This whole chicken is roasted with fresh herbs, garlic, white wine, and a few spices to create a juicy and flavorful dinner.
Whole roasted chickens are my favorite cheap meals to make for the family. A whole chicken can feed my whole family, with leftovers, and usually costs under $10. That’s a score.
If roasting a whole chicken is intimidating to you, I am going to break down each step so you can have a perfectly roasted whole chicken on your table like a pro! You will never look at chicken the same again.
Don’t forget to save the chicken bones to make a beautiful bone broth! This is my absolute favorite way to maximize use out of the whole chicken. Just toss the bones in a ziplock bag and save until later!
- Whole Chicken: Fresh is always best. Organic or free-range chickens tend to have more flavor and are raised without antibiotics.
- Carrots: These provide sweetness and are a great aromatic vegetable. You could also include parsnips or turnips.
- Yellow Onion: This brings a depth of flavor to the dish. Red or white onions can be used as alternatives, but the yellow variety is sweeter and less pungent.
- Celery Stalks: Add a fresh and slightly bitter crunch. Feel free to add more or less based on preference.
- Dry White Wine: It gives a deep aromatic flavor and a slight acidity to the dish. A good quality wine that’s drinkable is preferred. If you don’t consume alcohol, chicken broth with a squeeze of lemon juice can be used as a substitute.
- Grass-fed Butter: This adds richness to the chicken. Regular unsalted butter works too, but grass-fed butter has a richer taste and is high in Omega-3s.
- Garlic Cloves: Fresh garlic provides a strong aromatic and spicy kick. Adjust the amount based on your love for garlic.
- Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme: These fresh herbs provide the main aromatic flavor to the chicken. Dried herbs can be used in a pinch, but the flavor won’t be as vibrant. If using dried, remember the rule of thumb: use 1/3 of the amount stated for fresh.
- Paprika: This adds a mild spiciness and color to the dish. There are various paprikas like smoked or sweet, so choose based on your preference.
- Salt: Essential for flavor. You can adjust based on your dietary needs.
Optional Add-ins and Substitutions
- Lemon or Orange Zest: For an added citrusy aroma, consider adding some zest to the marinade.
- Red Pepper Flakes: If you prefer a spicy kick, a pinch of this will elevate the heat.
- Potatoes: Cut into chunks, these can be roasted alongside the chicken to make it a full meal.
How to easily roast a whole chicken
Roasting a whole chicken is not only easy to prepare, but packs a whole lot of flavor! Crispy skin, juicy meat, loads of fresh flavor… this is “Mama’s cooking” kinda good!
- Preheat the oven to 400 ° F (or don’t if you are preparing ahead of time!).
- Remove chicken from the package and discard the giblets.
- Pat dry the chicken.
- Combine the marinade by blending the melted butter, garlic, white wine, and fresh herbs.
- Rub the chicken with the marinade under the skin and directly onto the meat.
- Season the skin with the marinade, rubbing the whole outside of the chicken to evenly coat.
- Stuff the cavity with chopped carrots, onion, and celery, and fresh herbs.
- Roast the chicken until cooked through, using a thermometer to check the internal temperature.
- Rest the chicken for 10 minutes before cutting. This lets the juices settle in the chicken, ensuring the texture and taste is maximized!
If you are like me and have overcooked a chicken to the point of absolute Sahara desert dryness, out of fear of salmonella, it’s time to invest in an oven-safe thermometer! These things are a dinner and life saver!
This 5 lb chicken took about an hour and 45 minutes to cook. After removing the bird from the over, let it rest for 10 minutes to help lock all those delicious juices in! This is going to be hard- this crispy skin and the delightful smells are hard to control yourself around!
A whole chicken needs to be cooked to 165 ° F. Using an oven-safe meat thermometer, insert the thermometer between the breast and the thighs, as this is the thickest area on a chicken. You can cook the chicken with the thermometer inserted, or you can periodically check the temperature with a quick read thermometer.
- Chicken Preparation: For crispier skin, let the chicken sit in the refrigerator uncovered for a few hours before roasting. This helps to dry out the skin.
- Marinating: If time allows, marinate the chicken with the herb and wine mixture for at least 2 hours before cooking. Overnight marinating in the refrigerator would yield the best results in terms of flavor infusion.
- Roasting Pan: Use a rack in your roasting pan if you have one. This allows the heat to circulate around the whole chicken, ensuring even cooking and crisper skin.
- Internal Temperature: Always rely on a thermometer rather than time to ensure the chicken is fully cooked. All ovens vary slightly in temperature.
- Refrigeration: Store any leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- Freezing: If you have a lot of leftovers, you can freeze them. Ensure they are cooled completely, then transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container. They can be stored frozen for up to 2-3 months. Remember to label the container with the date.
- Oven: Preheat your oven to 325°F. Place the chicken pieces in a baking dish, cover with foil to prevent drying out, and heat for about 20-25 minutes or until warmed through.
- Microwave: While this method is faster, it might make the chicken a bit drier. Place chicken on a microwave-safe plate, cover with a microwave-safe cover or another plate, and heat in 1-minute increments until warmed through.
- Stovetop: For boneless pieces or shredded chicken, you can reheat in a pan over medium heat. Add a splash of chicken broth or water to help prevent the chicken from drying out.
- Marinade: You can prepare the herb and wine marinade up to 2 days in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Vegetables: Chop the veggies a day in advance and store them in separate containers or bags in the fridge.
Pairings & Sides
Here are a few of my favorite ideas to eat with a whole roasted chicken!
- Oven Roasted Vegetables With Thyme
- Honey Balsamic Roasted Beets
- Lemon Garlic Broccolini
- Italian Vegetables
- Rosemary Garlic Dinner Rolls
White Wine and Fresh Herb Roast Chicken
- 1 whole chicken
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 4 TBS grass fed butter
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 TBS fresh rosemary
- 2 TBS fresh oregano
- 2 TBS fresh thyme
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 carrots chopped
- 2 stalks of celery chopped
- 1 yellow onion quartered
- Preheat the oven to 400° F. Remove the chicken from the packaging and discard the giblets.
- Pat dry the chicken with paper towels. Place the chicken in the roasting pan.
- Chop the celery, carrots, and the carrots, and place to the side.
- In a blender, combine butter, garlic, white wine, rosemary, oregano, thyme, salt, and paprika. Blend until the herbs and garlic are finely chopped.
- Begin to coat the chicken with the butter marinade, making sure to get in between the skin and the meat.
- Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the diced carrots, celery, and onion. Whatever is left over can be placed inside the roasting pan.
- Place the chicken breast side up in the oven and cook until the chicken has an internal temperature of 165°F. Start to check the temperature after an hour of cooking.
- When chicken is done cooking, remove from the oven, and let the chicken rest for ten minutes before serving. Serve with pan drippings and roasted vegetables. Mangia!
Nutrition values are estimates, for exact values consult a nutritionist.