The Perfect Roast Chicken

The perfect roast chicken is a recipe that all cooks should master. The key is crispy, golden brown skin on the outside and juicy, tender meat inside.


  • 1 (5 pound) Roasting Chicken
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Lemon, quartered
  • 5 Garlic cloves, peeled
  • 5 Sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tbls Unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Onions, thickly sliced
  • 2 Carrots, thickly sliced
  • 2 Ribs of celery, thickly sliced


1. Let the chicken rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Remove the giblets and any excess fat from the chicken cavity. Rinse the inside and outside of the chicken under cold water, pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the inside of the chicken cavity with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the lemon quarters, garlic, and thyme. With a basting brush, brush the whole chicken with the melted butter. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Using kitchen twine, tie the chicken legs together, tuck the wings under.

2. Place the onions, carrots, and celery in the center of a roasting pan. Place the chicken, breast side up, on the bed of vegetables. Roast until the skin is golden brown and crisp, and the juices run clear. A thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the leg, should read 160ºF, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes.

Serves 4-6

Emily Jacobs is a Santa Barbara City College culinary school graduate and food blogger. See for more.

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