Simple Roast Chicken Recipe

Recipe Category: Chicken

Simple Roast Chicken Recipe


Makes 3 To 4 Servings

  • 1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Adjust the oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 450°f
  2. Rinse the chicken (inside and out) under cold running water and pat it completely dry (inside and out) with paper towels
  3. Combine the salt and pepper in a small bowl
  4. Place the chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan
  5. Season both the outside and the inside of the chicken with the salt and pepper, rubbing the mixture into the skin
  6. Turn on the stovetop fan and/or open the window
  7. Place the pan in the oven, and leave the chicken alone for a good 50 minutes, or until the skin is becoming nicely browned
  8. At that point, start checking for doneness with an instant-read thermometer
  9. To do so, remove the chicken from the oven, insert the thermometer under the leg where it joins the thigh (avoiding the bone), and watch the temperature register
  10. It should stop at 170°f
  11. If you stick the thermometer into the breast meat (again avoiding the bone, and sliding the thermometer in lengthwise along the breast, starting at the top), it should register 160°f
  12. If not, return the chicken to the oven for another 10 minutes and check again
  13. When the chicken has reached 170°f in the leg/thigh area, remove it from the oven
  14. Use a baster or a spoon to suction or scoop up the juices that have gathered in the bottom of the pan (and inside the chicken itself), and gently squirt or dribble them over the entire chicken
  15. Do this about ten times in a row to coat the chicken
  16. When you’re finished basting, let the chicken sit in the roasting pan at room temperature for 15 minutes
  17. Hold the chicken upright (drumsticks down) over the pan to drain off any juices that have collected inside it
  18. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board
  19. Skim off and discard as much of the clear yellow fat that has floated to the top of the pan juices as you can, leaving the dark stuff to use as a sauce
  20. Use a knife or poultry shears to cut the chicken into pieces
  21. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, with the roasting juices spooned over each serving

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