How to Cook a Whole Chicken in the Oven

Cooking a whole chicken in the oven can seem daunting, but with the right techniques, it can be a flavorful and healthy addition to your meal plans. Follow these simple steps to create a perfectly roasted chicken every time.


Before beginning, gather all necessary ingredients and equipment. You’ll need a whole chicken, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, olive oil, and a roasting pan with a rack. Preheat your oven to 400°F.

Remove the giblets and any excess fat from the chicken’s cavity. Rinse the bird with cold water and pat it dry with paper towels. Season the chicken inside and out with salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Drizzle olive oil over the chicken and rub it all over to create a thin coating.


Place the chicken on the roasting rack in the pan, breast side up, and put it in the preheated oven. Let it roast for 20 minutes before lowering the oven temperature to 350°F. Continue cooking for an additional hour or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165°F.

Baste the chicken occasionally with the juices that collect in the roasting pan. If the chicken’s skin is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.


Once the chicken is fully cooked, remove it from the oven and let it rest on the roasting rack for 10-15 minutes. This allows the juices to settle and makes the meat more tender and flavorful.


After the chicken has rested, transfer it to a serving platter and carve it into pieces. Serve it immediately with your favorite side dishes.

Clean up

After the meal, clean the roasting pan and rack thoroughly with warm water and dish soap. Soak them if necessary to help loosen any stubborn bits. Dry completely and store in a dry place for future use.

LSI Keywords

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  2. Garlic powder
  3. Olive oil
  4. Internal temperature
  5. Resting time

Semantic Keywords

  1. Whole chicken
  2. Roasted chicken
  3. Roasting rack
  4. Flavorful
  5. Healthy
  6. Basting
  7. Tender
  8. Carving
  9. Clean up


Do I need to truss the chicken before roasting it in the oven?
No, trussing is not necessary, but you can do it if you want to. Trussing involves tying the bird’s legs and wings with kitchen twine to create a more compact shape. This can help the chicken cook more evenly, but it’s not required.
How do I know when the chicken is fully cooked?
Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken. It should reach 165°F to be considered fully cooked. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can pierce the thickest part of the chicken with a knife. The juices should run clear, not pink.
Can I use different seasonings for the chicken?
Yes, you can use any herbs or spices you prefer. Popular choices include rosemary, thyme, and paprika. Make sure to season the chicken inside and out before roasting.
What’s the purpose of letting the chicken rest before serving?
Letting the chicken rest allows the juices to redistribute and settle, creating a juicier and more flavorful meat. If you carve the chicken immediately after it comes out of the oven, the juices will run out, leaving you with dry meat.
Can I freeze the leftover chicken?
Yes, you can freeze the leftover chicken in an airtight container for up to 3-4 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating it in the oven or microwave.