How to Roast a Chicken (the Lazy Way)

Do you have days when you just want to make the easiest meal ever?  But something that still tastes  really, seriously, good.  Enter Lazy Roast Chicken.

Roast Chicken Served

Roast Chicken Served

Yup, I almost feel guilty calling this a recipe.

Now back when I made my very first roast chicken, I was actually scared.   I had always bought my chicken at the grocery store, conveniently cut into serving sized pieces–and every one of my recipes used cut up chicken.  But I had committed to buying free range chickens, right off the farm, and well… they only came whole. 

I didn’t realize this was a lucky break.

How to Roast a Chicken

How to Roast a Chicken

Carrots, parsnips and fingerling potatoes for chicken

Carrots, parsnips and fingerling potatoes went under this chicken

You see simply sprinkling a little salt and pepper on a roasting chicken can be the start of an amazing dinner.  Throw some carrots under the bird–those bags of peeled baby carrots are super easy (note theme).  Add pre-washed salad & bakery bread and you have dinner.  Pretty near zero effort.

roast-chicken-overn-readyWould a chicken taste better with herbs rubbed under the skin and stuffed with grandma’s homemade dressing?  Actually not, because if you’re really tired, you’d do take out instead.

There is one efficiency issue and that is the elapsed time–about 1 1/2  hours.  But pop your chicken in the oven, then put in a load of laundry… do the final work conference call…  maybe even read the newspaper(gasp!).  Or make it during the weekend or the night of the late afterschool activity and you’re good.

A few ingredients, some restful (or not) waiting, dinner.




A Few Quick Tips About Roast Chicken

A good roaster is key to success–I like a nice sized (5-6 lb) free range bird right from the farm (via my freezer).  Trussing probably results in a better end product, but if you arrive home with not one ounce of extra energy or can’t find your kitchen twine, skip it.  Make sure your bird is completely thawed–no ice crystals hiding in the crook of the legs–to avoid safety and quality issues.   And don’t rinse your chicken before cooking; it was recently found to be more likely to spread germs than reduce them.  An instant read meat thermometer works great to ensure your chicken reaches a minimum 165F and I check both the thigh and breast to be sure everything is up to temperature.  Finally, when you are done, consider saving any leftover skin and bones for homemade chicken broth


Roast Chicken
Serves 8
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179 calories
0 g
66 g
10 g
20 g
3 g
75 g
81 g
0 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 179
Calories from Fat 92
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
Saturated Fat 3g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 66mg
Sodium 81mg
Total Carbohydrates 0g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 0g
Protein 20g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. Whole Chicken, giblets removed
  2. salt
  3. pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Do not rinse your chicken, but dry any condensation or other moisture on the outside with paper towels. Double check that the giblets have been removed.
  2. If you experienced at trussing, go ahead and use your customary method. Otherwise, to do a very basic truss, tie the ends of the drumsticks together with kitchen twine and tuck the wing tips underneath the bird. (This is optional)
  3. Salt the chicken generously--this contributes to both flavor and crispness. Season to taste with pepper.
  4. Set the chicken in a roasting pan and, place in preheated oven. Baste or brush the chicken with its own juices after about an hour (if you remember, otherwise don't worry about it). Roast it until it reaches a minimum 165F in both thigh and breast, about 1 1/2 hours.
  5. Remove chicken from the oven and remove to carving plate. Cut off the twine if used and carve the chicken.
Art of Natural Living

12 thoughts on “How to Roast a Chicken (the Lazy Way)

  1. grace

    i’ll never deny that i’m lazy and will choose a simpler method every time, especially if it ends up being just as tasty as it is when done the painstaking way. thanks for the pointers!

    1. Inger Post author

      I know there are times you are definitely not lazy Grace! You know I always figure there is a time for the complicated super good recipes and a time for the simple, really good recipes. But life is too short to eat bad food!

  2. Freeda Baker Nichols

    Don’t think I’ve ever roasted a chicken. Turkey, yes. But not chicken. The pictures look like it was perfect! Did you see my blog where that you can comment for a chance to win in the drawing for a free copy of my book? Go check it out.

    1. Inger Post author

      I have heard from a number of people who have never roasted a chicken since I posted this Freeda.

      Sorry I missed your giveaway. We had a lot of last minute prom activities this weekend (my daughter skinned her knee really bad and ended up switching to a long dress, with hemming, new jewelry, etc) and I completely forgot. But I intend to get over and get a look at the excerpts.

  3. Beth

    I don’t know why so many people are hesitant to roast chicken, because it really is the easiest recipe around. And so good! Hopefully you’ve inspired someone to roast a chicken with this post – I must admit that I’m feeling inspired myself!

    1. Inger Post author

      Thanks Beth. One of my book club members said she might give it a try after reading this, so there was at least one!

    1. Inger Post author

      You are so right! I still remember how amazed I was at how much flavor a good chicken has when I switched to the free range!

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