How to Roast a Chicken

Roast-Chicken-with-Pepper-and-ThymeRoasting a chicken is something every cook should know how to do. It may seem intimidating at first, but it really is easy once you get the hang of it. I am going to give you the formula for making it work every time.

But, first, let us talk about quality. Not every chicken is created equal, folks. If you go to the grocery store and buy a chicken, you can pretty much count on the fact that you are buying a creature that has lived a crowded, miserable existence, has eaten GMO, pesticide laced food, been given hormones to grow faster and bigger and antibiotics to cure sickness. Most of these factory farm raised chickens never get to express their “chickenness” as Joel Salatin is fond of saying and are stuck in a small pen with five or six other chickens instead of being outside, scratching around for worms and bugs and being in the sunshine.

I don’t have enough room in this article to mention all the negative things that eating a conventional raised chicken will lead to. However, you can do the research – the taste bud research and test the difference yourself. I bet you will find that the pastured raised chicken is much more tender and delicious than the confinement raised chicken and something you can actually feel good about eating! Vote with your pocketbook and support pasture raised animals instead of CAFO (Confinement Animal Factory Operation) raised animals.

How to Roast a Chicken
Serves: 4
  • 1 Free range, pasture fed Chicken or an organic store bought chicken
  • 2-4 tablespoons of either Olive Oil or Butter
  • Fresh Herbs – Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Lavender (any or all)
  • 3-4 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon each of sea salt and pepper
  • 1 Lemon - cut in half
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Wash your chicken and pat dry. Remove any organs or gizzards.
  3. Mince herbs and garlic and mix together with either olive oil or butter. Add salt and pepper to mix. Rub all over chicken, inside cavity and inside skin. To get inside skin, you will have to wrestle the skin loose from the meat and slide your hands inside.
  4. Place lemon inside cavity.
  5. Then place chicken on baking rack over a casserole dish, cast iron skillet or pan large enough to contain all the pan drippings.
  6. Give your chicken a little pat and place in the oven at 375 degrees for 2 hours.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before you carve.
Check for "doneness" by placing a thermometer inside chicken. It should register 180 degrees. Once it is fully cooked, remove chicken and let rest for about 10 minutes before carving. This will let the juices set. Carve against the grain and serve. While the chicken is cooling, you can make a simple gravy by whisking together some of the pan juices in a small pot with some white wine, herbs, butter, salt and pepper. Add a little flour or arrowroot if you want to thicken it. Whisk on medium heat for a couple minutes until it has thickened up. Serve with chicken. Enjoy!


  1. Kelly says

    Wow! This is a hot oven. I thought many traditional people cooked at low temperatures. I have learned to cook a whole chicken at 250 degrees. It takes five hours in a roasting pan ad three hours in a covered pan. I find the pastured chickens cooked in this way to be highly nourishing, filled with flavor and substantial. Since I have been eating real food for the past year, I enjoy both cooking and eating whole chickens. I feel more connected to the animal that gave up its life for me to live.

    • Amanda says

      Hi Kelly,

      Yes, you can certainly cook chickens at a lower temperature. I also prefer them cooked this way as they are usually more tender. The average person will probably not take the time to do this, so I recommended a method that takes less time. I often cook my chicken in the crock pot over night or all day on low. The results are mouthwatering, tender and delicious. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Hélène says

    I really wonder about eating the skin. It seems rather disgusting to me to eat it. I generally just remove it and season the meat itself, if I’m cooking chicken pieces. If I’m cooking a whole bird, I just don’t mess with it at all and pop it in the oven and make the gravy to go over the skinned meat…or I use the skinned meat in recipes. I cook it usually in a crockpot also.

    • Amanda says

      I would suggest eating what you feel drawn to and not eating what you do not feel drawn to. But make sure and ask yourself if you are reulsed by the skin because of your conditioning which suggests skin is bad for you or because your body does not want it?

  3. says

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a friend who
    had been doing a little homework on this. And he in fact
    bought me lunch simply because I found it for him… lol. So let me reword this….
    Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the
    time to talk about this issue here on your blog.

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