Oven Roasted Whole Chicken is the perfect Sunday Supper! Brining the chicken before cooking ensures a perfectly juicy, flavorful bird.
Nothing says Sunday Supper like a perfectly roasted chicken. And with my recipe, you’ll learn all the tips and tricks for making a juicy, flavorful bird that’ll be a showstopper at your next family dinner.
If you have spent any time on my blog, then you’ll know that I am a huge fan of brining chicken. Brining chicken involves soaking the chicken in a salt and water solution.
Remember learning about osmosis in school? That is what is happening here. The solution passes through the membrane of the chicken resulting in a juicier, flavorful bird. If you want to learn more about the science behind brining, you can check out this article.
This brine is made with water, salt, brown sugar, garlic, peppercorns and herbs. You’ll want to brine the chicken for at least 4 hours or overnight.
DES’ TIP: To help ensure the meat isn’t too salty, it is important to rinse meat after you brine it. To avoid splashing of bacteria around the kitchen, I prefer to simply drain the brine out of the bag and then add fresh clean water to cover the chicken and then drain again. Or you can do a slow trickle of water out of the faucet so that it doesn’t splash. Either way be sure to sanitize your sink and surrounding area afterwards.
WHOLE CHICKEN: You’ll want a 4 – 5 pound chicken for this recipe. Be sure to remove the giblets from the inside before cooking. You can discard or freeze them and use them for chicken stock later.
LEMON: Cut in half. To stuff inside the cavity of the chicken.
WHOLE HEAD GARLIC: Cut in half . Also to stuff inside the cavity of the chicken.
SALT: Kosher salt is best.
BROWN SUGAR: Adds a touch of sweetness.
HERBS: You can use any of your favorite herbs. For this recipe I use dried oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves.
DES’ TIP: You can use fresh herbs if you’ve got them. Remember use 1 tablespoon fresh to every teaspoon dried. Also, don’t use ground dried herbs, they can make the brine a greenish color which could make your chicken greenish too.
GRANULATED GARLIC: I prefer granulated garlic because of the texture. It doesn’t clump as much as garlic powder. That being said, you can substitute garlic powder if that is what you have. Don’t use garlic salt.
WHOLE BLACK PEPPERCORN: For a little spice.
BUTTER: Melted butter to brush over the chicken. This helps the chicken skin turn a lovely golden color. And helps with that crispy skin everyone loves.
STEP #1: Make the brine. Combine 1 quart of water with salt and sugar. Cook just until salt and sugar dissolve. Add in oregano, parsley, thyme, rosemary, granulated garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves. Remove from heat and pour in another quart of cool water. Allow the brine to cool to room temperature.
STEP #2: Place the chicken in a resealable plastic bag (or other non-reactive container) and pour the brine over the chicken. Seal and refrigerate for four hours or overnight.
DES’ TIP: I like to place the chicken and bag in a big bowl before I add the brine. This helps keep it stable and should the bag leak, the bowl will catch any liquid.
STEP #3: Discard the brine. Carefully rinse and pat dry the chicken.
STEP #4: Stuff the chicken cavity with a lemon cut in half and a whole garlic of garlic cut in half. Brush the chicken with melted butter.
STEP #5 Season liberally with salt and pepper. Use kitchen twine to tie the chicken legs together and tuck the wingtips under the body of the chicken. This helps prevent them from burning.
STEP #6: Place chicken in a roasting pan or on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast the chicken at 425 degrees for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until cooked through and juices run clear. Chicken is done when a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a thigh registers 165 degrees. If the skin starts to brown too quickly loosely cover with aluminum foil. Allow the chicken to rest 5 – 10 minutes before carving.
DES’ TIP: It is important to let any meat rest before slicing. This helps redistribute the juices throughout the meat, keeping it juicy.
Following the method that I have laid out here, is sure to give you a perfectly Crispy Oven Roasted Chicken. Even the breast of the chicken, which I usually find dry, is juicy! Your family is sure to love it as much as mine.
If you’ve got leftovers, this makes great shredded chicken salad sandwiches. You can even try our favorite Dill Chicken Salad Sandwiches. You can also use leftover chicken in tacos, taquitos, pasta dishes and salads.
To round out your Sunday Dinner, serve this Oven Roasted Chicken with these sides:
Looking for more delectable easy chicken recipes? Here are some of the most popular on my blog:
Note: This recipe was originally posted in 2008. It was updated in 2020 with a new recipe, step by step photos, instructions and nutrition facts.