The key to the best holiday roasted chicken might lie in the simplicity of the recipe. Also ideal for a regular weeknight dinner when you want something a little fancier, this no-fuss, one pot whole chicken is a real winner. Garlic, lemon and rosemary add subtle, delicious flavours, and you will find just about any festive side dishes go perfectly alongside this juicy chicken. Add this Thanksgiving or Christmas roast chicken to your holiday menu!
It’s easy to make a great Thanksgiving or Christmas roast chicken recipe. Chicken’s such a versatile protein and can be jazzed up for a special occasion or used in so many other ways. Here the chicken is roasted whole with delicate, aromatic flavours.
Holiday Roasted Chicken Ingredients
Start off with a whole chicken weighing around five pounds. Fresh garlic, onion, lemon, rosemary, and bay leaves add the perfect flavour. And then you also need olive oil, sea or kosher salt, pepper, and butter.
Feel free to adjust the amount of garlic (I love garlic and always use plenty!) or sub a non-dairy alternative for the butter if preferred. This roast chicken recipe is one you can adjust to your taste.
Fresh rosemary gives this one pot whole chicken the best flavour and you can use fresh or dried bay leaves or even leave them out if you don’t have any, since they add a very subtle hint of flavour and aren’t a main ingredient. Fresh herbs are sometimes a splurge but worth it.
How to Make This Roasted Chicken Recipe
Wrap the peeled cloves of a garlic bulb (or however much garlic you want to use) in foil and add some oil and salt. Roast it in a hot oven for half an hour to make the garlic butter. Meanwhile bring the chicken and butter to room temperature.
Take the roasted garlic out of the oven (it’s going to smell really good!) and mix half of it with the softened butter. Brush this mixture over the outside of the chicken (for a crisp skin) and put the remainder inside the chicken cavity. Also put the lemon slices or wedges, rosemary and onion in the cavity. This flavorful chicken is perfect for family dinners or Christmas dinner. If you are looking for an idea for two, try this air fryer Cornish hen recipe.
Tie the chicken legs together with twine or kitchen string to keep the stuffing inside. Grind over some salt and pepper and add some more chopped fresh rosemary on top as well if you like. Now you can roast the prepared chicken in the oven for an hour. This delicious roasted chicken which is perfect for Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner is worth the wait! While the chicken roasts, you can start preparation of side dishes or just relax (which is the whole point of an easy roast chicken recipe – right?)
Cover the baked chicken with foil and give it another hour or cook until the chicken is 165 degrees F inside. It’s best to check with a meat thermometer and check the thickest part of the thigh or the chicken breast.
Let it chicken rest in the roasting pan while you finish preparing whichever side dishes you’re going to serve. This is the juiciest chicken and you are going to love all the pan drippings to make a gravy if desired.
Roast Chicken Variations
This simple roast chicken is easy to tweak according to your preferences. Since chicken is such a versatile protein, you can change the herbs and seasonings if you want. Easy Christmas chicken recipes like this are ones you will make year after year.
You can swap the lemon for orange, or the white onion for a small yellow onion if you prefer. Fresh sage can be paired with the rosemary if you have some, and fresh thyme is also a great herb. In fact you could use all three, and even some parsley too if you want.
You might like to add some potatoes and carrots to the roasting tray. If you do this, perhaps add a splash of chicken stock to the roasting dish as well. This is one of the best ways to cook some vegetables if you are making this chicken dinner on a weeknight.
Options for Tasty Side Dishes
When making one of the best roast chicken recipes, you will want to offer some tasty sides with it.
Possible sides for this delicious holiday meal include candied maple pecan sweet potatoes, smoked asparagus, brussels sprouts, roasted beets or even something completely different like mushroom risotto. Let’s not forget cranberry sauce which is a favourite of the holiday season.
Whole Roasted Chicken FAQs
You can make anything from chicken sandwiches, chicken noodle soup and chicken omelettes to a stir-fry with leftover chicken. Let the chicken cool completely and then it should be fine for up to three days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
I found that my five pound chicken took about two hours. The general rule for estimating the cooking time for a perfect roast chicken recipe is to give it about half an hour per pound at 400 degrees F, but ovens do vary as do roasted chicken holiday dinner recipes.
For this reason, double-check with your instant-read thermometer. When the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh registers over 165 degrees F, you can begin to dry the bird out. So whether you prefer dark meat, breast meat or some of each, you’ll want it juicy and perfectly cooked for the best result.
Holiday Roasted Chicken Recipe
The BEST Holiday Roasted Chicken
- 5 Pound chicken whole
- 1 Bulb garlic
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
- ½ Cup butter
- 1 white onion
- 1 lemon sliced or wedged
- 4 Sprigs rosemary
- 1 Teaspoon black pepper fresh cracked
- 3 bay leaves
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut one end off the garlic bulb. Place garlic in foil and drizzle with olive oil and sea salt. Seal and roast for 30 minutes. Take the chicken and butter out for room temperature as the garlic roasts.
- Remove garlic (roasted cloves) and separate into 2 halves. Combine ½ with the butter.
- Brush chicken with the butter. Add any remaining inside the cavity with rosemary lemon and onion. Tie the legs.
- Season with rosemary salt and pepper. Place onto a roast pan in the oven on the center rack and roast for 1 hour.
- Top with foil and bake 1 more hour to 165 degrees F internal temperature.
- Let roast chicken rest 10 minutes.
- Slice and serve.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
If you want the best Thanksgiving or Christmas roast chicken recipe, this one pot whole chicken is well worth making. It’s the best holiday roasted chicken holiday dinner and it will come out juicy and flavorful and have crispy skin. Everyone is going to love this perfect roast chicken. It really is one of the best holiday chicken recipes. Enjoy and happy holidays!
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Bella Bucchiotti is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for food, dogs, fitness, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.
This looks so juicy! Love all the garlic, too.
What an amazing recipe! The lemon and garlic really came through and it was so juicy! A show-stopping entree!
I don’t even know where to start! This recipe was incredible and the chicken tasted amazing! We all enjoyed the recipe and will make it again!
This roasted chicken came out so juicy! I absolutely loved the flavors. So good!
Ok, I have made roasted chicken tons of times, but I never thought of using roasted garlic, what a game changer. Great recipe.
This roasted chicken was so tender and juicy. It was perfect for our small family gathering.