Rating: 3.44 stars
1370 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 296
  • 4 star values: 375
  • 3 star values: 408
  • 2 star values: 213
  • 1 star values: 78

The almost universal appeal of roasted chicken stems from its power to comfort. The ideal roasted chicken recipe will leave your chicken golden brown and gleaming, tender, and juicy. The crackle of chicken as it roasts and the wondrous aroma that perfumes the kitchen provoke a feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment.

Advertisement

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Let chicken and 1 tablespoon butter stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove and discard the plastic pop-up timer from chicken if there is one. Remove the giblets and excess fat from the chicken cavity. Rinse chicken inside and out under cold running water. Dry chicken thoroughly with paper towels. Tuck the wing tips under the body. Sprinkle the cavity of the chicken liberally with salt and pepper, and set aside.

    Advertisement
  • In the center of a heavy-duty roasting pan, place onion slices in two rows, touching. Place the palm of your hand on top of lemon and, pressing down, roll lemon back and forth several times. This softens the lemon and allows the juice to flow more freely. Pierce entire surface of lemon with a fork. Using the side of a large knife, gently press on garlic cloves to open slightly. Insert garlic cloves, thyme sprigs, and lemon into cavity. Place chicken in pan, on onion slices. Cut about 18 inches of kitchen twine, bring chicken legs forward, cross them, and tie together.

  • Spread the softened butter over entire surface of chicken, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Place in the oven, and roast until skin is deep golden brown and crisp and the juices run clear when pierced, about 1 1/2 hours. When chicken seems done, insert an instant-read thermometer into the breast, then the thigh. The breast temperature should read 180 degrees and the thigh 190 degrees.

  • Remove chicken from oven, and transfer to a cutting board with a well. Let chicken stand 10 to 15 minutes so the juices settle. Meanwhile, pour the pan drippings into a shallow bowl or fat separator, and leave onions in the pan. Leave any brown baked-on bits in the bottom of the roasting pan, and remove and discard any blackened bits. Using a large spoon or fat separator, skim off and discard as much fat as possible. Pour the remaining drippings and the juices that have collected under the resting chicken back into the roasting pan. Place on the stove over medium-high heat to cook, about 1 minute. Add chicken stock, raise heat to high, and, using a wooden spoon, stir up and combine the brown bits with the stock until the liquid is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Strain the gravy into a small bowl, pressing on onions to extract any liquid. Discard onions, and stir in the remaining tablespoon of cold butter until melted and incorporated. Untie the legs, and remove and discard garlic, thyme, and lemon. Carve, and serve gravy on the side.

Reviews (74)

1370 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 296
  • 4 star values: 375
  • 3 star values: 408
  • 2 star values: 213
  • 1 star values: 78
Rating: 5.0 stars
05/12/2020
I have roasted many chickens in my 68 years, however this recipe is the best ever!! Loved the 425 temp., was perfectly done, and the gravy was awesome. I followed roasting instructions, but made my gravy with potato water instead of chicken broth. Delicious!
Rating: 3.0 stars
12/06/2019
This is actually a great recipe, EXCEPT do NOT roast a chicken at 425 degrees for an hour and a half. For crispy skin try the following: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) and cook whole (thawed) chicken for 10-15 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and roast for 20 minutes per pound. Otherwise cook the whole time at 350 degrees for a safer option. My chicken was overcooked at 425 degrees.
Rating: 5 stars
10/22/2019
This has been my “go to” chicken recipe for a few years now. I don’t always make the gravy, but everyone likes it when I do. I don’t alter the recipe at all and the chicken not only tastes great, It makes the house smell great while it is cooking.
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
03/29/2019
In the Oven now !!
Rating: 5 stars
12/31/2017
This recipe works every time and is good for many occasions. I love that it's simple yet sophisticated. I prefer to caramelise the onions with some orange juice and dried parsley as I do not have the tools listed in this recipe to prepare the gravy. It works well too.
Rating: 5 stars
12/29/2017
I added a cup of heated chicken stock when I check it (1/2 hour left to cook). The chicken wasn't making much juice. Worked great and the gravy was outstanding!
Advertisement
Rating: Unrated
04/30/2017
This was truly outstanding. My boys a fussy eater and he loved it too. One for the meal rotation.
Rating: 5 stars
03/06/2017
This recipe is the only way to go! I simplify: cold butter cut up and placed on top. No need to tie the legs. I don't even make the gravy - well all just s[filtered] the pan drippings on to the chicken - that fat is good fat!
Rating: Unrated
03/08/2015
Teaching my youngest son to cook - he's a teenager. A few weeks ago he made a roast chicken for Sunday dinner accompanied by roast vegetables and homemade cole slaw. The next day, he made broth from the carcass and then made a wonderful roast tomato soup and quesadillas made using some of the leftover roast chicken. Now I know he will never starve :-)
Rating: Unrated
01/16/2015
Good recipe but putting your hands into a bowl of salt after having them on a raw chicken is unsafe. You either have to throw out the rest of the salt or just use a shaker or smaller bowl to do it. Remember your audience may not know this.
Rating: Unrated
03/28/2014
We need to try this in our country with my family. We usually do it with old charcoal style specially with our roasted chicken or lechon business
Rating: 5 stars
11/25/2013
i love roasted foods! great recipe! thank you! top 10 food processors
Rating: Unrated
10/12/2013
The recipe is good and my sons who are picky eaters ate it up! However, the cook to temp of 180 for breast meat is WAY over cooked! I use a thermometer to monitor while cooking, and when the breast meat was 165 degrees, I took it out. The chicken was moist, and no pink meat or juices!
Rating: 5 stars
06/01/2013
Simply delicious and inspirational. Children and husband were clamoring over this dish, giving rave reviews. Added a slight twist to it by using chicken breast only vs whole chicken and it was quick and rewarding. Thank you for posting this recipe.
Rating: Unrated
04/27/2013
I was always hesitant to try roast chicken, afraid it would be dry. But I tried this recipe exactly as written and it turned out GREAT!!! Juicy and delicious. I will definitely make it again and again!! Thanks Martha!
Rating: Unrated
04/25/2013
I have made this 3 times now and each and every time I get a perfect flavorful roasted chicken. Everyone in the Family loves it. Thank you!
Rating: Unrated
01/27/2013
Lovely and perfect chicken recipe for a fast dinner. I just made it a few minutes ago and it came out amazing! It was easy to make and I was also able to add a few extra ingredients to give it that personal touch.
Rating: Unrated
01/15/2013
Made it tonight and it turned out really well. It was very easy and I will be making it again. I didn't bother to truss the chick--I've read that it cooks more evenly if you don't. I did make the small addition of some left over champagne to loosen the bits in the pan and I added carrots and potato to the pan. Tasty!
Rating: Unrated
12/27/2012
This recipe is perfection! It smelled so good I didn't have time to make the gravy - everyone just dug in. It does bake at a high temp. Clean debris off the bottom of your oven to avoid smoke.
Rating: Unrated
11/05/2012
Wow! made it for dinner with a 2 pound chicken it was the bomb! Moist and perfectly roasted the best I have ever made. the gravy was awesome as well I cooked some baby potatoes, baby carrots and baby parsnips so gooooood.
Rating: Unrated
10/29/2012
Ahhh--I preheated to 425, but did not notice in the recipe that the heat needed to be turned down for roasting. Tried roasting at 425, and filled the kitchen with smoke. What temp should the oven be for the roasting period? The flavor of the chicken was wonderful--will use this recipe again, but will lower the temp next time.
Rating: Unrated
10/27/2012
We concur that this is delicious! I would encourage you not to throw the onions away though, they're so yummy.
Rating: Unrated
02/09/2012
I omitted the garlic and sprinkled lemon pepper in addition to the salt and pepper. I used a 6.12 lb roasting chicken and cooked it in a convection oven on convection roast for 1 hr and 50 min. I used a foil tent after the first 20 minutes. The outcome was impressive. The onions, lemon and thyme gave it a delightful aroma and flavor. It is a great recipe for any size family as it provides an abundance of chicken that if not eaten can be used in soup, a pot pie or casserole for another meal.
Rating: Unrated
04/19/2011
This is a staple for our family--we alllove it! Question...Can this chicken be made the day before serving it and still maintain it's juiciness and fresh flavor? If so, what is the best way to reheat it? We always eat the entire chicken so I haven't tried this yet and I'm thinking about adding it to our Easter brunch menu. Thank you for any advice anyone may have!
Rating: Unrated
12/20/2010
This truly is the world's best chicken. I put an orange in because we were out of lemons, and the results were spectacular. My husband, the poultry cooking expert of the family, even said this version was better than any we've had!
Rating: Unrated
06/10/2010
I made this in a dutch oven along with carrots and potatoes. We loved it. The onions on the bottom of the dish were delicious. The chicken was moist with great flavor. I added an extra clove of garlic and some thyme.
Rating: Unrated
09/16/2009
So could I put potatoes and carrots in the bottom and roast the along with the chicken like I would with a roast?
Rating: Unrated
03/18/2009
To see the recipe click on PRINT - above
Rating: Unrated
03/18/2009
It's so weird - I don't see a recipe here!
Rating: Unrated
02/21/2009
I made this recipe this evening and it was fantastic and a great hit with my family.
Rating: Unrated
01/07/2009
My friend made this for us on Thanksgiving. It was amazing then. I just tried it
Rating: Unrated
01/07/2009
My friend made this for us on Thanksgiving. It was amazing then. I just tried it
Rating: Unrated
12/19/2008
I like that idea, bartenderjohn! I'm from the south, so making milk gravy isn't really very formal, yet no matter what, whenever I add cream to a gravy, it ends up tasting like breakfast food, so a creamy gravy without milk is great for more formal dinners and lunches! :D Thanks!
Rating: Unrated
12/05/2008
what a fantastic recipe, however i had a great idea for the gravy. upon finishisng the gravy, i took the all the ingredients, including the onions, and pureed the mixture. the onions provided a creamy texture without adding cream .
Rating: Unrated
12/04/2008
I second that this recipe rocks!
Rating: Unrated
10/22/2008
This recipe is delicious!! The whole family enjoyed it, and it was very easy to make. We also enjoyed the onions which were very tasty.
Rating: Unrated
10/08/2008
My husband died a little death when he tasted this. He said it was the best roast chicken he had ever had, and I have to agree. KEEP THE ONIONS! C'mon Martha, I'm surprised at you, asking us to discard these juicy, flavorful little gems.
Rating: Unrated
10/08/2008
My husband died a little death when he tasted this. He said it was the best roast chicken he had ever had, and I have to agree. KEEP THE ONIONS! C'mon Martha, I'm surprised at you, asking us to discard these juicy, flavorful little gems.
Rating: Unrated
10/08/2008
My husband died a little death when he tasted this. He said it was the best roast chicken he had ever had, and I have to agree. KEEP THE ONIONS! C'mon Martha, I'm surprised at you, asking us to discard these juicy, flavorful little gems.
Rating: Unrated
10/08/2008
My husband died a little death when he tasted this. He said it was the best roast chicken he had ever had, and I have to agree. KEEP THE ONIONS! C'mon Martha, I'm surprised at you, asking us to discard these juicy, flavorful little gems.
Rating: Unrated
10/08/2008
My husband died a little death when he tasted this. He said it was the best roast chicken he had ever had, and I have to agree. KEEP THE ONIONS! C'mon Martha, I'm surprised at you, asking us to discard these juicy, flavorful little gems.
Rating: Unrated
09/10/2008
this recipe is really delicious! Bon apetit ! :)
Rating: Unrated
08/17/2008
this is the BEST gravy I've ever tasted!!! Chicken was good too....
Rating: Unrated
07/30/2008
We made this recipe for the first time a few months ago. It is so easy and delicious. I agree with Shashi and geekygrandma. Keep the onions. As for us, we just left them in the sauce.
Rating: Unrated
05/18/2008
Used red onions (what I had on hand) and a mixed package of fresh herbs (thyme, marjoram, sage, rosemary). Delicious! Terrifically easy. Used leftover chicken for easy enchiladas the next day. My first roast chicken, and this recipe pumped my confidence in the kitchen. Thanks.
Rating: Unrated
05/01/2008
Whoa! This is delicious. I added some rosemary and used green garlic. I agree that the onions are great - I'll add more to the pan next time so that I'll have it to smear on crusty bread (mmmm). I also put some purple potatoes and carrots to the pan for the last part of the roasting. Delish sunday dinner
Rating: Unrated
04/30/2008
Definitely delicious ;and easy!
Rating: Unrated
04/30/2008
Definitely delicious ;and easy!
Rating: Unrated
04/11/2008
@Shashi - I totally agree! The onions are the best part! I use a Corning Ware chicken roaster and always add rosemary and more garlic. The roaster has a clear glass lid that seems to let everything in it brown nicely and keeps the mess to a miniumum. Remove the lid the last 20 minutes or so. Adding carrots the last 3/4 hour or so really adds to the flavor. (No, I don't work for Corning Ware, but it seems that a glass lid works better than aluminum foil - less steam and more browning.)
Rating: Unrated
04/07/2008
