Simple Roast Chicken

Recipe Information

Total Time: 

1 hour 15 minutes; 10 minutes active



A roasted 4-pound chicken yields about 2 1/2 cups of pulled meat. If you want more, look for a bigger chicken, or roast two. Salting the skin makes it crisp and tasty, and stuffing fresh herbs in the cavity perfumes the flesh.


  • 1 4-pound roasting chicken
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 handful fresh thyme and rosemary
  • 5 celery ribs (if you don’t have a roasting rack for your pan)


  • Kitchen string
  • Roasting rack


  1. Preheat the oven to 450⁰F. Place a rack or five celery ribs in the bottom of a large roasting pan, to hold the chicken above the bottom of the pan and allow it to brown.
  2. Pat the chicken dry, inside and out, with paper towels. The drier the skin, the more crisp it will become. Place the thyme and rosemary into the cavity, tie the drumsticks together across the bottom of the breast with kitchen string, and fold the wing tips under the body. Sprinkle with salt and roast for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes. Use an instant-read thermometer to test the meat of the thigh at the thickest part; it should be at 160⁰F when fully cooked. (Cook larger birds for longer—a 5 pound chicken should roast for an hour and a half.)
  3. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board to rest for at least 20 minutes before carving. To deglaze the roasting pan, pour in a half cup of chicken stock and place the warm pan over a burner on the stove, scraping the pan to lift up all the browned bits. There may only be a small amount of concentrated pan drippings, but this can be the basis of a delicious sauce. (For more info deglazing and making pan sauces, see our Co+op Kitchen Pan Sauces.)

Serving Suggestions

Serve alongside roasted potatoes and a hearty salad or your favorite in-season sauteed vegetables. Roasted chicken is also a great foundation for 5 days of tasty weekday lunches.

Nutritional Information

120 calories, 4.5 g. fat, 55 mg. cholesterol, 55 mg. sodium, 0 g. carbohydrate, 0 g. fiber, 18 g. protein