Roasted Whole Chicken with corn on the cob

Perfectly Roasted Whole Chicken (Bahamian Style)

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The Best Whole Roasted Chicken Recipe

Whether planning a Mother’s Day feast or just a simple family meal, a roasted whole chicken or crispy roasted chicken pieces in the oven can be a game changer and time saver. There are different versions of cooking a perfect roast whole chicken. 

I like my whole roasted chicken to hit all of the flavor profiles. It’s a little sweet with a tangy and spicy kick at the end, just delicious. When I serve this simple whole roasted chicken recipe for a Sunday dinner, I like it with the works—peas and Rice with potato salad, coleslaw, and macaroni.  Lord, I could taste it right now. A midweek meal of whole roasted chicken tastes great with mashed potatoes and sautéed vegetables for a complete meal.

Roasted whole chicken recipes can be easily tweaked to suit your preferences. Preparing a classic oven-baked chicken is easy and quick. Whole roasted chicken has a nice juicy texture and is loaded with flavors. With the right ingredients, you can make a simple whole-roasted chicken recipe without a hassle.

"A Golden brown roasted whole chicken in clear dish with corn on the cob in the background"
Roasted Whole Chicken

How to make a roast chicken from scratch

Making whole roasted chicken in the oven is super easy. All you need to do is prep and marinate your chicken with your favorite ingredients and leave it overnight in the fridge for the best flavor. Preheat your oven and roasting pan, and pop the chicken breast side up in the oven. Make sure to baste the chicken occasionally while roasting in the oven. Cover it with foil once it’s well-roasted and done to ensure the chicken stays juicy before you dig in.

This Whole Roasted Chicken is simple, comforting, and delicious. All you need are a few ingredients, a little time, and some love to make perfectly juicy, tender, sweet, heat-roasted chicken every single time.

"A cooked whole chicken with lots of herbs and butter under the skin being carved by a chef"
Garlic and Herb Whole roasted chicken – Gordon Ramsay

Roasted Whole Chicken, Gordon Ramsey Recipe


  • 1 whole chicken (about 4-5 pounds)
  • Olive oil or softened butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh herbs (such as thyme, rosemary, and parsley)
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 whole garlic bulb, cut in half horizontally


  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).
  2. Prepare the chicken:
    • Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature.
    • Pat the chicken dry inside and out with paper towels. Moisture on the skin can prevent it from becoming crispy.
  3. Season the chicken:
    • Season the cavity generously with salt and pepper.
    • Stuff the cavity with lemon, garlic bulb halves, and fresh herbs. This not only flavors the meat but helps to keep it moist during cooking.
  4. Truss the chicken:
    • Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body to prevent them from burning. This also helps the chicken to cook evenly.
  5. Rub the chicken:
    • Lightly coat the chicken with olive oil or softened butter. Then, season the outside generously with salt and pepper, ensuring it’s evenly covered. The oil or butter helps the skin turn golden and crisp.
  6. Roast the chicken:
    • Place the chicken breast-side up in a roasting pan or on a rack inside a baking tray.
    • Roast in the preheated oven for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the juices run clear when you insert a knife into the thickest part of the thigh. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (75°C).
  7. Rest the chicken:
    • Remove the chicken from the oven and cover loosely with foil. Let it rest for about 10-15 minutes before carving. Resting allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring a juicier chicken.
  8. Serve:
    • Carve the chicken and serve it with the roasting juices, which can be spooned over the top or made into a gravy.

This method should yield a deliciously roasted whole chicken with flavors and textures reminiscent of those in Gordon Ramsay’s recipes. It emphasizes the importance of basic techniques and quality ingredients.

The Best Roasted Whole Chicken

A whole roasted chicken is one of my very favorite things to cook. It’s delicious and juicy and provides so many meals. \

This simple whole-roasted chicken recipe is my go-to method and could not be any easier. All you need are a few simple ingredients and a little time to make a delicious roasted chicken with perfect crispy skin every single time.

Whole Roasted chicken being prepared
Prepping Whole Roasted Chicken

Ingredients Need for Best Roasted Whole Chicken

Whole Chicken: This recipe calls for a two—to four-pound whole chicken. Before you start, remember to remove the giblets from inside the cavity.

