This Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken is the ultimate chicken dinner! It’s juicy and flavorful with perfectly golden brown, crispy skin, and is guaranteed to bring excitement to the table. It can be prepped entirely in advance and it’s versatile enough for every day, dinner parties and holidays!

Lemon garlic roast chicken trussed on a platter

One of our favorite family dinners is Roasted Chicken. Everyone in my house loves it, we all have our choice of breast meat or dark meat, and purchasing a whole chicken is so cost effective.

It feeds everyone in the family and then some, and I can use the carcass afterward to make homemade chicken stock.

For years I’ve touted my spatchcock roast chicken because it cooks so quickly and evenly (see my post on how to spatchcock a chicken to learn more), but you can’t beat the presentation of classic roasted chicken.

It’s a show stopping dinner that’s casual enough for every day and elegant enough for entertaining.

Winner, winner. 🙂

Easy Roasted chicken on a platter with lemon, garlic and rosemary

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • This roasted chicken recipe is incredibly juicy, packed with lemon, garlic and rosemary flavor, and has perfect golden brown, crispy skin.
  • It’s so easy to make and takes just 15 minutes of hands on prep.
  • This is a versatile dinner that’s great for every day, dinner parties or holidays. It’s also great for meal prep!
  • It’s dairy and gluten-free, and can be customized using your favorite herbs and seasonings.

Recipe ingredients

Whole roasted chicken recipe ingredients
  • Chicken. Use a whole chicken that’s roughly 4 lbs. If it’s larger or smaller, adjust the cooking time as necessary. I used Pasturebird chicken (affiliate link) which is pasture raised the way nature intended, and it has the most amazing flavor! If you love quality, sustainably raised chicken, check out their online store and subscription service.
  • Salt. This roast chicken is perfectly juicy and golden brown because it was dry brined. This simply means that the chicken was salted and placed uncovered in the refrigerator for 1-3 days prior to cooking it. The salt is absorbed into the chicken, breaking down the tough proteins. This results in skin that is very dry, which crisps up even better in the oven.
  • Olive oil. I used a bit of olive oil to coat the chicken to promote browning. Some people use butter instead, which is simply personal preference. Use your favorite!
  • Seasoning. I’ve used a simple seasoning of garlic powder, dried rosemary and pepper as the lemon and garlic in the cavity add a ton of flavor to the chicken. You can change this up with your favorite seasonings, but avoid using seasonings with added salt due to the dry brine.
  • Lemon. The lemon may be substituted with your favorite citrus or even an onion if you don’t have any on hand.
  • Garlic. The fresh garlic permeates throughout the chicken, giving it tons of flavor. You can omit it you don’t have any on hand.
  • Herbs. Add your favorite fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme to the cavity of the chicken for extra flavor.

How to roast a chicken

Learning how to roast a chicken will give any cook a huge sense of accomplishment. It’s an impressive yet easy dinner that happens to be cost effective as well.

I always start by dry brining my chicken a minimum of a day in advance, then I season it with the olive oil seasoning mixture before I pop it in oven.

For best results, allow the chicken to come to room temperature before roasting so that it cooks more evenly.

Pro tip: A 4 lb. chicken will take about an hour and 15 minutes, but the cooking time will vary based on the size of your chicken. For best results, check for doneness after 60 minutes and go from there.

See the recipe card below for full instructions.

How to roast a chicken
  1. Place the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet and salt the cavity and the outside of the chicken on all sides with the kosher salt. This is your dry brine.
  2. Refrigerate uncovered overnight or up to 3 days. Let stand at room temperature 1-2 hours before you plan to roast it.
  3. Combine the olive oil, garlic powder, dried rosemary and pepper and coat the chicken all over with the mixture. Place the lemon, garlic and herb sprigs in the cavity of the chicken.
  4. Truss the chicken legs with baking twine.
  5. Tuck the wing tips underneath the front of the chicken.
  6. Roast the chicken for 30 minutes at 400 degrees to promote browning. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue roasting for another 45-60 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh without touching bone registers 175 degrees.
Whole roasted chicken trussed on a baking sheet

Recipe FAQs

Is it better to roast a chicken at 350 or 400?

Roast your whole chicken at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, which browns the chicken quickly and cuts down the cooking time as well.

From there, reduce the heat to 350 degrees and roast another 45-60 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone registers at 175 degrees.

You can certainly roast your chicken at 350 degrees the entire time, which will take a while longer.

Does dry brining work on chicken?

Dry brining works wonderfully for roast turkey, and equally as well for this roasted chicken recipe. It’s so much less messy as there’s no wet brine to deal with.

