This is THE perfect crispy roast chicken with a beautifully golden skin. It’s got the most succulent, juicy and tender meat to enjoy with your Sunday roast. It is also a great alternative for a festive meal for those catering for fewer guests. Superb all year round!
There are plenty of recipes out there for a crispy roast chicken but we wanted to give you OUR crispy roast chicken! It has the most epic golden crispy skin and the meat is moist and juicy. No dry chicken in sight here! A bonus about this crispy roast chicken is you get the most delicious juices in the pan. These can be converted into a savoury and satisfying chicken gravy to serve with your chicken. Ooh, and don't forget these ricotta crostini to start with!
We go through all the tips and tricks you need to give your roast chicken the special treatment. Explaining the dos and more importantly don’ts to ensure you get the perfect results - Every. Single. Time. You can’t forget the sides for this perfect crispy roast chicken! Make sure you serve it with these crispy rosemary roasted potatoes and caramelized brussels sprouts or this hasselback butternut squash too! Use the links below to get to where you need on this page to get all the information you need.
We love hearing from you so please leave a comment with how you got on. Also don’t forget to rate the recipe by how much you love this super crispy roast chicken!
What makes this the best?
Reasons you'll love this perfect crispy roast chicken recipe and why it's the best:
Easy - this recipe is as simple as it gets. That’s the way it should be and how we can make it approachable for everyone. There's no faffing around with silly techniques and perfect results every time!
Crispy skin - one of the most savoury and flavourful parts of the chicken, it's golden, crispy with natural sweetness from the chicken and salty from the seasoning!
Juicy - the method we give you in this recipe ensures you get the most delicious, succulent and juicy chicken. Understandably, so many people are afraid of undercooking chicken. But that doesn’t have to mean cooking the hell out of it and having miserable dry chicken!
Adaptable - if you want a simple yet perfect crispy roast chicken, follow the recipe below. If you want to mix it up flavour wise you can use any of the customisations mentioned below.
You only need very simple ingredients that are readily available for this perfect crispy roast chicken. This is what you’ll need:
Chicken - the size of a whole chicken depends on the number of people you’ll serve. We recommend a 3-4 pound chicken for 4-5 people adding a person per additional half pound of chicken. If within budget we highly recommend getting a free range chicken but even better would be a regeneratively farmed chicken.
Vegetables - you’ll use these as a trivet for the chicken; you’ll need a leek, carrots and celery. These will not be wasted, they can be turned into a tasty gravy.
Aromatics/seasonings - these are to perfume the juices for the gravy but they also permeate into the chicken. You’ll need fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs and full garlic heads.
Fat - my fat of choice is olive oil or cold pressed rapeseed oil. You can also use goose or duck fat if you like.
Here are some recommendations for some rubs for this crispy roast chicken to mix it up flavour wise:
Thai - if you are looking for a different flavour, rub Thai green or red curry paste into the chicken skin. Make your own Thai rub with a paste of green onions, ginger, lemon grass, chillies, turmeric, curry powder and salt. Rubbing a paste over the chicken skin like this won’t allow it to be super crispy, but it will be tasty!
Moroccan - for a Moroccan flavoured roast chicken we recommend rubbing all over a mix of 2 tablespoons of harissa paste with ½ teaspoon ras el hanout, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.
Lemon - lemon roast chicken is lovely. You can follow the main recipe post below but just add in a whole zested lemon; you can also add ½ teaspoon of garlic powder.
Herb - make a herb crusted roasted chicken by mixing in 2 teaspoons of freshly chopped rosemary and 2 teaspoons of freshly chopped thyme to the oil, salt and pepper in this recipe and rub it all over.
What to serve it with
We would highly recommend serving these with these tasty side dishes with this crispy roast chicken:
How long to cook it
Cooking a whole roasted chicken in the oven starting at 220oC/430oF then reducing to 180oC/350oF immediately you need to stick to these cooking times.
