The Simplest Roast Chicken

I normally roast a chicken once (if not twice) a week.

I know that sounds like a lot, but it’s actually a huge money saver for us.

I buy chickens whole. This kind of chicken is also called a “broiler chicken,” or just a “broiler.”


These birds from TJ’s normally run about $10. If that sounds expensive to you, just think of it this way…

  • We get anywhere from two to three meals from the light and dark roasted meat (pot pie, chicken soup, pizza, etc.)
  • I sometimes divide the chicken up before it’s cooked. This is like buying a pack of breasts, a pack of drumsticks and thighs, and a pack of wings, all for one tidy price. (You just do the work yourself.)
  • I make broth three times with the bones from just one chicken. It’s so much healthier and cheaper than store-bought.

Are you psyched about buying a whole chicken yet?

One thing to remember, when you’re about to start dealing in whole chickens:


Chicken goes fast, and it’s not just the “sell by” date you want to watch for. If your chicken ever feels slimy to the touch, or has an offensive smell, TOSS IT.

A whole chicken is too good to waste (not that I’ve done that before, hint hint), and they’re not exactly cheap on the front end.

Here’s a good place to get started:

This is the BEST recipe. I use it any time that I want to roast a chicken, mainly because nothing else compares to how juicy and tender the meat gets, with this recipe.

I’ve only changed a few things about Jenny’s recipe.

Simple Roast Chicken

1 (4-5 lb.) broiler chicken (You can get them from practically any grocer. 4-5 lb. is a good fit for Dutch ovens/Crock Pots.)

1 Tbsp. coconut oil, butter, ghee, or lard, melted

salt and pepper, to rub on chicken

1/2 cup chicken broth or water

Dutch oven, to roast your chicken covered in the oven

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Working over your kitchen sink, cut the chicken out of its airtight plastic bag, and let the water drip off it. Remove the bag of giblets from the cavity. Making sure not to drip, transfer the chicken to your Dutch oven, or pan of choice. Lay it breast-side down in the pan. I make this entire step easier by keeping the chicken in a plastic grocery bag in my sink, while I cut open the packaging and drain. I also put my Dutch oven right by the sink, so that I don’t create a huge, chicken-y mess. Then, I pick up the bag and throw it quickly in the trash. Bada bing, bada boom.

Rub the melted coconut oil or butter between your palms, and then use your hands to smooth it thoroughly over the whole chicken. Yes, I know this is a cold chicken, and the oil might not stay very slick, as you move it around. However, coconut oil, ghee, and lard do better at high temperatures than olive oil. So try to massage it into that there bird.


Your chicken’s going to be greasy. And so will your hands. Embrace it. This is your ugly baby chicken.


Make it all sparkly with salt.


Dust it with pepper.

You can now tie the chicken’s legs together with kitchen twine, but I usually (read: always) skip this step.


Pour the chicken broth or water into the bottom of the pan, and cover.

Please, don’t make the rookie mistake of roasting a chicken uncovered. Your oven won’t thank you. And neither will your spouse, when you have to run the self-cleaning feature.

Many chickens later, I’m a little better at this. Thank the Lord!


Place the covered Dutch oven in your oven. Bake at 275 for 2¾ to 3 hours.

Turn the heat on your oven up to 375 F. Bake for 30-40 minutes more.

Remove from the oven, remove the cover, and allow to cool a bit before serving.

Listen, this chicken’s not going to win any beauty pageants. It’s literally falling off EVERY bone, at this point. It’s about to fall to pieces. But there’s some good in that.

There’s nothing that compares with how this chicken tastes, so juicy and tender. It’s what Thanksgiving turkey SHOULD taste like: fresh from the oven with all the layers of flavor that hours of roasting imparts.

How to use:

Once it cools enough to pull apart, use the meat however you’d like.

  • Serve it right away with some fancy rice and green beans, or keep it in the fridge/freezer to use in other recipes.
  • Daniel and I love shredded breast meat on our BBQ pizza, and lovely bits of dark meat in our chicken pot pies. Try Pioneer Woman’s recipe. Or maybe Shaye Elliott’s.
  • Shredded meat also does well in a white chicken chili kind of situation.
  • Toss the bones into a Crock Pot and make some chicken stock, or store them in a plastic bag in the freezer to use for stock later.

Thanks so much for stopping by our humble little kitchen. Honestly, this isn’t a beautiful dish, but it satisfies us, belly and budget. I hope you enjoy!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s