Having a few roast chicken recipes up your sleeve is never a bad thing. This version, rubbed with smoked paprika and garlic powder, is simple and flavor-packed.
Seasoning the bird a few hours ahead and leaving it uncovered in the fridge accomplishes two important things: Pre-seasoning helps the salt and other flavors permeate the meat more thoroughly, which means well-seasoned meat for eating; and setting the chicken uncovered in the fridge helps the skin dry out, resulting in a crispier skin overall.
For a complete meal, set two cups of chopped potatoes and carrots in the pan under the roasting rack—they’ll roast with the chicken and absorb some of the drippings from the bird.
- 1 ½ tablespoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 4-to 5- pound whole chicken excess fat removed, thoroughly patted dry
- In a bowl, combine paprika, smoked paprika, garlic powder, ¾ teaspoon salt and pepper. Zest lemon; stir into spice mix (reserve lemon). Add butter and mash together to distribute spices through butter.
- Gently separate skin from chicken with your fingers; spread butter mixture over chicken flesh. Season chicken inside and out generously with salt. Place chicken on a large plate; refrigerate uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to 8.
- Preheat oven to 425ºF. Cut reserved lemon in half and stuff into chicken cavity. Tie legs together with twine. Place chicken in a rack in a roasting pan; roast until juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165ºF, 1 hour 15 minutes to 1½ hours. Remove from oven, tent with foil, and allow chicken to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.