The key rule of thumb is 20 minutes per pound/454 grams plus 20 minutes. Here are some standard weights and timings to use:
3 lb/1.36kg - 1 hour 20 minutes
4 lb/1.81kg - 1 hour 40 minutes
5 lb/2.27kg - 2 hours
If you have a different weight to the above, use the following maths to aid: 20 x (weight in pounds) + 20 = cooking time.
For example, (20 x 3.2 pounds = 64) + 20 = 84 minutes of cooking time.
How often to baste the chicken
Basting does two things, it refreshes the fat over the skin which helps keep the chicken moist underneath and aids crisping the skin further. The other reason is, meat juices have many other flavours which also add to the chicken during the basting process.
How often do you need to baste the chicken? It depends on the cooking time. We recommend basting every 30 minutes though. For a 3 pound chicken we would just stick to once half way through the cooking time.
How to make a crispy roast chicken
These are the key steps to cooking your perfect roast chicken:
- Preheat your oven to 220oC/430oF (convection/fan assisted). Prepare your whole chicken by drying the skin with a kitchen towel and then rubbing the olive oil all over the chicken. Make sure to get into all the creases of the wings and legs. Sprinkle the salt and freshly ground black pepper and rub all over the chicken.
- Place all the chopped veggies and sprigs of herbs in the base of the roasting tray and rub a little olive oil into them to prevent them from burning. Place the prepared chicken on top of the vegetable trivet and into the oven. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 180oC/350oF immediately and roast for 20 minutes per pound plus 20 minutes. For a 4 pound chicken that would take 1 hour 40 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the oven 30 minutes into cooking and baste with any fat from the bottom of the roasting pan, then do this again at 1 hour into cook time. Each time turn the tray 180o and return it to the oven so the chicken faces the other way.
- Once the chicken has completed its cooking time it will have reached 74oC/165oF internal temperature and it can be removed from the oven and placed on a plate or chopping board. Allow it to rest for 15-25 minutes before carving.
How to carve it
There are two ways to carve your perfect crispy roast chicken, follow the steps below and decide which is easiest for you:
- The first way is if you are confident with a knife and the shape of a poultry carcass. Slice ¼ inch thick slices from the breast directly from the chicken. Slice at a 45 degree angle and go with the shape of the carcass to gradually carve the whole breast.
- The second (easiest) way is to remove the whole breast of the chicken by slicing down the side of the breast bone in the centre of the chicken vertically, you will hit the rib cage and need to turn your knife out sideways to slice under the breast to completely remove it.
- Once removed, slice the chicken breast along its width. Carving this way will give everyone some of the golden and tasty skin.
- Carve all the breast meat off the chicken, then remove the drumsticks, thighs and wings and serve on a platter.
Expert recipe tips (with dos and don’ts)
Here are some expert tips, dos and don’ts that will make this recipe the most successful:
Room temperature - take your chicken out of the fridge 20-30 minutes before roasting to allow it to come up to room temperature. This helps with browning the skin when the hot air hits it as it goes into the oven, as well as cooking the flesh evenly.
Rub with oil - this is the best option to adhere the seasoning to the skin of the chicken, but also to give you the crispiest chicken skin. As chicken skin is higher in saturated fat using rapeseed oil or olive oil is a less fatty option.
Place on trivet - using vegetables as a trivet in the base of the roasting pan is a great way to add plenty of flavour to the meat juices (not that they need help) but it creates an incredible base to a gravy too! If you don’t want to use vegetables you can roast on a wire rack trivet. It allows hot air to circulate around the chicken which helps the skin to get all crispy and yummy!
Season well - seasoning the chicken well does two things. Firstly, it makes it taste even more amazing! But more importantly it draws the moisture out of the skin, which then evaporates on roasting in the oven leading to crispier skin.
High then low temp - starting the roasting process at a higher temperature (220oC/430oF) gets the skin crisping off to a good start whilst lowering it allows the oven to do what it does best, cooking the meat slowly through to the middle.
Rest the chicken - make sure you rest your chicken after roasting for 15-25 minutes; this is KEY to a juicy and succulent chicken. It gives the crispy roast chicken time to recirculate the juices around the meat and will also make it A LOT easier to carve. Carving whilst hot is often the fastest way to dry chicken but it will also fall apart.
