Roast Chicken Recipe: A Guide to Perfection

by | Feb 14, 2023 | Recipes | 0 comments

Are you looking for a juicy and delicious roast chicken recipe that will be a hit with your family and friends? Look no further! Roasting a chicken may seem like a daunting task if you’ve never done it before, but with the right knowhow, temperature, and timing, it can be incredibly easy and rewarding. Eventually it will become second nature to roast a whole chicken.

This guild is to help inspire you and give you the understanding you need to roast a simple whole chicken, including a recipe that I personally use.

What is the best temperature to roast a chicken?

The truth is, the ideal temperature to roast a chicken depends on your end goal. If you want a crispy skin chicken then 400°F and above is best, but if you want fall off the bone meat then 350°F and below is best. You can still achieve crispy skin at 350°F, however, it may not be as nice and crunchy as skin roasted at higher temperatures.

If you are not sure what end goal you would like, begin with the recipe listed later in this article as a starting point and go from there. This recipe pairs well with one of our delicious whole chickens.

Click here to buy a Christal Fields whole birds.

How long does it take to roast a chicken on 350°F?

The cooking time for a roast chicken can vary depending on the weight of the bird and the temperature at which it is roasted. To help you determine the cooking time for your roast chicken for your own recipe, we’ve created a table below with cooking times for a whole bird roasted at various weights and degrees.

Weight (pounds)Temperature (Fahrenheit)Cooking Time (Minutes)
3 – 3.5 lbs300°F90 – 130
3 – 3.5 lbs350°F60 – 70
3 – 3.5 lbs400°F40 – 50
3.5 – 4 lbs300°F130 – 180
3.5 – 4 lbs350°F70 – 80
3.5 – 4 lbs400°F50 – 60
4 – 4.5 lbs300°F180 – 210
4 – 4.5 lbs350°F80 – 90
4 – 4.5 lbs400°F60 – 70
4.5 – 5 lbs300°F210 – 240
4.5 – 5 lbs350°F90 – 100
4.5 – 5 lbs400°F70 – 80
Cooking time of whole chicken based on weight and temperature .

Keep in mind that these cooking times are estimates, and your bird may take a little longer or shorter to cook, depending on your oven and other factors.

You will start to know what to look for in a done chicken, such as how loose the drumstick is when you wiggle it (FYI – it should move easily when done).

Though, It’s always best to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your chicken to ensure that it’s fully cooked. The USDA recommends cooking chicken to an internal temperature of 165°F.

Should you roast a chicken with or without foil?

Typically without foil.

Foil can have it purpose in roasting chicken. Roasting with foil can help trap moisture and heat, leading to a juicy and tender bird. Foil also protects the bird from burning in a high heat environment (425-450+ Fahrenheit).

Yet, roasting without foil allows the skin to crisp up and brown, giving the chicken a beautiful golden color your family is familiar with. So, if you’re looking for a perfectly crisp skin, it’s best to roast the chicken uncovered (like what we do in the recipe below).

If you decide to roast with foil, try starting the chicken covered with foil, then removing the foil for the last 20-30 minutes of cooking to allow the skin to brown and crisp up. This will give you a juicy bird with a perfectly crispy skin.

Delightfully Simple Roast Chicken



  1. 1-2 Days in advance: Take the thawed whole chicken and tuck the wings behind the bird. This will prevent the wings from burning while being roasted.
  2. Season, sprinkling inside and out, with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Cover loosely and refrigerate. If you are roasting it the day it’s been thawed, then season it as soon as you can. The salt and pepper will penetrate the bird, making the meat tender and juicy.
  3. Day of cooking: At least 1 hour before cooking, remove the bird and place in a lightly buttered pan which is slightly larger than the chicken, breast side up.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400*F. Roast for 20 minutes, turn the bird breast side down, and cook for another 20 minutes. Then turn breast side up again and roast until done, another 10 to 20 minutes. You know it is done when the thigh temperature reads 165 degrees F.
  5. Let rest 10 to 15 minutes before carving to allow the temperature and juices to settle.


  • Put a few fresh sprigs of thyme, savory, or rosemary under the skin of the breast and thighs before roasting.
  • Put a few thick slices of garlic clove under the skin.
  • Stuff the cavity of the bird with various herbs. They will perfume the meat as the chicken roasts. And don’t hold back, fill the cavity full!

This is an easy recipe to make for your family. Let’s get to roasting! Cheers!


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