The Ultimate Guide to Roast Chicken

September 24, 2020

Everyone loves a great roast chicken dinner with all the trimmings. The house seems to take on a festive air as the chicken cooks – turning even a drab Monday evening into an occasion to be remembered. You’ll find plenty of roast chicken recipes on the world wide web that you should experiment with at some point. But if you’re looking for the perfect way to roast a chicken – look no further – from bird sizes to different seasonings, we’ve got you covered.

How long does it take to roast a whole chicken?

The larger the bird, the longer the cook time.

Cook times at 375°F (190°C):

  • 2½- to 3-pound chicken: 1 to 1¼ hours
  • 3½- to 4-pound chicken: 1¼ to 1½ hours
  • 4½- to 5-pound chicken: 1¾ to 2 hours

You can roast a chicken at 425°F (220°C) as well. Simply reduce the cook time by about 15 minutes. The slower you cook it, the juicier it’ll be.

What temperature should you cook the roast chicken to?

Remember to check the temperature of the chicken to check if it’s done. Insert your meat thermometer into the fleshy part of the thigh – the temperature should read 190°F (87°C). Check the temperature of the breast too – it should be 180°F (82°C).

Prepping the chicken for roast:

The prep is an important part of the roasting process. Just follow these simple steps and you’ll get a delicious crispy skin every time!

  • Remove giblets if any.
  • Wash the chicken inside and out gently.
  • Pat dry with a paper towel – including inside the cavity.
  • Season the chicken generously with kosher salt inside and out.
  • Let it sit in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  • Pat the chicken dry again after resting and let it come to room temperature.

Roasting the chicken:

The nice thing about roasting a chicken is once you pop it into the oven, you can forget about it until the oven timer beeps. Use that time to get your sides ready or simply relax and enjoy the delicious scents wafting out of your kitchen.

You can either stuff the cavity with lightly pressed garlic cloves, thyme, and lemons pierced with a fork or rub your favorite seasoning all over the chicken.


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Place onion slices on a lightly greased roasting tin.
  3. If you have stuffed the chicken cavity, truss the chicken legs with some kitchen twine.
  4. Place the chicken breasts on the onions.
  5. Dot the top of the skin with some butter.
  6. Pop it into the oven for the desired cooking time (see guide above).
  7. Let the chicken rest for about 20 minutes before carving.


Save the drippings from the chicken to make a delicious gravy. Take the drippings out into a small bowl but leave the onions in the roasting pan after removing any blackened bits. Skim off any fat in the drippings and put it back into the roasting tin. Put it on the stove and cook for a bit. Add a cup of chicken stock and let it reduce to about half the quantity. Strain into a gravy boat and serve.

Seasoning ideas:

Roast chicken just absorbs flavour. A simple seasoning of just salt, pepper, and chili flakes tastes gorgeous. If you have leftover pizza seasoning, you can use that too! Try different dry seasoning rubs with your favorite flavours. A light dusting of curry powder and garlic powder is just delicious as is a mixture of freshly ground black pepper and fennel seeds gives it a slightly Mediterranean twist.