Perfect One Hour Whole Roasted Chicken
This is the perfect one hour whole roasted chicken recipe. Basted with butter and sprinkled with herbs. The skin is perfectly crisp, and the chicken is juicy and tender! This homemade roasted chicken recipe is better than any rotisserie chicken you can buy at the store!
This one hour whole roasted chicken will knock your socks off!
Crispy, buttery skin that’s seasoned with a few select herbs and roasted with lemons and garlic.
Homemade roasted chicken is tender, juicy, flavor-packed, golden, and delicious. The aromatics really make the chicken, though. We stuff the belly full of lemons, garlic cloves, sage, thyme, and pretty much any other kind herb you’ve got on hand. Brush on melted butter and sprinkle the bird with lemon pepper seasoning.
It’ll make the whole house smell delicious and it’s easy enough to make if you’re hosting an intimate dinner.
If you’ve never roasted a whole chicken before and find the idea daunting, let me walk you through a few things. Trust me; it’s not that bad. This isn’t like trussing a giant 20-pound roasted turkey for Thanksgiving. We’ll get to that a different day. Let’s take baby steps.
The best part about this roasted chicken recipe is that you don’t have to truss the chicken at all if you don’t want to. I just tie the legs together using a snippet of kitchen twine because it makes the chicken look prettier for pictures, but it’s not something you have to do. Once you’ve mastered this, give the spatchcock chicken recipe a try! It’s delicious and comes together super quickly.
What do you need to make roasted chicken?
- Chicken: You’ll need a whole bird with the neck and giblets removed. You can use anything from a 3 ½ pound to 4 ½ pound chicken for this recipe. Just keep in mind that the 4 ½ pounds will take a little over an hour to roast.
- Lemon: one lemon cut in half and stuffed inside the chicken lends a delicious lemony scent
- Head of garlic: garlic adds flavor and acts as an aromatic. This makes the whole house smell so delicious!
- Fresh herbs: fresh herbs are used in a couple of ways. The first is to stuff inside the chicken while it roasts. The other is sprinkled on top to flavor the chicken. I’m using thyme, rosemary, and parsley inside the chicken and sprinkling a few thyme leaves on top to flavor the skin.
- Butter: Melted butter is used to baste the chicken while it roasts. It helps the chicken develop that delicious looking brown crust when the milk solids on the butter roast up.
- Lemon pepper seasoning: a sprinkle of lemon pepper is added to the chicken so that it has that delicious flavor on the skin.
How to make the best whole roasted chicken recipe:
- Prep everything first. You’ll want to position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 425ºF. Place the chicken on a clean cutting board and pat dry using paper towels. This is important because you want the skin to render all the fat. If water is left on the surface, it will steam, causing the skin to remain flabby. Season the inside of the cavity with kosher salt. Place the lemon halves, garlic halves, and herbs inside. At this point, you can use kitchen twine to tie the legs if you want. Place the chicken in a cast-iron skillet, an oven-safe frying pan, or a baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining salt all over the chicken.
- Baste the bird. Melt the butter in the microwave and brush it on the skin of the chicken using a pastry brush. Don’t discard any of the remaining butter. You want to save it so you can repeat this step around the halfway mark. Sprinkle the chicken with lemon pepper seasoning and thyme leaves.
- Roast it. Place the skillet in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and baste the chicken again with the remaining melted butter. Place the chicken back in the oven and continue roasting for 25 minutes. Insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh and check to make sure it has reached 165ºF. Continue roasting the chicken if it hasn’t. If it has, you’ll want to remove the chicken and allow it to rest before carving.
How long do you roast a whole chicken?
- 3 ½ pound chicken: I’ve made this recipe several times in a few different ovens (always guided with an oven thermometer) and my chicken always takes a full 45 minutes to roast.
- 4 ½ pound chicken: This will take 10-15 minutes more than the 3 ½ pound chicken, so I estimate it will be about 55-60 minutes.
Regardless of the size of the chicken, please allow at least 15-30 minutes for the chicken to rest before carving it. Resting allows the chicken to complete cooking but also for the moisture from the chicken to distribute and seal itself in. Resting allows the full chicken flavor to carry through. Cutting it immediately would cause all the juices to leak right out onto the cutting board.