Veggies: large chunks of onion to stuff the bird cavity.

Aromatics and Herbs: You’ll combine fresh garlic and thyme for this simple recipe. Also, ground turmeric, allspice, seasoning salt, cane sugar, and chipotle powder

Butter: Any good roasted chicken includes a little bit of butter. It helps to add delicious flavor, and for this recipe, we’ll combine butter with other aromatics to create a juicy bird. I recommend using high-quality unsalted butter for the best results.

Olive Oil: To ensure the chicken browns without burning, we’ll apply olive oil to its skin.

Lime or Lemon: Chicken and lime go together like a match made in heaven, and for this recipe, we’ll use a combination of fresh lime juice and lime zest.

The best whole Roasted Chicken recipe is….

It is juicy and crispy outside, with golden skin that’s sweet, spicy, and herby and a limey flavor in the background. It creates pan juices that are used as the sauce for the chicken. This stuff is liquid gold!

"Orangey hue dry spice rup in a white bowl with a heaping spoonful taken up and the rest in a white bowl"
Dry Spice Rub

Ingredient Swaps and Additions

Butter—If you need to keep this recipe dairy-free, you can swap the butter for olive oil, or if you tolerate it, you can use ghee instead.

Veggies – feel free to use only carrots or celery as a base for the bird if you only have one of these veggies on hand. You can also add a few more root veggies to the skillet if you like. Parsnips or potatoes are always great options.

Aromatic – You can stop with just the garlic and thyme if you don’t want the additional spices..

"A whole chicken cooked on a platter with roasted vegetables an green rosemary herbs on a white plate"
Jerk roasted whole chicken – Sweettea

How to Make a Roasted Whole Chicken in the Oven

Step One: Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees.

Step Two: Next, make the herb butter mixture. Add the melted butter, garlic, lime zest, fresh thyme, ground turmeric, allspice, seasoning salt, sugar, chipotle powder, and black pepper in a small mixing bowl. Stir everything together until well combined.

Step Three: Use a paper towel to pat the chicken dry on both the inside and outside, and then place it in the pan breast-side up.

Step Four: Use your hands to rub the melted butter mixture under the chicken’s skin and inside the cavity, making sure to use all of the butter and cover every nook and cranny.

Step Five: Next, stuff the chicken cavity with the garlic, yellow onion, lemon, and fresh thyme. 

Step Six: Drizzle the olive oil over the skin of the chicken and rub thoroughly. Then, season the chicken with salt and black pepper.

Step Seven: Place the chicken in the oven, on the middle rack, and roast for an hour, at the thickest part, reaching 165 degrees. Use a large spoon or baster to baste the chicken with the drippings every 30 minutes.

Step Eight: Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest in the baking dish for ten to fifteen minutes before carving. Serve the chicken with the pan drippings or reserve them for homemade gravy.

"Roasted Chicken dinner with chicken thighs, legs with greens"
Roasted chicken meal

How Long to Roast a Chicken?

The time it takes to roast your chicken thoroughly will depend on its size and your oven! I typically roast a four-pound bird and find that it takes me between an hour and fifteen minutes and an hour and a half. For smaller birds, it may take only an hour.

I like to start checking my chicken’s doneness at around 45 minutes. The most accurate way to check for doneness is to use a thermometer inserted at the thickest part of the chicken but not hitting the bone. When the chicken is fully cooked, the temperature will read 165 degrees Fahrenheit, and the juices will run clear and not pink.

Should You Roast a Chicken Covered or Uncovered?

You’ll need to roast your chicken uncovered instead of covered for that golden brown crispy skin. If you roast a much larger chicken that needs more oven time, the skin may become too brown. If that happens, lightly tent a piece of foil over the chicken to prevent it from burning.

"a whole roasted grilled chicken glazed in pineapple juice with a pineapple salsa and the top of the pineapple at the top
Pineapple glazed roasted whole chicken – Grillindad

What is the difference between roasting and baking a whole chicken?

The terms “roasting” and “baking” are often used interchangeably in cooking, but there are subtle differences, particularly when cooking methods like preparing a whole chicken.

