There are few dishes more classic than a simple oven roasted chicken. It is easily on my favorite dishes. It’s juicy, delicious, and healthy (ish). But the best part is that it is EASY! The prep work is fast, it doesn’t require many steps, and after you put it in the oven, that’s it! All the work is done. When it is ready to come out of the oven, the meat will be falling off the bone. I have a hard time not going full cave man and tearing away at it immediately!
One of the great things about this recipe is that it doesn’t call for many things. For this easy oven roasted chicken, you’ll need:
- 5-6 lb chicken
- Tony Chachere’s (paid link)
- dried thyme
- 2 small-medium onions (chopped into large chunks)
- 1 bulb garlic (peel each clove and slice them in half)
That’s it! Once you have all that ready, let’s put it all together!
Preparing the Bird
To get your chicken ready, empty the cavity. Some will have the giblets and things, sometimes it’s already empty. Personally, I don’t use the giblets, so I just toss them.
After the cavity is empty, rinse and dry inside and out. Now you’re ready to SPICE IT UP!
Coat the bird, all sides, with Tony Chachere’s. BE GENEROUS! You want it all over. Inside the cavity, outside on all sides, AND under the skin! I gently pull up (without tearing) the skin over the breasts, pour some Tony’s under there, and push it all over under the skin. After the spice is everywhere, repeat the process with dried thyme. Again, be generous! It may looks like too much, but it’s not at all!
After you’ve coated the bird with the herbs and spices, stuff the cavity with the garlic and onions. Fill it up! You want to pack in as much flavor as possible. You should have some left over. Save those, we’re about to use them!
Once the chicken is stuffed, tie up those legs! Criss cross the legs and wrap the thread (or whatever you use) around the legs, weaving in and out, like a figure 8 patter. Tie it nice and tight so the onions are garlic is bound up inside. For this, I’ve normally used regular ol’ thread. This time, I couldn’t find any thread! I sort of panicked for a second because it REALLY needs to be tied! Then I improvised. Floral wire! Worked like a charm.
Cover that Bird!
Here’s where my opinion differs from many people I know.
I bake my chicken COVERED in a heavy duty dutch oven from McWare. I LOVE this thing. It’s hefty and thick. It cooks a chicken beautifully.
Baking the chicken with the lid on will prevent it from drying out. As the chicken bakes, the skin releases all those delicious juices, it drips onto the garlic and onions cooking them, and the cover traps in all those juices, streaming the chicken in its own juicy goodness. Some people start the chicken breast side down and flip somewhere in the baking process, but I have found that is not necessary when baking the chicken covered. You don’t have to worry about the breasts drying out. Another bonus is you can put it in the oven and not touch it again!
A chicken this size will fit nice and snug inside.
The final step
Before you put the chicken in the pot, take the remaining onions and garlic and put them in the pot. Ideally, you’ll have enough to cover the bottom. After all the onions and garlic is in, place the chicken on top. No need to add water or broth. It will make it’s own! Cover, and put in the oven!
Tip: Don’t feel limited to just garlic and onions! Carrots, celery, and bell peppers all work beautifully! You really can use whatever veggies you like for flavor.
A good rule of thumb to follow is approximately 20 minutes per pound. But always check with a meat thermometer! The temperature you are aiming for here is 165F. Most of the time, I let the chicken continue to cook even after it reaches 165F, until the meat starts to pull away from the bone. You can see in the photo above that the leg meat is pulling away and it has started to split up the middle. THAT’S when you know you’re in for a treat. It will be SOOOO tender and juicy.
Tip: See how it’s sitting in its own juices? The meat on the back is SO. FREAKING. GOOD. I will seriously just rip it off with my hands and devour it. Zero self control. Zero apologies.
The ONE drawback with roasting the chicken this way is that the skin doesn’t get crispy on its own, but fear not! All you have to do is remove the lid, put the oven on broil, and let the top toast. This won’t do anything for the bottom, but that’s a small price to pay for the juicy amazingness you are about to experience.
That’s it! Incredibly delicious and easy oven roasted chicken. It’s that simple! Try not to eat the entire thing in one sitting. You’ll want to.
Easy Oven Roasted Chicken
- 1 Whole Chicken 5-6 lbs
- 2 onions medium
- 1 whole garlic bulb
- Tony Chachere's or your favorite dry rub
- Dried Thyme
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Chop both onions into large chunks. Peel garlic cloves and cut in half.
Preparing the Chicken
- Remove giblets from inside the chicken. Discard. (Or use them if you like. I don't).
- Pat the chicken dry.
- Coat the chicken inside and out, with Tony Chachere's. Get under the breast skin as well.
- Do the same with the dried thyme. Be generous with both! It will look like a lot. This is the goal.
- Stuff the chicken with garlic and onions. You should have some left over. We'll use those in a minute.
- Cross the legs of the chicken and tie securely.
- Put the remaining garlic and onions on the bottom of your heavy duty dutch oven.
Baking the Chicken
- Place the chicken in the pot on top of the garlic and onions. You can also use whatever vegetables you like. Carrots, bell peppers, and celery are all great options.
- Do not add water or broth. The chicken will make its own!
- COVER and cook for approximately 2 hours or until internal temperature reaches 165°F. Generally speaking, 20 minutes per pound is a good place to start.
- When the meat pulls away from the bone and begins to split between the breasts, it's done.
- If desired, remove lid after the chicken is done and broil on high to crisp the top of the skin.
- That's it! Enjoy!