- Cast iron skillet or cast iron casserole dish
- Oven thermometer
- Meat thermometer
- Kitchen twine
- Basting Brush
What to serve with homemade whole roasted chicken:
- Cheesy Mashed Potatoes or My 20 Minute Mashed Potatoes
- Roasted Garlic Focaccia Bread
- Brown Butter Honey Glazed Carrots
- 1-hour Garlic and Herb Dinner Rolls
- Smashed Potatoes
- Everyday Kale Crunch Salad
- Sautéed Herb Garlic Mushrooms
- Creamy Sour Cream Chive Potato Salad
- Garlicky Extra Crispy Roasted Potatoes
- Crispy Cacio e Pepe Sprouts or Garlic Butter Brussel Sprouts
- Slow Cooker Creamed Corn
- Perfect Baked Potatoes
- Southern Buttermilk Biscuits
- Creamy Green Bean Casserole
- Twice Baked Potatoes Casserole
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- Roasted Garlic Italian Couscous Salad
Bonus points if you use the pan drippings to make a gravy!
This recipe was originally shared in Dec. 2014, updated with minor recipe changes, new pictures, and a new post in Sept. 2020.
Perfect One Hour Whole Roasted Chicken
This is the perfect one hour whole roasted chicken recipe. Basted with butter and sprinkled with herbs. The skin is perfectly crisp and the chicken is juicy and tender! This homemade roasted chicken recipe is better than any rotisserie chicken you can buy at the store!
- 3 ½ - 4 ½ pound whole chicken, neck + giblets removed
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 1 head of garlic, cut in half
- Few sprigs of thyme, rosemary, parsley, sage (or whatever herbs you have on hand)
- 5 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons EACH: kosher salt AND lemon pepper seasoning, no salt added
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (leaves pulled off)
- PREP: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 425ºF. Place the chicken on a cutting board and pat dry using paper towels. Season the inside of the cavity with ½ teaspoon of salt. Place the lemon halves, garlic head, and herbs inside the cavity. Place the chicken breast-side up in a large cast-iron skillet or an oven-safe frying pan. Sprinkle the chicken with the remaining 1 ½ teaspoon of salt all over.
- BASTE: Melt the butter in the microwave and using a pastry brush, brush half the butter generously all over the chicken, save remaining butter do not discard. Sprinkle with the thyme leaves and lemon pepper seasoning.
- ROAST: the chicken for 20 minutes, remove from oven, brush on the remaining butter mixture. Place the chicken back into the oven and continue roasting for 25 minutes. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh and check to make sure it registers at 165 degrees F. Continue to roast for an additional 10-15 minutes if necessary (see notes). Remove roasted chicken from the oven and allow for it to rest for 15-30 minutes before carving.
- If you have the time, I suggest salting the chicken for 1 hour-24 hours in advance. Salt the cavity with ½ teaspoon of salt and the top of the bird with 1 ½ teaspoon of salt. Allow the chicken to sit covered in the refrigerator (if done earlier.) Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 1 hour prior to roasting. This will make homemade rotisserie chicken 100000x better!
- I used a 3 ½ pound chicken and it took exactly 45 minutes to roast. I let the chicken rest for 20 minutes prior to carving. If you're using a 4½ pound chicken, you will need to add an additional 10 -15 minutes of roasting time.
- Please keep in mind this recipe was not tested on an organic chicken. I find that they sometimes take longer to roast (so a 3 ½ pound chicken might take you closer to 1 hour.) The best thing to do is monitor for doneness in the thickest portion of the chicken using a meat thermometer at 45 minutes and then again every 7-10 minutes until it reaches 165ºF.
Can’t remember the last time that I made a whole roast chicken. Thanks for reminding me how delicious it is, I definitely need to make your one hour version!
Wonderful recipe! My grandmother used to make whole roast chicken all the time and everybody loved it. Can’t wait to try your recipe.
