Simple Roast Chicken

This simple roast chicken with garlic herbed butter turns out perfect every time. Its tender and juicy on the inside with golden crisp skin. It  has the tastiest pan juices that can easily be turned into a luscious gravy. It’s hard to believe it’s taken me this long to share a basic and classic roast chicken recipe, but I suppose it’s better late than never.  There are so many variations of a classic roast chicken. This is one of my favorites because it’s infused with wonderful flavours and there are loads of delicious pan juices that are used to sauce to the chicken with or to make into a gravy if you are serving it with mashed potatoes or cauliflower mash.

Simple Roast Chicken

It makes for a great meal that requires minimal prep work with fantastic textures and flavors with the garlic, butter and herbs. I know a lot of roast chicken recipes call for roasting veggies with the chicken or under the chicken and Im not opposed to that but it’s not my favorite either. I don’t like how mushy the veggies get. I usually roast my veggies separately so they stay tender and cook more evenly. This delicious roast chicken recipe does have something roasting under it though. It’s roasted over a bed of garlic and onion. This keeps the chicken elevated and off the pan which allows it to cook evenly and as a bonus adds extra flavour to the pan juices.

Simple Roast Chicken

Tips to making the perfect roast chicken:

  • Always pat the skin of the chicken dry with paper towels. The drier the skin the crispier it will be. Seasoning the chicken well with salt inside and out helps with this and adds loads of flavour to the chicken.
  • Use kitchen twine to tie the chicken legs together. This helps keep them close to the body and helps cook the chicken evenly as well.
  • Make sure to baste the chicken 2-3 times while it’s roasting. Basting helps keep the meat moist, and adds flavor.
  • The herb and garlic butter over and under the skin helps flavour the chicken - feel free to switch up the combination of herbs and seasonings in the garlic butter. I chose thyme and rosemary because I tend to always have them around. You can even use dried herbs or seasoning blends too. If you like a particular salt rub feel free to use that instead of regular salt and pepper or even as a flavour ingredient for the butter. It really is up to your taste. •
  • Always allow 10-15 min of resting uncovered before slicing into it so the juices collect and the chicken remains moist.

Simple Roast Chicken

I love the flavour the wine gives to the pan juices but feel free to substitute with broth if you would prefer no alcohol. When I’m serving this chicken with rice or a simple salad I usually just serve it with the pan juices. If I’m serving it with my mashed potatoes I take the extra few minutes to make the simple gravy included in the recipe below. It’s easy and tasty and so good over mashed potatoes. This is a recipe I have been making a lot and of all the basic recipes I have made and tried for a classic roast chicken it beats them out. Never dry and bland. Always perfectly golden, crispy, and juicy.  It’s a recipe from Nagi (Recipe Tin Eats) that is my go too - I just switch up the seasoning and the herbs according to what I have on hand at the moment. It’s simple to make and flavorful, the perfect roast for Sunday lunch but easy and quick enough to make for a weeknight - the leftovers are always wonderful too.


Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10-15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 25 - 1 hr 35 min


For the chicken

  • 3.5 - 4lb whole chicken, patted dry
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 small bunch of Rosemary and thyme

For the Herb butter

  • 1 stick unsalted butter,melted1 tsp chopped Thyme
  • 1 tsp chopped Rosemary
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp each salt and black pepper

For the pan

  • 1 cup white wine, or chicken broth
  • 1 onion , quartered
  • 1 garlic bulb, halved horizontally


  1. Take the chicken out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking. Pat dry and season very generously with salt and pepper inside and out
  2. Preheat oven to 450°F with oven rack in the middle.
  3. Whisk together the butter ingredients along with the juice from ½ lemon the lemon
  4. Transfer chicken to roasting pan. Use a small spoon or your fingers to loosen skin from chicken - breast and Drumsticks only.
  5. Prop chicken upright, and spoon butter mixture under skin pressing it down to reach everywhere, and saving some of the butter for the skin
  6. Drizzle the rest of the butter all over surface of the chicken. Squeeze over juice of remaining two lemon wedges then stuff those inside the chicken along with the bunch of rosemary and thyme.
  7. Tie drumstick ends with string and tuck wing tips under the chicken.
  8. Sprinkle all over with a little extra salt and pepper.
  9. Place the cut onion pieces and garlic in roasting pan, lift chicken and place chicken on top adjusting it if needed to sit as evenly as possible over them. Pour wine around it and give the chicken a final drizzle of olive oil.
  10. Roast for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350°F and allow it to roast for a another 1 hr 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F and juices run clear when pierced. Baste a couple of times while roasting, spooning pan juices over skin.
  11. Allow the chicken to rest once out of the oven for 15 minutes uncovered. Then serve with your preference of sides and also the pan juices. Or you could make a quick gravy with them. Details below. Discard remaining onion and garlic in the pan.

To make the gravy this is what you will need

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups of liquid from pan topped up with low sodium chicken broth plus extra broth as needed
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Melt butter over medium heat, add flour, stir for 1 minute. Add half the liquid while whisking.
  2. Once incorporated, add rest of the liquid.
  3. Continue cooking for 2 minutes, stirring regularly, until gravy thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste and whisk in more broth as needed to reach the consistency you prefer.

Adapted from Recipe Tin Eats

Simple Roast Chicken