One Pot Whole Roasted Chicken Recipe
The best way to prepare a whole bird, hands down, is to roast it. It’s simple, easy and delicious. The chicken will remain moist and juicy while the skin turns out golden brown and crispy.
If you’re entertaining guests or need dinner on the table fast, this recipe will make sure you hit all of those marks!
- 1 whole chicken or 2 small chickens (3-4 pounds each)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste. You can also use other herbs like thyme or sage.
- 10-15 fresh bay leaves
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
1.1kg chicken or 2 small chickens
If you’re not sure how much your chicken weighs, 1.1 kg of meat is about two small chickens. As a general rule of thumb, a whole chicken should weigh between 1 and 2 kilograms (2 to 4 pounds).
If your roast chicken comes with stuffing or giblets included, the cooking time will be longer than for a plain roast chicken. This is because it takes longer for heat to reach all parts of the bird; that’s why you need to cook stuffing separately from the main part of the bird.
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
While the chicken roasts, you’ll want to prepare a side dish or two. Here are some ideas:
- Roasted brussels sprouts with dried cherries and walnuts
- Creamy polenta with sautéed mushrooms and crispy pancetta
- Arugula salad with lemon-dijon dressing
10-15 fresh bay leaves
Fresh bay leaves are the traditional Greek herb used for this recipe. Dried leaves can also be used, but fresh is better. You’ll need about 10-15 whole leaves for each chicken.
4 tablespoons olive oil
This is the most basic thing you can do, but it’s also why olive oil is the best oil to use for roasting. It has a high smoke point, which means that it will stay stable and not burn or give off any acrid odors as you cook your chicken. See, olive oil doesn’t just taste good—it’s also healthy. It contains antioxidants called polyphenol antioxidants (PCOs), which help protect against cancer and other diseases by neutralizing free radicals in your body.
Juice from 1/2 lemon
The juice from half a lemon contains vitamin C, which is a good source of antioxidants. Vitamin C helps to reduce damage to your cells caused by free radicals, and can also help fight infections.
Lemon juice also contains vitamin B2, which is essential for overall health. Vitamin B2 plays a role in releasing energy from food so it can be used by the body. It also helps you maintain healthy skin and eyesight and aids digestion by helping to keep acid levels balanced.
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
Garlic is a great source of vitamin B6, manganese and selenium. It also provides copper, potassium, vitamin B1 and vitamin B2.
- Make sure the chicken is clean and dry.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper, inside and out (I like to make a nice little seasoning paste by mixing some salt, pepper, oregano and paprika in a bowl).
- Rub the outside of the chicken with olive oil, lemon juice and garlic cloves (if you don’t have fresh lemons on hand just use some lemon juice from a bottle). This will help season it nicely as well as giving it some extra flavor throughout its cooking process!
- Place on roasting pan and roast for 50 minutes or until golden brown.
Set the oven at 180C and grease a roasting pan with olive oil.
You can use any roasting pan you have in your kitchen, but it’s best to go for a pretty heavy-duty one. If the chicken will be cooking for at least an hour, it might get too hot on the bottom and dry out before the top is done. That’s why we recommend using an oven thermometer to monitor how hot your oven is getting throughout cooking.
Whole chickens are often quite large and heavy, so they need some help staying upright in the pan and not falling into the oil below them that’s used as a basting agent during cooking (olive oil is great for this). A rack or perforated pan liner in which to place your chicken will ensure that it cooks evenly all around without sitting directly in its own juices (which would make for some weirdly greasy roast chicken).
Gently lift the skin to make a pocket, then arrange the bay leaves under the skin of the chicken. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Rub the outside of the chicken with olive oil, lemon juice and garlic cloves, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a roasting pan and roast for 50 minutes or until golden brown. Let it stand for 20 minutes before carving.
You can serve this chicken with a side of potatoes and salad or just as it is. The saltiness of lemon juice complements the chicken very well and enhances its flavor.
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