This perfectly tender and juicy whole oven roasted chicken gets brushed with a fresh lemon rosemary garlic butter and stuffed with aromatics for extra flavor. It’s perfect for Sunday dinner, but easy enough for a weeknight!
Whole Roasted Chicken Recipe
Searching through cookbooks, leafing through food magazines and trolling through food blogs proves one fact over and over again: cooks love making recipes with chicken.
While the boneless chicken breast seems to be the star in most recipes, the whole bird cannot be ignored. There’s nothing quite like a juicy hen, perfuming the whole house, to get the salivating started.
This whole roasted chicken recipe is like a butter infused invitation to belly up to the Sunday dinner table. But it’s so easy you could totally make it any day of the week.
Chicken on the bone. Chicken with skin. Those two things give chicken a flavor all on its own.
But when you layer that baby bird with the soft, buttery mix of garlic, lemon, and rosemary a totally new flavor permeates our chicken-little under, and over, the skin.
And that skin, oh that lovely, golden skin. Butter baby. It does the trick.
What’s in This Oven Roasted Chicken?
Simple is the name of the game here. When using fresh herbs, you don’t need much else to flavor a whole baked chicken.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this lemon rosemary chicken:
- Whole chicken
- Unsalted butter
- Fresh rosemary
- Kosher salt and pepper
- White wine
How to Bake a Whole Chicken
Cooking a whole chicken isn’t as daunting as it may seem. Before prepping the oven roasted chicken, preheat your oven and position a rack in the lower third of the oven. You don’t want the top of your bird burning!
Stir together some melted butter, minced garlic, salt and pepper, and lemon zest. Gently pry the skin from the meat of the bird’s breasts and legs and work that flavored butter over the meat. Then, slather the top of the skin with the butter, too. Flavor on flavor.
Stuff the fresh aromatics (lemons, onions and a full head of garlic) into the cavity, and pour white wine into the bottom of the roasting pan. Roast, occasionally turning the lemon rosemary chicken, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the inner thigh registers 155°F to 160°F and juices are running clear.
How Long to Bake a Whole Chicken?
A whole roasted chicken that weighs four to five pounds will take roughly 1 hour 10 minutes to cook through. However, the cook time for your specific bird may vary slightly depending on how big it is and how hot your oven burns.
Can I Use Other Fresh Herbs?
Yes, this oven baked whole chicken recipe is fairly flexible in that sense. If you have other fresh herbs on hand besides rosemary, feel free to season the chicken with them. Thyme, oregano, and sage would all be delicious additions.
Can I Use a White Wine Substitute?
Yes, if you don’t consume alcohol or have run out, you can substitute chicken stock or broth.
Tips for Making an Oven Roasted Chicken
Use real butter (not margarine) for this recipe, either salted or unsalted will do since you’ll be adding your own kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Here’s how to soften your butter when you’re in a pinch.
Depending on how large your roasting pan is, you might be able to throw in some roughly chopped potatoes and cook those alongside the whole roasted chicken. You don’t want to crowd the pan too much though, otherwise it’ll be difficult to turn the bird and get it crisp all over.
If you have leftover chicken, you can shred it and add it to soups, sandwiches, salads and more! Although the lemon rosemary chicken is super flavorful, it complements many dishes without overpowering them.
More Whole Chicken Recipes You’ll Love
- Slow Cooker Whole Chicken
- Cast Iron Skillet Roasted Chicken with Potatoes
- 40 Cloves of Garlic Roast Chicken
- Juicy Roast Chicken
- Whole Chicken Grilled Under a Brick with Harissa
Oven Roasted Chicken with Lemon Rosemary Garlic Butter
This perfectly tender and juicy whole oven roasted chicken gets brushed with a fresh lemon rosemary garlic butter and stuffed with aromatics for extra flavor. It's perfect for Sunday dinner, but easy enough for a weeknight!
- one 4-5 pound chicken at room temperature, giblets and neck removed from cavity
- 2 onions quartered
- 1 head of garlic cut in half plus 3 garlic cloves minced
- 3 lemons 2 cut in half and remaining half sliced into thin slices
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter* softened
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 2 fresh rosemary sprigs plus 1 sprig minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- ½ cup white wine
Preheat the oven to 425°F and position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Mix the butter with minced rosemary, 3 cloves of minced garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
- Pat the chicken dry and rub half of the butter, garlic and lemon zest mixture under the skin and the rest over the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Generously season cavity of chicken with salt and pepper and stuff with lemon half, ½ head of garlic, 2-3 quarters of onion and 2 rosemary sprigs. Truss legs with cooking twine and tuck wings under bird.
Place chicken in a roasting pan breast-side-up with the remaining onion, garlic, lemons and herbs. Add ½ cup of white wine.
Roast for 30 minutes or until the breast is firm and just beginning to brown in spots. Using tongs, turn the chicken breast-down, baste with juices and roast for 20 minutes longer, until the skin is lightly browned. Using tongs, turn the chicken breast-side-up and baste again. Add ½ cup of water if wine has evaporated. Roast for about 20 minutes longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the inner thigh registers 155°F to 160°F and juices are running clear.
- Transfer the bird to a cutting board and tent with foil. Remove aromatics and vegetables from the cavity, carve the chicken and serve.
*Use real butter (not margarine) for this recipe.
More Easy Chicken Recipes to Try
- 7 Spice Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowls
- Indian Butter Chicken
- The Best Baked Chicken Breasts
- Easy Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce
- Easy Shredded Chicken and Zucchini Tacos
- Honey Mustard Chicken
Make it a great day friends, and cook something good.
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