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How Long to Cook Whole Chicken Recipe Perfect & Juicy- cooked roast chicken in a large roasting pan with lemons and garlic on the side.

How Long to Cook Whole Chicken Recipe Perfect & Juicy

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5 from 3 reviews

How Long to Cook Whole Chicken Recipe Perfect & Juicy– this step-by-step recipe always gives perfect results! Tender meat with perfectly crispy skin and minimal effort. Easy, reliable, and juicy chicken everyone loves! Impress your family and guest with this simple roasted chicken recipe.

  • Total Time: 2 + hours
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x


  • 1 whole chicken (about 8 pounds) you can make with smaller 4-5 lb chicken*
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon butter softened
  • 810 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 medium head of garlic, cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 4 large pieces
  • 1 lemon, cut into quarters



  1. Preheat Oven and Prepare the Chicken: Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C); adjust your oven rack so the chicken will sit in the center of the oven. Remove the giblets and excess fat from the chicken cavity. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season the inside of the cavity with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with fresh thyme sprigs, garlic cloves, celery stalks, and lemon.
  2. Season the Outside: First, rub the outside of the chicken all over with olive oil, then rub the softened butter on the top and massage it into the skin. Generously season with salt and pepper all over the chicken skin. 
  3. Truss the Chicken (Optional): Trussing involves tying the legs together using kitchen twine. This helps the chicken cook more evenly.
  4. High-Temperature Roasting: Place the chicken on a roasting rack in a roasting pan, breast side up. If you don’t have a rack, just place the chicken in a roasting or baking pan or on a rimmed baking sheet. Put the roasting pan with the chicken into the preheated oven. Roast at 450°F (230°C) for about 20-25 minutes (adjust cooking time depending on weight)*. This initial high-temperature blast helps to crisp up the skin.
  5. Lower the Temperature: After the initial high-temperature roasting, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (190°C).
  6. Continue Roasting: Roast the chicken at a lower temperature for about 15-20 minutes per pound. For an 8-pound chicken, you’ll roast it for about 2 hours to 2 hours 40 minutes (adjust cooking time based on weight)*.
  7. Check for Doneness: To ensure the chicken is cooked thoroughly, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone. The chicken is safe to eat when the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C)*.
  8. Resting: Remove the chicken from the oven once it reaches the desired temperature. Tent the chicken with aluminum foil and let it rest for about 15-20 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute (called carryover cooking), resulting in juicy and tender chicken meat.
  9. Carving: Carve the chicken by removing the legs, wings, and breast meat. Use a sharp knife and cutting board. Serve with your favorite sides.

*Remember, cooking times can vary, so it’s essential to use a meat thermometer to confirm the chicken’s doneness. This method should produce a flavorful, succulent roasted chicken with beautifully crisp skin!


* if making roasting a smaller chicken, use half of the rub ingredients and aromatics to stuff the cavity. Adjust the cooking time: 15-20 minutes per pound. 


Pat Dry: Before seasoning or roasting, ensure the chicken is thoroughly patted dry with paper towels. Dry skin helps to achieve a crispy texture.

Season Generously: Season the chicken both inside and outside with salt, pepper, and any other desired herbs or spices. Don’t be afraid to be generous; seasoning enhances the flavor.

Room Temperature: Allow the chicken to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before roasting. This promotes even cooking.

Trussing: While optional, trussing (tying the legs together) can help the chicken cook evenly and maintain a neater appearance.

High-Temperature Start: Begin roasting at a high temperature (around 450°F / 230°C) for about 15-25 minutes to help crisp up the skin.

Lower Temperature: After the initial high-temperature roast, reduce the oven temperature to 350-375°F (190°C) for the remainder of the cooking time.

Use a Rack: Roast the chicken on a roasting rack in a pan. This elevates the chicken, allowing hot air to circulate and promote even cooking.

Stuffing: Stuff the chicken cavity with aromatics like herbs, garlic, onion, and lemon for added flavor and moisture.

Meat Thermometer: Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The chicken is safe to eat when the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F (74°C).

Resting Period: Allow the roasted chicken to rest, tented with foil, for about 15-20 minutes. This helps the juices redistribute and results in juicier meat.

Carving Technique: When carving, start by removing the legs and wings, then separate the breast meat from the bone. This preserves juiciness.

Pan Drippings: Use the pan drippings to make a delicious gravy by deglazing the pan with broth or wine and thickening it with a roux.

Rest Before Seasoning: If possible, season the chicken a few hours before roasting, allowing the flavors to penetrate the meat.

  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 1-2 hours depending on size
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: American
  • Cuisine: American