Roasting: Roasting generally refers to cooking food, especially meats, in an open pan to produce a well-browned crust and, ideally, a moist interior. When roasting a whole chicken, the process usually involves cooking at a higher temperature (typically over 400°F or 205°C). This high heat creates a crispier skin and helps render the fat, contributing to the finished dish’s flavor and texture. Roasting often involves basting the chicken with juices or added fats like butter or oil to enhance flavor and encourage an even more appealing golden exterior.

Baking: Baking, on the other hand, usually refers to the cooking method used for foods that require gentle heat to cook through without necessarily having a crisped or well-browned exterior. Baked foods are often cooked covered or at lower temperatures. When baking a whole chicken, it might be done at a lower temperature (such as 350°F or 175°C), possibly covered with foil to retain moisture and ensure that the chicken cooks through evenly without the skin crisping up too much.

In practice, many home kitchens use the terms for similar processes, and the difference often comes down to temperature and the desired outcome (especially the texture of the skin and surface). Roasting is preferred for a juicy interior and a crispy, golden exterior. If you’re aiming for a softer, more uniform texture without a crisp skin, baking might be the approach you choose.

"Cooked chicken with gravy with cut pieces of chicken breast, coleslaw and corn"
Roasted whole chicken with grilled corn and coleslaw – Woolsworth

Tips for the Best Roasted Whole Chicken Recipe

Roasting a whole chicken to achieve that perfect balance of juicy meat and crispy skin is an art form. Here are five tips that can help you master this dish:

  1. Brining is Key: Before roasting, consider brining your chicken for a few hours or overnight. A simple brine of salt, sugar, and water can significantly enhance the juiciness of the chicken by locking in moisture. Add aromatics like garlic, herbs, and citrus to the brine for extra flavor.
  2. Pat Dry and Season Well: After brining, pat the chicken dry thoroughly with paper towels. Moisture on the skin can prevent it from becoming crispy. Season the chicken generously inside and out with salt, pepper, and your chosen herbs and spices. Rubbing some of the seasoning under the skin can also help flavor the meat directly.
  3. Butter or Oil Under the Skin: Gently lift the chicken’s skin and spread a thin layer of butter or olive oil directly on the meat. This helps keep the meat moist and tender while the skin gets crispy. You can add herbs and garlic to the butter or oil for more flavor.
  4. Roasting Temperature and Position: Roast the chicken in a preheated oven at a high temperature (around 425-450°F or 220-230°C) for the first 10-15 minutes to kickstart the crisping of the skin, then lower the temperature to around 350°F (175°C) to cook through without drying out. Positioning the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan can help the heat circulate evenly.
  5. Let It Rest: Once your chicken is done (the internal temperature should reach 165°F or 75°C), rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring that your chicken will be moist and delicious when served.

These tips should help you achieve a beautifully roasted chicken that’s both juicy inside and wonderfully crispy on the outside. Enjoy your cooking!

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Chicken thighs

Steam Chicken

Roasted vegetables

"Roasted Chicken dinner with chicken thighs, legs with greens"

Chipotle-Lime Roasted Whole Chicken with Turmeric and Allspice

Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 8


  • 1 whole chicken, 4 to 5 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 1 whole onion
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon allspice powder
  • 1 tablespoon seasoning salt
  • 1 tablespoon cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Zest and juice of 2 limes

Fresh thyme sprigs (for garnish, optional)

  • Additional lime wedges for serving



  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Rinse the chicken under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels. Remove any giblets if present.

Make the Marinade:

  • In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, softened butter, three cloves of finely chopped garlic, turmeric powder, chipotle powder, allspice powder, seasoning salt, cane sugar, dried thyme, lime zest, and lime juice. Mix well to create a smooth paste.

Season the Chicken:

  • Rub the marinade all over the chicken using your hands and coat the outside and under the skin for deeper flavor penetration. If time allows, let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight, covered.


  • Place the chicken breast side up in a roasting pan. Add the remainder of the garlic to the cavity with one whole onion. Truss the legs together with kitchen twine and tuck the wing tips under the body.
  • Roast in the preheated oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh and the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).


  • Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes before carving. This helps the juices redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring it’s moist and flavorful.


  • Carve the chicken, serve with fresh lime wedges, and garnish with fresh thyme sprigs if desired.




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