Thanks Claudia! Grandmas always make the best stuff, don’t they? Do let me know your thoughts if you make the chicken 🙂
Hi love your recipes!! Should write a book
Did you roast it in the cast iron pan, or was that just for the picture?
I roasted it in the cast iron pan, but you can use a dutch oven, a baking sheet, or a roasting pan as well. All of these will work.
Do you recommend putting some broth or water in the bottom of the pan?
I wouldn’t recommend putting broth or water at the bottom of the pan unless you don’t mind the skin being soft. The liquid will cause the chicken to steam rather than roast and though it might produce more tender chicken meat, it will leave the skin soft.
This is my go to recipe for roast chicken!
Comes out moist and flavorful every time!!
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Just wondering about how many people this will serve? I have a 4.5 lb Chicken…
A 4.5 lb. chicken will have about 4-7 servings depending on the number of sides.
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I’m always worried about roasting a chicken and it being dry. No issue here. I made some amendments purely because I didn’t read the recipe again prior to cooking and due to lack of ingredients. I stuffed herbs and leaf lard under the skin and instead of lemon used lime. I also put lime zest along with the herbs. The organic bird was 4.8lbs and I roasted it in my cast iron pan for 1 hour at 425. Let it sit for 15 minutes and man it was moist and cooked and delicious and easy and wonderful. I did leave it overnight salted in the fridge etc. Way to go. Making it this way again for sure. Thanks for the recipe.
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I found my 3lb chicken not thoroughly cooked after 1 hour … followed directions to a T – not sure of something should be done differently. Still pink deep within and pink juices running out.
This is in my oven now and smells divine! My chicken is close to 6lbs so,will add about 30 mins to the cooking time. Can’t wait to taste it!
Mine is also almost 6lbs and in the oven now! Thank you for the added tip on time. House smells amazingly delicious
Love this, cooking right now. This is a perfect recipe for using a Dutch Oven over a charcoal or open camp fire in a Dutch oven, takes about the same time to cook. Timing: if it smells done it is.
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So easy. I used the zest of the lemon on top with my herbs. Otherwise cooked it as directed only in a baking dish. This is going to be part of my menu rotation!
Fantastic!!! It came out so moist and delicious we were picking it off the platter as my husband was carving it, ohh so good. My daughter and I made it together with a few errors or differences here or there. I thought we had parsley and oregano at home (who doesn’t, me) so I ended up with only thyme. Then I thought carrots would be great, not a good idea they just taste very salty and I’m not sure if they add any flavor to the chicken. So, leave the recipe as it is, it’s perfect!!!
Tried this recipe tonight & voila! Loved it. Best whole chicken ever! Meat was moist & full of flavor!
Turned out beautiful — you failed to mention that all the juices in the skillet make for the absolutely best gravy fixings! Set the chicken aside on the carving board, and use the skillet juices (with some fat removed), flour & broth for a fantastic gravy. It was just TOO tempting! and turned out fantastic.
I just saw this recipe and can’t wait to try it.
I wonder if using a cast iron pan instead of a Dutch oven allows it to cook more quickly and evenly?
Hopefully it turns out for me. I seem to struggle with chicken being done. ? Would LOVE to stop buying rotisserie chicken from the market. ?
The best chicken i’ve ever had!!!! Even my picky children loved it. Thankyou!
Fabulous, didn’t use quite so much butter (no particular reason) and it was wonderful, so moist, just used a roasting tin. Thankyou
Great whole chicken!
I have never roasted a whole chicken before. Got one on sale for .49 # went back and got 4 more since they dropped them to ,29#. Was delicious, juicy and tender. Little over 5# took little over an hour.
Where do you buy chickens for that price? (besides a third world country.)
I am not too bad a cook (even if I say so myself). This is absolutely beautiful, not quite so much butter but perfect every time, thank you for sharing* this fabulous recipe, I have one in the oven at this very moment but have cooked loads this way. Thank you thank you
My family loves this recipe and it so simple. The favor is like wow and it so moist. This has become a go to recipe in my home?
Absolutely perfect! This was the 2nd time I’ve used your recipe & both times the chicken was perfect. Thank you for sharing your yummy recipe!