I roast a chicken for my family about once a week, so it’s odd I haven’t posted a recipe yet. A lot of chicken recipes have come out of my kitchen, from jamming butter under the skin to basting and flipping every fifteen minutes. But who wants to spend all of that time and effort when you can get a yummy bird with just a few minutes of prep? That’s the beauty of roasting a chicken. It’s a simple, delicious meal with the bonus of leftovers.
It took me so long to post a roast chicken recipe because I was busy conducting my own little kitchen test. I found the top easy roast chicken recipes and tried each recipe several times. This has been going on for a few months now (much to the delight of my husband). Out of the ten recipes I tried, I chose my top five, listed below. These are all fantastic recipes, so you really can’t miss by choosing one to make your next family dinner.
I arranged this list in no particular order because they all are my favorite recipe for one reason or another. Read my notes about each recipe. At the bottom, you will find my combination of all of the recipes to get the most amazing chicken dinner ever, plus tips on roasting the perfect bird.
Thomas’ recipe stands apart. He rinses the chicken, pats it very dry, sprinkles the cavity with salt and pepper and trusses the bird. Next, he generously salts the outside of the bird and sprinkles with pepper. That’s it. No butter. No olive oil. No basting. The chicken cooks the entire time at 450 F/230 C. He beautifully describes how to carve and eat the chicken when it’s done.
I love this recipe for its simplicity, and it’s the recipe I use when I want to roast a chicken without vegetables. The chicken comes out juicy inside, with perfect skin. I have three warnings. Use a thermometer, truss the bird completely and pay attention to the size of your bird. I’ve had this recipe turn out both under-cooked and overcooked, so it’s not foolproof. Even so, I use this recipe often because it is the easiest roast chicken recipe you will find.
Martha first rinses her chicken, pats it dry, and then sprinkles it with salt and pepper. She stuffs the chicken with a lemon, smashed garlic cloves and thyme, and then spreads it with butter. The chicken cooks on top of onion slices at 425 F/ 220 C until done.
This is a great recipe, though slightly fussy. The process is described well including how to make a delicious pan sauce using the drippings. When I make it, I like to add more vegetables so it’s a complete meal in one pan. Fish out the smashed garlic cloves when the chicken is cooked and serve them with the bird.
Ina Garten’s roasted chicken recipe is at the top of most Google searches for roast chicken. She stuffs the chicken with thyme, lemon and garlic, brushes it with butter and sprinkles it with salt and pepper. It roasts on top of a mixture of onion, carrots and fennel. The chicken is roasted at 425 F/ 220 C for 1 ½ hours.
I tried this recipe several times and the chicken comes out perfect. Sometimes I use olive oil instead of the butter. If your chicken is the slightest bit cold, the butter hardens as you are trying to smear it around and it’s messy. The bird cooks up tender and juicy with a crispy skin (though not the crispiest of the five). The veggies cooked underneath are amazing. I use the vegetables I have available and they all come out delicious. Celery, cabbage, parsnips and other vegetables all work in this recipe.
What I like about Jamie’s recipe is how easy it is, plus it’s a complete meal. He doesn’t truss the chicken or even peel the vegetables. I like that he uses olive oil instead of butter, because it’s easier. You don’t end up with butter all over the place, and the taste is still just as good.
Jamie doesn’t describe how to make a pan gravy from the drippings. He also doesn’t serve the vegetables that are roasted with the chicken. That’s the best part!
Ree takes softened butter and mixes it with lemon zest, rosemary, salt and pepper. She smears the chicken with the butter mixture and stuffs it with lemon halves and rosemary sprigs. The chicken is roasted at 425 F/ 220 C until done.
This almost doesn’t qualify as easy, due to the whole butter schmear process, but it’s also not hard…and it’s delicious! The recipe is a fun read, too. When I make it, I truss the legs. That’s my only change. For some reason, I feel incomplete if the legs aren’t perfectly trussed, but that’s my own issue.
Soups to make with your chicken broth:
Heat oven to 425 F/ 220 C with the rack in the middle of the oven.
Allow the chicken to come to room temperature, about 1 hour. I don’t wash my chicken. You can, but it really serves no purpose and gets germs all over your sink. Remove the giblets and neck from the inside (save these for stock). Using paper towels, dry the chicken really well inside and out. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Roll the lemon on a counter top, pressing with your hand. Then prick with a knife. Place the lemon inside the chicken along with the fresh herbs.
Truss the chicken. Grab some butcher’s twine and tie the legs together, looping the sting around the tail bone. You can stop there or do a complete truss.
Rub 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the chicken. Sprinkle well with salt and fresh pepper. Set aside.
Arrange your onion, carrots, celery, fennel and garlic cloves in the bottom of the roasting pan. Toss with a glug of olive oil and salt and pepper. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables. Insert the thermometer between the thigh and breast. Place in the oven. Now leave it alone. Don’t baste it, turn it or repeatedly open the oven door.
Cook the chicken for an hour, to an hour and a half, until the internal temperature hits 165 F / 74 C. Remove from the oven and move the chicken to a carving board. Allow the chicken to rest, uncovered, for 15 minutes before carving. Remove the vegetables from the pan and arrange on a serving platter.
Add ½ cup of water to the warm roasting pan and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a spatula. Pour the pan juices into a small measuring cup. Let it settle, then spoon the fat off the top and discard. Add the pan juices, chicken stock and white wine to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce by half.
Add lemon juice. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add some herbs if you like (tarragon or rosemary work well). Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve.
