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Easy & Delicious Whole Cooked Chicken Recipe

The best feeling about raising your own meat? You get to eat and enjoy it! Here's our favorite recipe for whole-cooked chicken that the whole family will enjoy.

easy delicious whole cooked chicken recipe


  • 1 whole chicken (about 4-5 pounds)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 lemon, halved

  • 1 garlic bulb, halved crosswise

  • 1 onion, quartered

  • Fresh herbs (such as rosemary, thyme, and parsley)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 cup chicken broth or water


Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).

Prepare the Chicken: Pat chicken dry with paper towels. This helps the skin become nice and crispy during cooking.

Season the Chicken: Drizzle the olive oil over the chicken, rubbing it evenly over the skin. Season generously with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. Make sure to season inside the cavity of the chicken as well.

Stuff the Chicken: Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the halved lemon, halved garlic bulb, onion quarters, and fresh herbs. This infuses the chicken with fantastic flavor from the inside out.

Truss the Chicken (Optional): If you’d like, you can truss the chicken by tying the legs together with kitchen twine. This helps the chicken cook more evenly, but it’s not necessary.

Prepare the Roasting Pan: Place the chicken, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. If you don’t have a rack, you can place the chicken directly in the pan. Pour the chicken broth or water into the bottom of the pan to keep the chicken moist and create a flavorful base for gravy.

Roast the Chicken: Roast the chicken in the preheated oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C) in the thickest part of the thigh. If the skin starts to get too dark, you can tent the chicken with aluminum foil.

Rest the Chicken: Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for at least 10-15 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it more tender and juicy.

Carve and Serve: Carve the chicken by removing the legs and thighs first, then the wings, and finally the breast meat. Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!

Tips for the Perfect Whole Cooked Chicken

  • Use a Meat Thermometer: Ensure your chicken is cooked through without overcooking it. Chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C)

  • Let it Rest: It's tempting to cut in, we know, but resist the temptation for juicy, tender chicken. Don’t skip this step!

  • Save the Drippings: The drippings in the pan make a fantastic base for gravy or can be used to flavor soups and stews!

New to raising your own chickens for meat? Visit our website to stock up on shrink bags to store your chicken for the freezer, to sell, or for other meat and produce!

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