Simple Roast Chicken


There's no reason to get overly fussy with complicated techniques for a flavorful, rich and simple roast chicken; the ultimate comfort food.

Active Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
2 hrs 5 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 20 mins
8 servings

Tips for Roasting Chicken

Take the Chicken Out of the Fridge Early

Very cold meat won't roast or brown evenly. Place the chicken on the counter while preheating the oven.

Use Durable Cotton Kitchen String

Durable cotton kitchen string is sold at kitchenware stores, most gourmet markets and large supermarkets. Do not use sewing thread or yarn, which may contain inedible dyes or unsavory chemicals.

Use a Heavy-Duty, High-Sided Roasting Pan

A heavy-duty, high-sided roasting pan is essential for conducting heat evenly. Never substitute with a cookie sheet, which typically lacks a rim around the edges. A broiler pan or a large rimmed baking sheet will work in a pinch.

Give It a Rest

A roast chicken's internal temperature will rise about 10 degrees while resting. The natural juices will also be reincorporated into the chicken and the skin will dry out slightly for a more toothsome and moist chicken.

Additional reporting by Jan Valdez


  • 1 small onion, peeled and quartered

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered

  • 3 sprigs fresh tarragon

  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 5-pound chicken, giblets removed

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

  2. Place onion, garlic, tarragon and thyme into the cavity of the chicken. Tie the legs together with kitchen string, mostly closing the cavity opening. Pull the wings so the tips overlap on top of the breast; tie them in place, wrapping string around the wings and body. Rub the chicken with oil, salt and pepper. Set in a roasting pan, breast-side down.

  3. Roast the chicken for 25 minutes. Turn breast-side up and continue roasting, basting occasionally with pan juices, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, without touching bone, registers 175°F, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest for 10 minutes. Remove the string before carving.


Kitchen string, roasting pan

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

295 Calories
10g Fat
1g Carbs
47g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Serving Size 3 oz. (without skin)
Calories 295
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 1g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 47g 95%
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 150mg 50%
Vitamin A 129IU 3%
Vitamin C 2mg 2%
Folate 18mcg 5%
Sodium 465mg 20%
Calcium 31mg 2%
Iron 3mg 14%
Magnesium 56mg 13%
Potassium 575mg 12%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

Related Articles