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The BEST Whole Roasted Chicken

  • Author: Erin Jensen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner/Entree
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


The BEST Whole Roasted Chicken – a classic, tried-and-true recipe for a delicious whole-roasted chicken.  Perfect for meal-prep, Sunday Supper or a weeknight dinner!


  • (1) 4-5lb whole roasting chicken
  • salt and pepper (approx. 2 teaspoons of each)
  • 1/2 cup ghee or butter, softened, divided
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 12 stalks celery, cut into 23 inch pieces 
  • 1/4 fresh orange, cut into small chunks 
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, cut into chunks
  • head garlic, cut off top
  • 1/2 lemon (optional), cut into chunks 


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Celery Roasting Rack:Take the dutch oven and lay down your celery in the middle so it creates a “roasting rack.”
  3. Prep Chicken: Place chicken in a dutch oven on top of the celery. Pat the chicken dry with a clean paper towel.
  4. Butter: Place 1/4 cup of softened butter (or ghee) in a small bowl and mix it together with the minced garlic. Then take the garlic butter and rub all over the chicken, in every nook and cranny, and under the skin as best you can.
  5. Seasoning: Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper so it has a thin layer all over.
  6. Stuff: Rub salt and pepper inside the cavity as best you  can and then stuff with sweet yellow onion, orange chunks, lemon chunks and fresh rosemary and thyme.
  7. Garlic: Place the head of garlic (with one end cut off) inside the dutch oven next to the chicken.
  8. Oven: Place in the oven on the middle rack, uncovered.
  9. Roast + Baste: for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes – 1 hour and 30 minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 at its thickest part.  While the chicken is roasting take the remaining butter (or ghee) and melt.  Baste the chicken every 20-30 minutes with melted butter as well as the drippings that will gather in the bottom of the pan.
  10. Temp: Once the chicken reaches an internal temp of 165 remove from the oven, baste one more time, and then let rest for 10-20 minutes (leave in the dutch oven as it rests as juices will continue to gather that you can then use for gravy).
  11. Remove from dutch oven, carve and serve.
  12. Drippings: Use the drippings (any juices left over in the bottom of the dutch oven) from the pan to make chicken gravy, if desired.


  • Whole Chicken: ensure the cavity is empty (remove any giblets or gravy pack, if any) and that it is fully thawed
  • Cooking Time: cooking time is approximate so start checking the internal temp after an hour just so you can see where things are at and you can gauge how much longer it will need to reach 165.  If after 1 hour and 15 minutes your chicken isn’t fully cooked, continue cooking for 5-10 minute increments until it does reach an internal temp of 165.  Remember the chicken will continue cooking (and then temp will continue to rise) while it is resting.
  • Whole30/Paleo: if you are eating Whole30/Paleo then use ghee instead of butter.
  • Dairy-Free: If you are dairy-free I would recommend using some olive oil to rub the chicken with initially and then baste with a mixture of white wine, chicken broth and a little vegan butter.  Note: your chicken might not brown up as nicely with this method.
  • Gravy: Use the drippings to make chicken gravy – I also have a gluten-free gravy recipe here that is Whole30/Paleo.
  • Homemade Chicken Broth: Don’t forget to save the carcass so you can make homemade chicken broth the next day!

Keywords: whole roasted chicken