This quick and easy chicken roast is a crowd pleasure! Throw this together in 15 minutes tops and let your oven do the rest.
My husband and I both love to cook. Our ideal date night is putting the baby to bed a little early, pouring ourselves a glass of wine, and cooking away. We’ve spent hours making complex dishes, however, indulging ourselves in the kitchen isn’t always an option when you are balancing work, family, and school. So, we have our quick go to’s for those nights when we only have minutes to spare.
Dinner Doesn’t Have to be Complicated
When I was single I would spend hours putting together the “perfect” chicken roast. I would dry brine the chicken hours in advance, invest in a good bottle of wine to deglaze my pan with, and spatchcock the chicken before roasting. The truth is, it doesn’t have to be that completed. Sure, if I’m cooking for a dinner party I’ll put in the extra effort, but for a weeknight dinner I like to simplify things. This chicken roast is super simple BUT it never fails to please.
Why Use a Whole Chicken?
I’m a big fan of buying whole chickens. In fact, the one we used for this post was purchased from a 4-H kid from our church. When he is selling them we typically like to buy 3 or 4 to keep in the deep freeze. I’ll tell you what, home raised chicken is so much tastier than the stuff you buy in the store. If you have the opportunity, I recommend buying a whole chicken from a local farmer. Not only is the meat better, you also get to support a local business. Even buying locally raised chicken is cost effective! You could also run to Aldi and pick up a whole chicken for less than $6.
Not only does buying chicken whole save us money, but we can stretch it to last for multiple meals. We will serve the chicken breasts the first night, save the thighs and legs for the next night, and then throw the carcass into the freezer for when we want to make chicken broth.
How to Make a Delicious Chicken Roast
The first step to making your chicken roast is cutting up your vegetables. This step is easy! Noah and I like big pieces of vegetables so we quarter the potatoes and onion and leave the baby carrots whole. Do what works for you. If you have little ones, you may want to cut your veggies into smaller, bite-size pieces.
Next, it’s time to prepare your chicken. First, salt the cavity of the chicken well. Then, slice your onion right in half width-wise to expose all of your garlic cloves. Don’t worry about removing the papery skin of the bulb, just stuff both sides of your garlic bulb into the cavity of the chicken. Next, quarter your lemon and throw that in with your garlic. This will help flavor the meat of your chicken.
Take your olive oil and rub it onto the skin of your chicken. This will help crisp up the skin. Then add salt and pepper. I recommend using Crystal Diamond salt. Trust me there IS a difference between your typical table salt and Diamond Crystal. Diamond Crystal is made using a patented process which makes it airy and less salty. But, you know what? We are trying to make this simple so if you don’t have any Diamond Crystal on hand go ahead and pull out your Morton’s.
Next, you need to pick which vessel to cook your roast in. We love using our Le Creuset Dutch oven but you can use anything that is wide and deep enough and has a lid.
Add your vegetables to the bottom of the pan and season with salt. Add your tabs of butter. The butter is optional but I find that it add just enough fat to help make your gravy later on.
Put your chicken roast on top of the veggies BREAST SIDE DOWN. This step is important. If you put your chicken breast side up the white meat will quickly dry out.
Put on the lid and throw in the oven for 45 minutes. Then, remove the lid and bake for another 45 minutes until your chicken skin is golden brown and crisp. I highly recommend you use a meat probe to temp your chicken until it hits 160 degrees F but don’t worry about it if you don’t have one on hand.
Make your gravy and serve. Yes, I’m leaving you on your own for the gravy. I’ll be adding my gravy recipe to the blog soon. Trust me! It will be worth the wait.
Tips and Tricks for Chicken Roast
- Throw your chicken into a gallon size ziplock bag and store in the freezer until you are ready to make some homemade chicken stock.
- Likewise, keep a bag in the freezer for veggie scraps so you have some on hand when you want to make veggie stock. I like to store our veggies in our stasher bags.
- Make sure not to forget about your roasted garlic. I like to pop the garlic cloves out of the bulb and eat them with my potatoes.