Whole Roast Chicken

Everyone loves a traditional roast chicken dinner.  Roasting a whole chicken is easy and makes a beautiful presentation.  Learn how to prepare a bird that is crisp on the outside, moist and juicy on the inside.  Lemon, garlic and fresh herbs star in this family favorite.


  • 6 pound roasting chicken
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • several sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme
  • 1 whole head of garlic
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion
  • cooking spray


Wash and dry the lemons and herbs.  Zest both lemons, and cut in half.  Peel the garlic cloves and slowly warm them in the olive oil over lowest possible heat.  A simmer mat is great for this application.  Turn the cloves every 10 minutes until they are soft and lightly browned.

Leave the butter standing at room temperature until softened.  Mince half of the rosemary and thyme and add to the butter along with the lemon zest.

Preheat the oven to 425º.  Remove the giblets packet from the chicken.  Rinse the chicken, inside and out and pat dry.

Mist a large roasting pan with cooking spray and set the chicken breast side up.  Fit as many pieces of lemon as you can into the cavity of the chicken, along with the garlic cloves and remaining rosemary and thyme sprigs.

Rub the butter mixture all over the chicken, be sure to coat the wings and legs.  Tie the legs together.  Quarter the onion and tuck slices under the chicken, along with any extra pieces of lemon.

Roast uncovered for 1-1/2 hours, or until a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 165º.

The skin should be nicely browned.  Let it rest 10 minutes before carving.

Can you see how moist the meat is?  We had a great dinner, with leftovers for several more meals.  The remnants went into the crock-pot for soup.

Not only was this a wonderful dinner, but you can see what a value the chicken was!  Many servings, nothing wasted.

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4 thoughts on “Whole Roast Chicken”

  1. My mouth is watering looking at this delicious roast chicken, Leslie! I love the flavourful butter you are using for roasting. I like to put lemon and herbs in the cavity as well. It really makes a difference to the flavour!

    1. Thanks April! It’s well worth the effort, even when cooking for two as you can enjoy the leftovers for several more meals!

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