Perfect Roast Chicken

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There’s nothing like a well-roasted whole chicken for dinner! In this post, I share my tips on how to cook a whole chicken. With these tips, you should get the Perfect Roast Chicken every time.

For serving ideas, check out this post on What To Serve With Roast Chicken.

Perfect Roast Chicken in a cast iron skillet.

I rejoice when I have a perfectly roasted chicken sitting in my kitchen. That’s because, with the perfect roast chicken, all I need is a side dish and lunch or dinner is served.

This simple Roast Chicken goes well with other good food, like roast potatoes, Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, Garlic Butter Green Beans, or Garlic Herb Rice.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

This is the best roast chicken recipe and works for any home cook. There are several reasons why:

  • It is beginner-friendly. If you are intimidated by roasting a whole bird, this recipe breaks it down for you to tackle. It is simple to execute. So, don’t worry if it is your first time!
  • It could be made into a complete meal. To go the extra step, you could throw in some potatoes and vegetables and roast them together with the chicken.
  • It makes for a pretty presentation. Want to impress some guests? Make this whole roasted chicken recipe. It is a beauty to behold on the dining table with its golden brown skin and juicy meat! You can place chicken with lemon halves, lemon zest, and tomatoes on a platter for a beautiful presentation.
  • It is so tasty! This is something that is so simple to make and so tantalizing to the taste buds. Don’t mistake simplicity for blandness. The herb and spice mixture for the chicken, which I will show you how to make, is finger-licking good, and it is the secret to this chicken’s epicness. Finger-licking good! No more bland and boring roast chicken! From the breast meat to the thighs and wings, you’ll be in heaven!
  • It is great for meal prep. Make this roast chicken, shred it on a cutting board, and store it in the fridge. Then, use it like rotisserie chicken to make Quick Chicken Noodle Soup, chicken wraps, or tacos. I especially love the chicken breast meat for meal prep! Yum.

If you love a good roast chicken recipe, also check out my Herb Roasted Chicken.

Perfect Roast Chicken in skillet.

The Perfect Roast Chicken

Whether you are serving yourself, your family, or guests, this perfect roast chicken is the way to be a culinary star. It is juicy, flavorful without being overpowering, and has a crisp skin on the outside.

I love an easy roast chicken recipe, so each time I make it, I wonder why I don’t make it often. I always look forward to the leftovers because they make great meals, too. I’m talking tacos (or taco-ish meals)stir-fry, and a whole lot of other delicacies. With both white meat and dark meat, you can make so many different dishes!

I could do a whole post talking about what to do with leftover chicken- if you are lucky to have any leftover meat. But I won’t allow myself to digress. Not today. Not in this post. So, let’s get to the crux of the matter.

Raw chicken for Perfect Roast Chicken.

What Kind of Chicken Should I Use?

The perfect roast chicken begins with the perfect chicken. For those in Africa, note this: It should be the soft kind of chicken.

If you use the hard kind of chicken here known in Cameroon, my country of origin as ‘contri fowl’, it will not work. The whole body of the chicken will get hardened in the oven.

And we don’t want that. We want soft, juicy, chicken. So please, no contri fowls allowed in this zone. Let’s leave them for Khati Khati.

A whole roasted chicken in a cast iron skillet.

Herbs and Spices For Chicken

You need the perfect combination of spices. I’m talking about herbs: celery, parsley or cilantro, fresh or dry rosemary, and some minced garlic cloves, in addition to classic kosher salt (or garlic salt) and black pepper. If you have some fresh thyme at home, you could throw some in, too.

But I wouldn’t advise you to run to the store because there is no thyme at home. You could use either fresh herbs or dry herbs. I use both interchangeably and they work well.

Now listen to me: there is this very special ingredient I want to tell you about. Do you know how extra virgin olive oil is always added to spice rub mixes? That isn’t the only thing you can use. I’m asking you to ditch the oil for some butter

Unleash your kitchen superpower with this epic spice rub of butter, garlic, and herbs. It makes the chicken 10x more flavourful, and the butter also helps the chicken skin crisp up as the chicken cooks.

See the recipe card below with a detailed list of ingredients and instructions.


  • Stuffing: You can always make a delicious stuffing to put inside of the chicken! Make sure to do this before trussing the chicken. Use a large spoon to fill the cavity of the bird with it. Check the temperature of the stuffing as well when checking the meat.
  • Other Ingredients For Stuffing: If you don’t want to stuff the cavity of the chicken with a classic stuffing, you can always fill the chicken cavity with other ingredients like whole garlic cloves, lemon wedges, or bundles of fragrant herbs.
  • Make It Spicy: Who said you can’t make a spicy roast chicken? You can either rub the chicken with Indian spices or other spicy seasonings to give the entire roast chicken some heat!
  • Fruit: Although fruit like lemons and oranges taste amazing, you could also experiment and make a roast chicken with apples and pears. This combination especially tastes amazing in the fall time, and you can use ingredients such as potatoes, sage, and rosemary to complement them.
Carved whole chicken on a white platter.

Top Tips For Roasting A Whole Chicken:

1. Ensure that the chicken is well-patted dry with paper towels before you add on the seasonings. This helps the form a golden skin when it is cooked.

2. Always add some melted butter to the spice rub for your chicken. The butter is the best way to add more flavor and equally ensures nice, crispy skin.

3. After the first hour of roasting the chicken, rotate the large roasting pan (or aluminum foil pan) in the oven. This helps to ensure that the chicken heats evenly during the cooking process.

4. Tie the chicken legs with kitchen twine, or butcher’s twine or kitchen string, and tuck the wings in the back. This helps to ensure that the chicken cooks evenly and the wings don’t dry out.

5. Baste the chicken with the pan juices from the bottom of the pan as soon as it is out of the oven and also before serving. This makes the chicken glisten and look more appetizing.

6. To ensure roast chicken is done, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. It should read an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit for the chicken to be considered done after its suggested cooking time. You can also check other places to see how it is coming along, such as the breast side.

7. Always remove thawed chicken from the fridge and bring to room temperature one hour before beginning the cook time (this might take more or less time depending on the size of the bird). Roasting chicken that is not at room temperature will lead to uneven cooking.

Let the chicken rest for about 15 minutes so it can reabsorb its juices then you can carve it and serve!

How Long to Roast a Whole Chicken

When making a perfect roast chicken recipe, A good rule is to roast 1 pound of chicken for 15 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. So if you are roasting a 5-pound chicken, you’ll have to roast each pound for 15 minutes and the total roasting time will be 75 minutes or 1 hour 15 minutes. Of course, it varies by the type of oven you have, too, but this is a good guideline.

An important thing: if your temperature is different, you will need to roast your chicken for a period that matches the temperature. A lower temperature will require a longer roasting time. I suggest the high heat for a nice crust outside of the chicken. The high temperature is your best friend!

Perfect Roast Chicken - How to Roast a Whole Chicken

This roast chicken rocks! Whether for a regular meal or for a feast, it is a must-try, perfect recipe. You know what will make it rock even better? Some good sauce or gravy to go with it!

Sauce Ideas For Roast Chicken

I use the same herbs used in marinating the chicken: celery, fresh parsley (or cilantro), and fresh basil together with some garlic, onion, and hot (habanero) pepper to make a killer sauce.

I put them in a blender and blend it into a paste. Then I season it with salt and 2 stock cubes, add some oil to it, simmer in a small saucepan for a few minutes, and make the most amazing green sauce. Ever.

Try this chicken, together with some great sauce on the side this holiday season, and you will be a star.

Another one of my favorite ways to make a sauce is with the chicken juice itself – the one that comes out of a cooking chicken: the pan drippings. It is pure gold! I have drizzled it over rice and enjoyed it together with the chicken. Add a splash of lemon juice, too, if you wish. So good!

This Perfect Roast Chicken was on my table three Thanksgivings ago. You could roast two chickens if you have many mouths to feed. May it bring some kitchen stardom into your life!

This Roast Chicken also goes well with African Pepper Sauce, so I suggest trying that next time!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Keep Chicken Moist When Roasting?

For your chicken to turn out moist, there are a few different factors. First, the high heat helps to lock in the juices! You also want to baste the chicken with the juices and allow the meat to rest for a bit before you slice into it.

Is It Better To Roast a Chicken Covered or Uncovered?

Although you can do either, I prefer to cook my roast chicken uncovered so that it forms a gorgeous golden crust with a nice texture!

Is It Better To Roast Chicken at 350 or 400?

