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perfect roasted chicken

A Perfect Roast Chicken

Annaliese M. Eberle
Quick to prep, but not lacking in juiciness and the perfectly browned and cooked breast, this is my go-to method for my perfect roast chicken. Add any additional spices or aromatics as desired.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4 as a part of a smaller meal, 6 with lots of sides


  • 1 3 to 5 pound whole chicken, giblets removed if included
  • 3 TB Olive Oil Olive oil (any will do, I usually use organic extra virgin)
  • 3-5 tsp sea salt I use fine sea salt, so adjust to more if you use a coarser one
  • 3-5 tsp pepper freshly ground is best here, and I use a blend of white, black and pink
  • lemon, cut in wedges; fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, parsley, tarragon; dried herbs or spice blends like curry powder, baharat, ras al hanout, paprika, etc.


  • Preheat oven to 425F with a rack in the center in the oven.
  • Heat a heavy bottomed pan, like a cast iron durch or French oven, with 1 TB of the oil, over medium-high heat. You want it to be hot enough to sear the chicken breast. Place oil in pan before heating it, and if it starts to smoke, remove pan from heat to cool it down a touch. Place back on lower heat.
  • As the pan heats up, prep the chicken by rinsing it and patting it dry. Place on a plate.
  • Rub remaining oil (you can eyeball it, the goal is a thin coat over the whole bird), salt and pepper over and inside in the bird. If I am alone, I make a salt-spice paste with the oil in a bowl and rub this all over the bird. You can also have someone help you with this step so you don’t goober your oil and spice containers.
  • If using lemon wedges (or other aromatics, like wedges of apple or onion), add to chicken cavity now.
  • Sear chicken breast side down for 5 minutes. The breast should sizzle strongly once in the hot oil, but not spatter all over. Turn down or up heat accordingly.
  • After 5 minutes, place bird uncovered in oven.
  • Roast for 50 minutes and check the temp or juices: between the body and the thigh, the temperature should be 165F or very close (carry over cooking will raise it by a few degrees), or check juices by cutting this area with knife. Juices should run clear.
  • Cool for 10 minutes longer as needed. Allow bird to rest, either covered if you need a few more degrees to carry-over cook, or uncovered if you’ve reached doneness.
  • Allow bird to rest ideally for 10-15 minutes. Carve on a large carving or cutting board, making sure to catch juices. I like to carve all at one time, and serve on a platter.
  • Leftovers will keep, covered, in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Keyword Holiday, Quick, Savory, Simple