Recipe: Classic Roast Chicken

This simple roast chicken recipe is a classic every home cook should have in their repertoire. It’s perfect for any time of day or year, and the leftovers are a wonderful addition to salads and sandwiches.

The secret to success is making sure your chicken is rinsed and completely dry prior to cooking, and roasting at a high temperature. Otherwise, the moisture will steam the chicken instead of roast it. Roasting at a high temperature will crisp the skin without overcooking the white meat (breast).

Preparation time: 2 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes-1 hour


  • 1 whole chicken (3-4 lbs)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Remove the giblets and rinse the chicken under cold running water. Dry thoroughly inside and out with paper towels. Sprinkle an even layer of salt, including inside of the cavity. Sprinkle an even layer of black pepper on the skin of the chicken.
  2. Place the chicken in a 12 to 14 inch sauté pan or cast iron pan, and set the timer for 45 minutes. When the timer goes off, stick a thermometer into the chicken thigh. If the temperature registers between 160 and 165 degrees, your chicken is done. If the chicken isn’t quite ready, cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. When the chicken is ready, allow it to rest in the pan for 10 to 20 minutes before serving.