Last Updated on February 14, 2024
Whether you’re new to the kitchen or a more experienced home chef, the idea of roasting a whole chicken can be daunting. That’s why we believe you’ll love this basic recipe for roasting our Pasture-Raised Heirloom Whole Chicken. These practical tips make it easy, ensuring your chicken is consistently delicious and perfectly cooked every time.
For the chicken:
- 1 3-4 pound Pasture-Raised Heirloom Whole Chicken
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- butcher’s twine optional
- extra-virgin olive oil
- quartered onions
- garlic cloves peeled
- woody herbs rosemary, thyme, sage, or oregano
- lemon(s) halved
- Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper, including under the skin and inside the cavity. Set the chicken aside for at least one hour at room temperature. If time allows, rest the chicken on a wire rack placed inside of a rimmed baking sheet in the refrigerator, uncovered, overnight or up to two days.
- Adjust the oven rack to the center position. Preheat the oven to 400°F and place an oven-safe (preferably cast iron) skillet on the rack. Stuff the cavity of the bird with any aromatics you may have on hand. If not, no sweat! It will still be a great chicken.
- If any moisture is present on the surface of the chicken, pat it dry with a paper towel or clean cloth. If trussing, cut a long piece of butcher’s twine. Tie the legs loosely together with twine, tuck the ends of the wings behind the bird, and secure with the remaining twine around the neck to hold the wings in place.
- Brush or rub the chicken skin liberally with olive oil. Remove the preheated cast-iron skillet from the oven and place the chicken in the pan. Return the pan to the oven with the legs facing the back. Roast until the skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer reaches 165°F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, 40 minutes to one hour.
- Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and rest for 15 minutes.
- Remove the butcher’s twine and break down the chicken, beginning with removing the legs, then cutting the breasts away from the carcass, don’t forget the oysters at the back of the chicken where the thigh meets the spine!
Ashley Lonsdale is the chef at ButcherBox. Her big hope is for a world where everyone can access the joy of food. That hope is precisely why she spends her free time as an associate board member for the Food Education Fund and writing recipes for her newsletter FOODSTAR. Previously, she was the culinary director for Daily Harvest, a private chef, and a line cook in various New York City kitchens. She is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute.