Every-Week Roast Chicken


Five minutes of prep and an hour of doing nothing results in the most delicious roast chicken dinner, plus plenty of leftovers to use in soups, sandwiches, and more in the days that follow. Give this easy recipe a try and reap the rewards.


  • 1 whole chicken (a 3 ½ to 4 pound bird will serve 4)

  • Coarse salt

  • Olive oil (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Season chicken generously with salt. If the bird is small, rub with olive oil for color, but this isn't necessary for one larger than 3 1/2 pounds. Tie legs together and tuck wing tips beneath body.

  2. Roast on a small rimmed baking sheet until an instant-read thermometer inserted in a thigh reads 165 degrees, about 12 minutes per pound. Let chicken rest 10 minutes before carving.

    roast chicken

Cook's Notes

Tips for the Best Bird:
To ensure fast, even cooking, let chicken stand at room temperature for an hour before roasting. The low sides of a rimmed baking sheet allow steam to escape, so skin will be crisp.

No thermometer? Don't panic. Look for golden skin, legs that feel loose when wiggled, and juices that run clear when you pierce chicken between breast and leg with the tip of a knife.


If you like, add herbs such as rosemary, thyme, savory, and oregano. Or vegetables: toss them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Scatter carrots, potatoes, and sweet potatoes around the bird at the start of cooking; add garlic, onion, lemon, and parsnips after 30 minutes.

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