Perfect Roast Chicken

Lemon, garlic and salt are all you need for the perfect roast chicken with crispy skin!

Roasting a whole chicken is simple!

A perfect roast chicken consists of nothing more than salt, oil and a few aromatics (think garlic, lemon, onion). While the chicken roasts, juices are released which mix with the lemon and aromatics, cooking the potatoes and onions perfectly. The chicken is stuffed with a lemon, which caramelizes and gives the chicken a hint of bright sweet flavor and makes the pan drippings perfection!

Can I just use chicken breasts?

You could but it will not be nearly as good! When you cook a chicken whole, the resulting meat has more flavor than if you were to just cook chicken breasts by themselves. This is because when cooking a whole chicken, you are cooking it with all of the bones. The bones impart a TON of flavor, and this is why the most perfect chicken has the simplest of seasonings: lemon and salt. Roasting a whole chicken is also great because you get both the fancy presentation of the whole bird, and you have a lot of meat left over to use in other recipes. Think chicken sandwiches, salads, or my favorite, chicken soup (using the entire leftover chicken!).

How do you get really crisp skin on a roasted chicken?

Crispy chicken skin requires two things: dry skin before cooking & a really hot oven. This recipe calls for a starting oven temperature of 425 degrees. The chicken cooks for 30 minutes at this high temperature, long enough to get the skin crispy, but not too long, the chicken would dry out if you finish cooking it at this high temperature.

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 5 min Cook Time 70 min Rest Time 15 min Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


A perfect roast chicken has crisp skin, and is juicy and tender. Lemon, garlic, and salt are all you need to season this chicken. My recipe results in a savory sauce from the lemons and garlic that are stuffed into the chicken  before roasting. The chicken's juices impart tons of flavor upon the potatoes and onions which cook while the chicken roasts.

You Need


Prepare the Chicken

    • Rinse chicken under cool water, pat dry thoroughly.
    • Let chicken sit out of the refrigerator, to come up to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
    • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
    • Rub chicken with avocado oil, sprinkle with kosher salt.
    • Set chicken in a cast iron pan, or whichever baking dish you have. Stuff chicken with garlic cloves, 1/2 of the lemon. 
    • Arrange potatoes, onion, and remaining 1/2 lemon around the chicken in pan. 
    • Sprinkle vegetables with kosher salt.
    I find a purple onion makes for a wonderful flavor against the potatoes, and the sugars in this type of onion caramelize well. But feel free to use whichever vegetables you like. Heartier vegetables like potatoes, hold up better during the long hot cooking time for this chicken. If you want to cook something like asparagus with the chicken, wait to put it in the oven until the last 20 minutes of cooking time, otherwise it will be mushy.
    • Bake chicken at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.
    • Turn down heat to 375 and continue to cook, 40-55 more minutes.
    • Chicken is done when cut and juices run clear, or a meat thermometer registers 160 degrees. Let chicken sit, covered with foil for 15 minutes before eating. See note below for cooking times.
    After 30 minutes at 425 degrees, use a spoon carefully scoop up some of the chicken's juices and drizzle it over the chicken. Before returning the chicken to the oven, check to see if your chicken is getting too dark in some spots. Some ovens may not heat evenly, and this could result in hot spots in your oven- your chicken may get darker in some spots. If you see this happening, take a small piece of foil and cover this part of the chicken so it doesn't burn.


The total time needed in the oven to cook your chicken will vary depending on your bird's size. A good way to tell if your chicken is done, is by using a meat thermometer (stuck in the thigh or leg it should read 160 degrees). Or cutting in between where the leg meets the body of the chicken. Just cut through the skin in that area, and if the juices run clear, the chicken is done. If they are pink, your chicken needs more time. If you are concerned that your chicken will dry out, you can use some aluminum foil to cover the breast of the chicken. As the breast cooks faster than the rest of the bird, and can dry out.

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Eat Smart Be Well

I am passionate about eating, and eating WELL!

Here you will find all of the delicious food you love to eat, without the ingredients that can cause your body to fight back. No inflammatory oil, no soy or dairy, and no inflammatory wheat or gluten.

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