I used to roast my chicken this way, but a few years ago started doing the beer can chicken on the BBQ. It's faster with less mess. No butter, just cajun sesoning and fresh ground pepper rubbed on all sides. Always comes out moist, even when you don't pay very close attention to it. Just turn your grill on med/low. Fool proof!
Rating: Unrated
04/04/2008
Normally i cant roast a chicken to save my life but this was so easy and amazingly tasty! It will definatly be a regular dish at home!
Rating: Unrated
04/02/2008
THIS OVEN ROASTED CHICKEN IS SIIMPLY THE BEST ! MOSIT, BROWN AND CRISPY AND NO SPLATTERING EVEN AT 425 DEGREES. THANK YOU MARTHA
Rating: Unrated
04/01/2008
I have roasted my chicken at this temperature but I put it in a roaster pan with a lid to cover until the last 15 minutes or so, it browns nicely and the skin is crusty and is so moist. I usually use fresh parsley chopped to help season, my husband is not to have salt (high blood pressure) and this really seasons good. I love this recipe.
Rating: Unrated
03/25/2008
I cook my chicken in a clay pot to eliminate the chore of cleaning mess in oven. the results are much better than an oven roasted chicken in a pan!! It's incredibly moist and flavorful. If you use lemons/garlic/rosemary or what ever you like under the skin the entire chicken and juices have the flavor and aroma! Does solve a lot of problems for a whole chicken.
Rating: Unrated
03/20/2008
I AGREE with the splattering problem. Also, if you have convection roast setting on newer ovens, the temperature is pre-set at 350. I also have this issue with Martha's roast turkey recipe with the cheesecloth soaked in butter and white wine, makes a mess of my oven every year, and gets very smoky in the kitchen with the high temperature setting for the first half hour. If anyone has a solution, please post.
Rating: Unrated
03/20/2008
I tried roasting chicken at this temp once and it splattered grease all over oven. I would like to know how to avoid the splatter without putting foil over chicken. Would cooking on bottom oven rack help?
Rating: Unrated
03/10/2008
This is the ideal roast chicken recipe. It's easy and delicious...with one exception: that you NOT throw away the most delicious part of it: the onions! They come out roasted, dark and carmelized and delicious and are ideal for eating alongside the chicken. They absolutely make the dish and it would be tragic to throw them out! I strain them and serve them in a bowl and people gobble them up, usually putting them on top of the chicken with the delicious pan sauce. Enjoy!
Rating: Unrated
02/26/2008
I love this recipe. I have been using it for years. It's easy, but looks fancy. Perfect for a Sunday dinner, special occassion, or just weeknight meal. The onions are a key ingredient. My absolute favorite Martha Stewart recipe.
Rating: Unrated
02/15/2008
I love to try new recipes, and this sounds good. A bird will soon be in my new oven. Have instant read thermonitor so will keep check on the ole bird. thanks martha. I'm getting excited just thinking about it.
Rating: Unrated
02/14/2008
Has anyone tried this with cornish hens? Would the time and temperature need to be reduced?
Rating: Unrated
02/12/2008
I use this all the time. It is easy and SO good. I start the oven at 425n n n n and lower it to 350n n n n about 30 minutes in. 425 works fine, but in my particular oven this works better. I never cover with foil, it will get crispy but that's a good thing. I use organic, free-range birds too. Highly recommended!
Rating: Unrated
02/01/2008
I have always roasted my chicken at 325. I'm a bit reticent to try 425. Has anyone else made the switch, and how were the results? I also notice no mention of covering with foil during the first 3/4 cooking time. Does it not crisp too much? I use free range grain fed organic birds, would that also make a difference?
Rating: Unrated
01/23/2008
This is without a doubt my favorite recipe to serve to company. The chicken is unbelievably moist inside, and perfectly crispy on the outisde. The lemon, garlic and fresh herbs create the best aroma, not to mention flavor!! You will absolutley love this and make sure the chicken you buy is labeled 'roaster' or it might be too tough.
Rating: Unrated
01/22/2008
That little extra butter makes the gravy special...glossy and appetizing. I add butter to all my finished gravys...the professionals do. Two tablespoons in a bowl of gravy is nothing when you want to serve up something scrumpdiliocious.
Rating: Unrated
01/19/2008
Although I'm sure this will taste good, the extra butter will sure pump up the fat content..and seems unnecessary. i wouldn't want to pour butter (in the gravy) over chicken slices.
Rating: Unrated
01/06/2008
chicken recipe sounds very delicious,will try it soon.
Rating: Unrated
01/06/2008
chicken recipe sounds very delicious,will try it soon.
Rating: Unrated
01/06/2008
chicken recipe sounds very delicious,will try it soon.
Rating: Unrated
12/31/2007
I DEFINITELY GOING TO TRY IT .IT SOUNDS DELICIOUS
Rating: Unrated
12/31/2007
awaiting the results now from my tiny counter top oven here in Jakarta Indonesia! Hopefully will be a good New Years eve dinner, with the Tiny chickens here!
Rating: Unrated
12/28/2007
I have never been able to make a good roasted chicken. I will try this recipe next week. It sounds easy and delicious! Thank you. Anna in TN
Rating: Unrated
12/28/2007
This chicken was delicious and comforting on a snowy winter night -- and the leftovers made two days worth of soup.
Rating: Unrated
12/20/2007
Delicious!
Rating: Unrated
12/05/2007
dying to try this. this recipe is not too far from my own. a good roasted chicken is an amazing thing.
Rating: Unrated
12/05/2007
i definitely want to try it. tough im in malaysia..but we enjoy good english dishes to satisfy our tastebuds!
Rating: Unrated
11/26/2007
This was my first Martha recipe and it comes out perfect and delicious every time.