How To: Cook a classic roast chicken in the oven

Cook a classic roast chicken in the oven

No dinnertime meal beats chicken, and this classic roasted chicken should be at the top of your recipe box, because it's so delicious and juicy that you're going to want to cook it everyday. See how to cook this classic roast chicken.

This is a lesson in how to make the best roast chicken. From cleaning the bird, to the herbs and spices, to trussing, to making the pan juices into a savory gravy, it's all here. Chef/Instructor Jim Swasey spells it out clearly that some of the most delicious meals are kept simple and classic.


* 1 3½-4½ lb broiler/fryer/roaster chicken
* 1 tbsp kosher salt (½ tbsp for the cavity, ½ tbsp to salt the outside)
* 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
* 1 lemon, cut in half
* 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
* 1 onion, quartered
* 2 sprigs of thyme
* 2 sprigs of rosemary
* 1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened (to rub on bird)

Pan Sauce

* 1 cup chicken stock
* 2 tbsp white wine or lemon juice
* 1 tbsp chopped parsley
* salt & pepper
* 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened


1. Preheat oven to 400°
2. Remove any excess fat from the cavity and the liver-looking substance on either side of the backbone near the tail. Wash and dry the inside of the cavity. Rub the cavity and outside with 1 tbsp each of salt and black pepper
3. Place lemon, smashed garlic, onion, thyme and rosemary in the cavity and truss the bird
4. Rub butter all over the outside of chicken; then salt & pepper the chicken. Place the chicken in the oven and roast until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160-165º. Remove chicken from the oven and let rest 15-20 minutes before serving

Pan Sauce

1. Over low heat, warm 1 cup drippings from roast chicken (add chicken stock if drippings do not measure 1 cup). Add 2 tbsp white wine (or lemon juice)
2. Add salt and pepper to taste
3. Add 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room-temperature and 1 tbsp chopped parsley
4. Reduce until thickened and check for seasonings

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