the main course

Simple Roast Chicken

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Simple, comforting, and classic – you can’t beat a roast chicken to elevate a weeknight dinner. Feed a family or enjoy a feast plus bountiful leftovers for one with Cooks Venture’s recipe for the perfect roast chicken.

Recipe and photos by Cooks Venture

Serves 4


  • 1 pasture-raised whole chicken (approximately 3-4 pounds)
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon for garnish
  • ½ bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F
  2. Pat the chicken dry and coat with olive oil.
  3. Season the entire chicken liberally with salt and pepper, both inside and outside. If desired, truss the chicken.
  4. Place on a roasting pan, sheet tray, or cast iron skillet—breast side up—and roast until golden brown with an internal temperature of 165°F, about 40 to 60 minutes. 
  5. Remove from the oven, loosely cover with foil and set aside to rest for 15 min.
  6. While the chicken rests, cut the lemon into wedges; discard the seeds.
  7. Pick the parsley leaves off the stems and roughly chop the leaves.
  8. Transfer the roasted chicken to a serving platter. Garnish with the lemon wedges and chopped parsley.

Recipe Notes and Variations

  • The olive oil is optional, but will result in extra crispy skin. If this isn’t a priority for you, you can leave out the olive oil and your skin will still end up quite crispy.
  • Trussing the chicken keeps it more compact, which helps the bird to cook evenly. However, if you don’t truss the chicken, we recommend stuffing the cavity with a halved head of garlic, onion, or lemon to help it cook more evenly.
  • Once you’ve mastered the basic roast chicken, try seasoning your bird with your favorite spice blend or try out Samin Nosrat’s justifiably famous (yet remarkably easy) buttermilk brine.
  • Resting the chicken allows the juices to redistribute through the meat, making it tender and juicy. This is why most recipes ask that you don’t cut into the chicken right after it comes out of the oven.
  • Don’t throw away the back and bones that are leftover after you eat the breasts, thighs, and wings! Save it in your freezer and make a rich homemade chicken stock. Stock is also the perfect way to use up vegetable scraps, too!

1 Comment

  • Janet
    October 29, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    Super easy recipe! I guess it’s time to defrost that chicken that’s been sitting in the freezer.


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