Do you have a favorite roast chicken recipe? Share it below!
My baby loves this recipe for baby food chicken stew, and I’m sure yours will too. It’s packed with healthy veggies and tender chicken stewed together to make the perfect comfort food. This recipe is appropriate for babies 6 months and older, depending on the preparation. You can puree it very fine, or leave it in finger food-sized chunks. Mine son, Grayson, is almost eleven months and eats his stew both ways. He loves to feed himself, but he ends up making a big mess and doesn’t get enough in his mouth. He likes the carrots best, so tend to pick those out first, and then smear the rest on his tray and onto the floor. For this reason, I feed him the puree too, just to make sure he eats a good meal.
This is an easy one-pot meal that can be made on the stove or in your slow cooker. When it’s done, freeze it into ice cube trays or larger individual servings so you have healthy homemade baby food whenever you need it.
If you like this recipe, try some of my other homemade baby food recipes:
Roast chicken thighs skin-on for about 30 minutes, until done. Allow to cool. Remove the skin and discard. Remove the meat from the bone and chop into small pieces.
In a small pan, cook onion in olive oil until soft. Add the chicken, carrot, celery, potato, garlic powder, thyme, bay leaf, tomato paste and stock to the pan. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook on low heat until the carrot is very tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.
Puree this mixture until very smooth, or feed to your baby as-is, if they are able to chew.
As my little guy is getting older (10 months now), he’s making it very clear what he likes and doesn’t like. His opinion can change in a few hours or a few weeks, so I’ve learned to be flexible. Lately, he’s grown very suspicious of anything I put in his mouth with a spoon. He developed this distrust from the premade organic baby meals I give him when we are traveling. They are often very sweet, and he seems to prefer savory (and may be more accustomed to homemade foods). When I offer him a spoonful of baby food, he sticks out his tongue for one tiny taste. If he doesn’t approve, my chances of getting him to eat whatever I’m trying to get him to eat are shot.
I’m happy to say this homemade baby food recipe for chicken and peas passes his little taste test every time. Flavorful roasted chicken thighs, paired with creamy yellow potatoes, carrots and lots of fresh green peas make for a yummy and healthy meal.
I use chicken thighs (skin removed) instead of chicken breasts in my baby food for a few good reasons; more flavor, more tenderness and a lower price tag. If that’s not enough, according to a recent study by researchers at the New York University School of Medicine, dark meat in poultry “contains many more nutrients. In addition to taurine, dark meat is far richer in minerals such as iron, zinc and selenium, as well as vitamins A, K and the B complex — B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin) B6, B9 (folate) and B12 (cobalamin).”
You can make this baby food recipe as smooth or chunky as your little one likes. If you are looking for a very fine puree, cook the peas and veggies a little longer. Then, using a blender or food processor, run the machine on high for 2 minutes, adding liquid as necessary to really get those blades moving. For a super-fine texture, pass the puree through a fine mesh strainer afterward. For older babies who are eating textured foods, you can leave the frozen peas uncooked. Just thaw them and add them to the food processor. Your baby or toddler will appreciate the sweet freshness.
Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C
Roast the chicken thighs, skin on, for 30-40 minutes, until brown and cooked through. Allow to cool.
While the chicken is roasting, add olive oil to a saucepan. Sauté onion in the olive oil for 5 minutes, then add the carrot, potato, garlic powder and optional vegetables and/or herbs. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes, until very tender. Add the peas to the pot during the last 5-10 minutes of cooking. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Remove the skin from the chicken and separate the meat from the bone. Add the chicken and cooked vegetables to a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth, adding the cooking liquid from the vegetables until you reach the desired consistency.
My 8 month old has started pushing away any sweet-tasting baby food in favor of more savory recipes that adults enjoy. I started mixing him up some comfort food classics like baby food lasagna and creamy chicken pot pie. He loves these recipes, banging his hands for more when I don’t move the spoon into his mouth fast enough. For a delicious, healthy homemade baby food recipe your little one will love; try this one with chicken, carrots, green beans and potatoes.
This recipe is a classic: roasted chicken, carrots and green beans with creamy mashed potatoes. You can make it easily from leftovers from your own dinner, or cook it on one pot if you are short on time (who isn’t?). I use all organic ingredients, sourcing my chicken from a local farm coop. If you can’t find organic chicken in your area, look for chicken raised without growth hormones. The addition of Greek yogurt adds a delicious creaminess while giving your baby probiotics and vitamins like potassium, calcium, B12 and D.
At this age, I also spice it up a bit. Garlic adds delicious flavor while acting as a powerful antioxidant. Ginger is renowned for its anti-inflammatory and intestinal benefits and healthy fats like olive oil boost the immune system. I also cook my veggies in homemade chicken stock. This is important, not only to add flavor, but for health. Studies have shown that chicken stock boosts the immune system while adding bone-building calcium. If you purchase store-bought stock, make sure to buy organic “stock”, not broth. Broth does not contain the nutrition benefits of stock since it is made from the meat instead of the bones.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yield: This recipe results in about 4-6 baby-sized servings. Double the recipe if you want to freeze a portion.
Comfort food goodness packed with nutrition.
In a small pan, sauté onion in olive oil until soft. Add carrot, green beans, potato, garlic and ginger. Pour enough chicken stock to cover and bring to a boil uncovered. Reduce heat to low and simmer until carrots are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Place all ingredients into a food processor with yogurt and blend until smooth; using the cooking liquid to thin the puree until you get the right consistency.