Simple Oven Roasted Chicken


One of the most satisfying and simplest things to cook, hands down, is an oven roasted chicken.

It doesn’t make a big mess, all you need is one pan, some seasoning and maybe a lemon or some fresh herbs, and even those are optional.

What I also love about a simple roasted chicken is how impressive it looks when you present it right out of the oven. People will think you are an amazing cook, when all you really did was make sure you didn’t burn the damn thing.

If you are thinking you can never do this, believe me you can. The recipe below is the most basic version of an oven roasted chicken that I can offer you. Feel free to embellish it.

My intention with this recipe is to present you with something you can make any night of the week and have it be your easy “go to”.

But I don’t know how to carve a chicken you say? So what? Fake it. And don’t forget to save the bones to make a nourishing chicken stock with afterward.

I highly recommend making your life easier by buying a basic meat thermometer. It takes all of the guess work out of knowing whether your bird is cooked through or not. And they’re like five bucks so you really don’t have any excuse.


Simple Oven Roasted Chicken

This recipe is so easy anyone can do it. I use salt and pepper here but, if you have a favorite spice blend, you can use that instead. Bust out a bunch of condiments and play around with whatever tastes good to you on your chicken. Or you can be a purest like me and just squeeze a little fresh lemon over the top.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 1 each Whole chicken roughly 5 pounds
  • 2 tsp Sea salt
  • 1 tsp Black pepper ground


  • 1/2 each Lemon


  1. Pre-heat oven 425 degrees.
  2. While your oven is pre-heating. Place your whole chicken on a rack sitting on top of a sheet pan. Pat it dry all over with paper towels.
  3. Season the chicken evenly on both sides with salt and pepper.
  4. Let sit out at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  5. Place the chicken (still on the rack and pan combo) in the oven and roast about 1 hour, 15 minutes to 1 hour, 30 minutes. Check on it after an hour to make sure the skin is not starting to get too dark. If it is, place a piece of foil loosely on top of the chicken and continue to cook covered.
  6. When the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees take it out of the oven and let it rest at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.
  7. Cut off chunks to serve and squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top if desired.
  8. Optionally, you can get all fancy and carve your chicken. Watch the video below if you would like instructions on how to do so.

Recipe Notes

Watch the infamous Jacques Pepin carve an oven roasted chicken here. You won't believe how easy it is!

Sarah Burchard is the author of The Healthy Locavore, a natural foods chef and certified health coach whose writing centers around holistic health, supporting community and eating locally grown and made food.