Stuffing - we all love a good stuffing served alongside a crispy roast chicken, but do NOT stuff it into the cavity! Cooking with stuffing in the cavity of the chicken will prevent the hot air from circulating around the cavity leading you to overcook the meat. If you want a nice moist chicken but can’t resist stuffing it, stuff it in the neck end (the end closest to the wings).
Butter - we don’t recommend sliding butter underneath the skin of the breasts. The reason being that it doesn’t actually make the skin crispy and we don't believe it makes the chicken moist either. It just adds a lot more faff and fat to the dish which doesn’t make the juices or gravy any better as you’ll just be removing the fat anyway.
Cavity flavour - we wouldn’t recommend placing anything in the cavity of the chicken at all. Personally we don’t like a lemon flavoured gravy and that’s all that will happen with the juices running into the base of the roasting pan. If you like that, go ahead, but do NOT completely block the cavity, just put in half a lemon, some herbs and a little bit of onion. This is essential to ensure you don't over cook the chicken!
What to do with leftovers
If you have crispy roast chicken leftovers you can use them in the following recipes:
Start by preheating the oven to 220oC/430oF (convection/fan assisted) and then when the chicken goes in, reduce the temperature to 180oC/350oF immediately.
The chicken will read an internal temperature of 74oC/165oF with a thermometer in the thickest part of the meat.
Yes! Absolutely, allow them to cool completely and then strip all the meat from the carcass discarding any unwanted fat and skin. You can freeze as a whole amount if you know you will use it as such in a freezer bag, but if you don’t think you’ll use it all, freeze it in weighed portion sizes. It can then be defrosted and used in the recipes as suggested in the post above.
Yes! If reheating from frozen, defrost thoroughly in the fridge beforehand. Reheat thoroughly until piping hot throughout, 74oC/165oF for at least 10 minutes.
A whole roasted chicken should need at least 15 minutes to rest, but can go up to 25 minutes. Resting a crispy roast chicken is essential to recirculate the juices and give you the most juicy succulent results. We wouldn't recommend covering with foil, as it'll overcook the chicken.
More tasty meals
If you loved this perfect crispy roast chicken recipe you definitely need to check out our dinner recipes. Here are some recommendations to get you started:
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The Perfect Crispy Roast Chicken
- 3-4 pound free range chicken
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 sticks celery
- 1 leek
- 2 heads of garlic
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F (convection/fan assisted).
- Roughly chop the carrots, celery and leek into large chunks and halve the garlic along its equator. Lay these vegetables across the base of your roasting pan with sprigs of rosemary and thyme. Toss with a little olive oil or goose fat.2 medium carrots, 2 sticks celery, 1 leek, 2 heads of garlic, 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- Place your whole chicken on top of the vegetable trivet and rub with 2 tablespoon olive oil or goose fat. Sprinkle the salt and pepper all over the chicken and rub all over into all the creases around the wings and legs too.3-4 pound free range chicken, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon sea salt, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Place the chicken into the oven and immediately turn down the temperature to 180°C/350°F. Roast for 20 minutes per pound plus 20 minutes, basting every 30 minutes with the fat and juices accumulating in the base of the pan. Until an internal reading of 74°C/165°F on a digital thermometer.
- For a 4 pound chicken that would be 20 x 4 = 80 minutes, plus 20 = 100 minutes. Which works out at 1 hour and 40 minutes roasting time.
- Once finished roasting, leave the chicken to rest on a platter for 20 minutes before carving and serving. Meanwhile use the vegetables and juices in the bottom of the roasting pan to make your gravy.
This recipe was perfect. Exactly as described, crispy skin and juicy meat. Tasty!
Looks amazing! Mmmm.... Love the guidance on carving a roast Chicken and all the tips for keeping the chicken moist and preventing it from drying out.
Thank you for the guidance on this, I always end up overcooking my chicken. I love how simple you've made it. I'll be doing this again! Looking forward to your way of doing the gravy.