Roast Whole Chicken and Homemade Chicken Stock

Happy Holidays!! I hope you, like Merideth and I, are having a relaxing last week of the year after filling up on good food with friends and family!

Though I made this chicken as part of our quest for easy, special recipes for holidays, it’s something I’ll make for a hands-off weekend meal. That is, nights that I have the time, but not necessarily the energy or self-motivation, to make an involved recipe. The chicken came out juicy and with a deliciously crispy skin, looking much more difficult than a few minutes of prep before the oven!

If you have additional cooking time, I really loved this recipe because the leftover chicken carcass makes a seriously good chicken broth…three hours later. The time spent in these two recipes is well worth it though, and not just if you’re like me and think baking is a great way to keep warm in the winter! I used the chicken stock the next day for my lunch soup and really tasted the difference from store-bought stock. It made me feel good to use the “waste” from the roasted chicken, too!

For the photos below, I used Bavarian seasoning from The Spice House, a German blend good for roasting including rosemary, thyme, and mustard seeds. However, since this is more of a technique than a specific recipe, feel free to adjust to your taste! I also threw in some diced squash to roast with the chicken (a favorite kitchen shortcut of mine), but zucchini, potatoes, carrots, and onions can also work too- cut into bite-sized pieces, toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and spread around the chicken.
Some seasoning suggestions:

Salt, pepper, garlic (either powder or minced and rubbed on skin)

Rosemary, salt, pepper, and/or oregano rubbed on skin, lemon slices inside cavity

Herbs De Provence

Italian seasoning mix

Make it your own, and enjoy!

Roasted Whole Chicken


Whole chicken  (2-4 lbs)

Olive oil

Salt and Pepper

Optional seasonings, including (but not limited to) garlic cloves, garlic powder, onion wedges, lemon wedges, rosemary, sage, or thyme



  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and prepare roasting pan for chicken.
  2. Remove giblets from the chicken’s internal cavity (they should be in a bag). Discard or save for the chicken stock.
  3. Pat chicken dry with paper towel, including inside the cavity, and rub the outer skin with olive oil. This will help crisp the skin while roasting.
  4. Season skin and/or fill cavity with desired seasonings.
  5. Place chicken, breast side down in the roasting pan or baking dish. If adding chopped potatoes or vegetables, add around the chicken now.
  6. Check the chicken after 50 minutes, using a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken thigh. Chicken is ready when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees and juices run clear. Total roasting time should be between 50 minutes and and hour and a half, depending on chicken size.
  7. Carve the chicken, removing wings, legs, and breast meat. If making chicken stock, save carcass for use within up to 3 days.

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