How To Roast a Chicken

Roasting a chicken is one of my skills, but the truth is it couldn’t be simpler. I will henceforth disclose the method I have settled on, which includes aromatics, salt, butter, and little else. Now that I’m sharing this recipe – which, for years was the only thing I really cooked well – all I have left in my repertoire of talent is parallel parking, wearing boots, and a very convincing dead man’s float. I feel bereft yet abundantly selfless. Internet, I give you everything. Please enjoy this chicken with lots of buttered, crusty bread, steamed spinach, sauteed mushrooms, and a glass of wine. Roasting a chicken is super satisfying; it will make your whole family happy.

How to Roast a Chicken

Roasted Chicken


  • 1 5 lb chicken
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Bunch of rosemary
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • salt and pepper


How to Roast a Chicken

1. Assemble your cast of characters.

How to Roast a Chicken

2. Slice garlic. Bash rosemary to release oils. Cut butter.

How to Roast a Chicken

3. Remove the innards. Rinse the bird in cold water, inside and out. Pat dry really, really well with paper towels, so the chicken won’t steam.

How to Roast a Chicken

4. Sprinkle the cavity with salt and pepper, stuff it with garlic and rosemary.

How to Roast a Chicken

5. Tuck pieces of butter under the skin, and rub some all over the chicken’s outside.

How to Roast a Chicken

6. Truss and tuck. Wings are pinned behind the bird, as if it were relaxing.

How to Roast a Chicken

7. Use kitchen twine to cinch the chicken, so that it cooks evenly and retains juices. Center the string over the neck, cross over legs and tie in a knot.

How to Roast a Chicken

8. Rain salt and grind black pepper over the bird.

How to Roast a Chicken

9. Roast the chicken in a preheated 425 degree oven, for about an hour an a half. Let it rest for ten minutes before you carve.

How to Roast a Chicken


Jillian Bedell

Jillian Bedell is a writer and mother living in a farmhouse in Cushing, Maine. She is very good at talking about herself in the third person. She is co-author of Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road.


  1. Nice job, Jillian. Beautiful skin on the bird. Hope that “Beautiful Violet” is doing well and I know she is surely bringing both you and Malcolm lots of joy. By the way, I have that exact set of utensils (like the meat fork I mean)

  2. Nice looking chicken, though I’m surprised there’s no garlic or lemon. I generally put a whole lemoon in the cavity, squeeze some juice over the bird and put slivers of garlic and tarragon under the breast skin.

    Try the chickens that Bisson’s and Curtis Meats both carry–they’re monster birds with incredible flavor.

    1. John,

      There is lots of garlic in that bird, three cloves. I have used lemon many times, sometimes an orange – so amazing with rosemary – but I wanted to keep this super simple – and crisp! I keep meaning to get up the road to Bisson’s – thanks for the reminder.

  3. Isn’t it great when keeping things simple really make it better…? I have “followed” Thomas Keller’s roasted chicken recipe for years and it always turns out as great as yours looks. Fill my place with the smell of roasted chicken on a Sunday and punch my ticket to nap central!

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