Although either of these temperatures are suitable, they will extend the cooking time, which is why I prefer to use 425 degrees Fahrenheit. However, you can use 350-400 degrees, it will just take longer, and the skin might not turn out as crisp!

Watch How To Roast a Whole Chicken

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What To Serve With Roast Chicken

More awesome dinner recipes:

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Perfect Roast Chicken - How to Roast a Whole Chicken

Perfect Roast Chicken – How to Roast a Whole Chicken

5 from 3 votes
Tips on how to roast a whole chicken in the shortest time possible while ensuring that the chicken is super flavorful. This is a hit on the dinner table!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 5 pound whole chicken (2.5 kg)
  • 2 Tablespoon unsalted butter – melted
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder substitute with 2 4g stock cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white/black pepper
  • 1 onion – peeled and cut into two pieces
  • 1 large celery stalk – cut into 3 pieces


  • Remove thawed chicken from the fridge and bring to room temperature one hour before preparing.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F or 220 degrees C.
  • Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Mix melted butter together with parsley, garlic powder, bouillon powder, dried rosemary, and red pepper flakes if using.
  • Rub salt and white/black pepper all over the chicken then rub the butter and herb mixture over the chicken, making sure to rub some on the inside. Place the onion and celery into the cavity of the chicken. Tie the chicken legs with a kitchen string then tuck the wings beneath the chicken. Watch the video above to see how to tuck the wings under the chicken.
  • Place chicken on a cast iron skillet, a roasting pan, or a heavy-duty aluminum foil pan. Roast in preheated oven for 1 hour 15 minutes until the juices run clear. If able to use a meat thermometer, insert it into the inner thigh near the leg and the breast, being careful not to touch the bone. When the chicken is done, it should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit or 73 degrees Celsius.
  • Let the chicken rest for about 15 minutes so it can reabsorb its juices then you can carve it and serve!


1.  A good rule to follow when roasting chicken is to roast for about 15 minutes per pound at 425 degrees Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius). I used a 5-pound chicken in this recipe so I cooked it for 75 minutes following the rule of 15 minutes per pound. Adjust your cooking time based on the size of your chicken.
2. Since it is unlikely that you might get the exact same size chicken like mine, I advise that you adjust the quantity of your salt and white/black pepper as needed. If your chicken is closer to 6 pounds, sprinkle on a little more salt. If your chicken is less than 5 pounds, use less salt.
3. Note that you do not need to add so much salt on the chicken because chicken bouillon powder is salty. 


Calories: 76kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 276mg | Potassium: 88mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 145IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0.5mg

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Fusion, International
Calories: 76
Tried this recipe?Mention @preciouscore or tag #PreciousCore!

*This post was first published in November 2016. It has been updated with lots of tips, adjusted cooking temperature and time, new pictures and a recipe video.

Collage of chicken with text \"Perfect Roast Chicken Juicy and Flavorful!\"

About Precious

Welcome to my core! I am Precious Nkeih, the recipe developer and writer right here on my blog, Precious Core. My goal is to show you insanely delicious recipes you can replicate in your kitchen. And I love to tell stories too. Hope you find recipes here that will make cooking easier for you! Check me out on YouTube at

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  1. I made this for dinner last night I must say was absolutely delicious. However I think I put too much salt in the brine water and along with the salt that I added to the seasonings to put on top of the chicken it was way too salty.

  2. hmmm
    i know now what i’ll use to wow my girls and friends when they come home on sunday 11 February. Trust boarding school girls to drool over this chicken. Thanks Pre

      1. Thanks for the answer.
        I just have unsalted butter :-), thats why i am asking.
        My chicken is 1.5 kg

  3. Thanks so much. I am on it now. Will season and leave in the fridge overnight. Can’t wait for tomorrow. I pray it comes out yummy as this one.

  4. Thanks for this recipe ,please when you say cook time ,is it broiling or baking. If baking at what temperature should the oven be set?. Plan to make this for thanksgiving.

  5. Like what the first commenter wrote, Precious, seriously eh, Christmas should come.. Its like there is a special taste that comes with Christmas food and chicken. This is ”longer throat”… Lol

    1. Hahaha Bren, longer throat will cause all kinds of things. In Cameroon, we call it “langa throat”. Christmas should really come fast.

  6. This is really nice and very easy to follow recipe. It’s a Monday morning and I am already hungry. Lol. Lovely blog you have here!