Simply pat the chicken dry and season with salt all over the outside and inside the cavity.

Place the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet and chill uncovered in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 day and a maximum of 3 days.

The salt is absorbed into the chicken, breaking down the tough proteins in the meat as a wet brine would, resulting in juicier chicken.

The skin of the chicken is very dry after dry brining, which results in perfectly golden brown, crispy skin.

How long does a whole chicken take to cook?

A 4 lb. chicken takes roughly 75 to 90 minutes to cook at 400 degrees for the first 30 minutes, then 350 degrees for the remainder of the cooking time.

All oven temperatures vary, and cooking time depends on the size of your chicken. I recommend checking for doneness after 1 hour to get a rough idea of how much longer it will take and go from there.

Do I cover a chicken when roasting?

Roast the chicken uncovered until it’s golden brown. If it begins brown too quickly, cover it loosely with foil the remainder of the cooking time.

How long does whole roasted chicken need to rest before carving?

Allow the roasted chicken to rest, covered loosely with foil, for a minimum of 20 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.

Serving suggestions

The sky is the limit on the ways you can utilize this whole roasted chicken, and it’s versatile enough for any occasion.

Recipe notes

  • Pro tip: A 4 lb. chicken will take about 70-90 minutes to cook, but the cooking time will vary based on the size of your chicken. For best results, check for doneness after 60 minutes and go from there.
  • Dry brine your whole chicken 1-3 days prior to roasting it. This results in juicy chicken with perfectly golden brown, crispy skin!
  • For best results, allow the chicken to come to room temperature before roasting so that it cooks more evenly.
  • Customize this roasted chicken recipe with your favorite herbs, seasonings and citrus.
  • Store leftover chicken in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for 3 months.
Roast chicken carved on a platter

Did you try this recipe?  If so, be sure to leave a review below and tag me @flavorthemoments on Facebook and Instagram

Lemon garlic roast chicken trussed on a platter

Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken

Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken is juicy and flavorful with perfectly crispy skin! It's an easy, family-friendly dinner that's great for Sunday dinner, holidays or meal prep!
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Ingredients

  • 4 lb. whole chicken
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt or enough to season the chicken generously
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1.5 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1.5 teaspoon dried rosemary or your favorite dried herbs
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 lemon quartered
  • 1 head garlic halved crosswise
  • 3 springs fresh rosemary or your favorite herbs

Instructions 

  • Remove the giblets from the cavity of the chicken and blot it dry with paper towels. Dry brine the chicken by salting it generously inside the cavity and on the entire outside, then place on a rimmed baking sheet. Place the chicken in the refrigerator uncovered for 1-3 days. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator an hour or so before you plan to cook it to allow it to come to room temperature (the skin will look very dry).
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the olive oil, garlic powder, dried rosemary and black pepper in a small bowl, then rub all over the outside of the chicken.
  • Place the quartered lemon, halved head of garlic and rosemary sprigs in the cavity of the chicken. Use baking twine to truss the legs, then tuck the wing tips underneath the front of the chicken.
  • Cook the chicken uncovered for 30 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and roast another 45-60 minutes or until thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh without touching bone registers 175 degrees. Check the chicken for doneness after 1 hour total cooking time and go from there as all ovens vary. Cover the chicken loosely with foil if it gets too brown at any given time.
  • Remove from heat and let the roasted chicken rest covered loosely with foil for a minimum of 20 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.
  • Place the chicken on a cutting board and remove the baking twine. Carve the chicken and place on a serving platter. Discard the lemon, garlic and rosemary sprigs from the cavity, and reserve the carcass for chicken stock if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Pro tip: A 4 lb. chicken will take about 75-90 minutes to cook, but the cooking time will vary based on the size of your chicken. For best results, check for doneness after 60 minutes and go from there.
  • I used Pasturebird chicken (affiliate link) which is pasture raised the way nature intended, and it has the most amazing flavor! If you love quality, sustainably raised chicken, check out their online store and subscription service.
  • Dry brine your whole chicken 1-3 days prior to roasting it. This results in juicy chicken with perfectly golden brown, crispy skin!
  • For best results, allow the chicken to come to room temperature before roasting so that it cooks more evenly.
  • Store leftover lemon garlic roasted chicken in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for 3 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5lb., Calories: 523kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 43g, Fat: 37g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g, Monounsaturated Fat: 16g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 170mg, Sodium: 1032mg, Potassium: 474mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 0.4g, Vitamin A: 334IU, Vitamin C: 12mg, Calcium: 38mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Did you try this recipe?Be sure to tag @flavorthemoments with the hashtag #flavorthemoments on Instagram so I can see what you made!

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