicken at low temperature like this. I will have to try it. We love using whole chickens around here.

      1. It is especially important to roast a chicken low and slow when they are free range so that the meat stays tender and juicy. We do too, you get so much more for your money when using a whole chicken! So nice to chat with you, LaDonna!

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