Whole Roasted Chicken Recipe

This whole roasted chicken is both delicious and budget friendly!

Can you believe I’ve never cooked a whole chicken before? My entire life, I’ve only bought and cooked chicken breasts. I don’t really care for any other part of the chicken. So I figured, what’s the point?

Clean Eating Whole Roasted Chicken

Then I married a man who will eat just about anything I set in front of him, including a whole chicken.

Thankfully, he’s more than happy to leave me the parts I like while he dives into the rest of the poor bird. The scene that ensues is a carnivorous feast unlike anything I’ve seen before. It’s a good thing the poor creature is dead. And that’s all I’m gonna say about that!

I’ve been purchasing whole chickens at Whole Foods for a while, and finally decided I’d try cooking one myself to save a few dollars. And if you don’t mind me saying so, I think I did better than Whole Foods! This chicken was down right delicious!

(Vegetarians beware, this gets a little graphic for those with overly sensitive stomachs. It involves innards… and that’s all I’m gonna say about that.)

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Clean Eating Whole Roasted Chicken

Whole Roasted Chicken

A budget friendly recipe for making a whole roasted chicken!
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 8 servings (approximate)


  • 6 lb. chicken (the size can vary a bit)
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 lb. baby carrots
  • 1 medium bunch celery
  • 2 tbsp. dried tarragon
  • 2 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Place your birdie on a stable work surface.
    Clean Eating Whole Roasted Chicken
  • Reach in through the larger of the two cavities and pull out the stuff wrapped in paper.
    Clean Eating Whole Roasted Chicken
  • Prepare your veggies to your liking. They will cook down considerably, so don’t worry too much about slicing them properly. Just chop them up roughly.
    Clean Eating Whole Roasted Chicken
  • Place your veggies in a roasting pan or large baking dish. (Mine was to large. You want something that is just a bit larger than the chicken).
  • In a small mixing bowl, mix your tarragon, lemon zest, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper and olive oil.
    Clean Eating Whole Roasted Chicken
  • Separate the skin from the meat by moving your fingers around under the skin. You’re not removing the skin, just separating it from the meat so you can get the spices under there.
    Clean Eating Whole Roasted Chicken
  • With your hand, rub the majority of your spice mix under the skin, covering as much of the bird as possible. Rub the remaining spice mix all over the rest of the outside of the bird.
    Clean Eating Whole Roasted Chicken
  • Place your birdie on top of your veggies and put the whole pan into the preheated oven. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes. Your birdie should have a nice golden glow at this point. (I would sell my knife set for a tan like that!)
    Loosely, lay a large piece of foil over the top to prevent any further browning (burning) and continue cooking until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 180 degrees F. (About 50-60 minutes in total – This will vary from oven to oven).
    Allow to cool, remove skin, carve and serve.
    Note: The veggies will soak up a lot of the fat from the chicken. I didn't actually serve these with the meat. I saved them to put into soup which I will cool after cooking so I can skim the fat off. That way my soup gets all the flavor without the added fat!
    And one more note: If you find blood or juices (when you cut into the meat) that indicates your bird is not cooked all the way, please… pretty please… put it back in the oven for a while and recheck the temperature. Raw chicken can give you an awfully upset tummy!
    Clean Eating Whole Roasted Chicken


Please note that the nutrition data below is not available for this recipe.

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  1. Mary Pat Filer says:

    Made this tonight, it was absolutely delish!!! Cold and windy here, great night for it, hubbie loved it too!!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Mary Pat – Fantastic! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I made this last night and it was fantastic! I didn’t have any tarragon so I substituted it with some thyme and oregano and it worked well. I love the lemon zest element. I’ve tried other roasted chicken recipes but this was by far the most flavorful. I used the scraps to make broth overnight in the crockpot and now I’ll have soup for tonight’s dinner with the leftover chicken we didn’t eat. I love getting two meals out of one recipe! This is the first of your recipes I’ve tried and I can say I will definitely be trying more. Thanks for sharing them.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Sandy – My pleasure! I’m honored to have you try one of my recipes! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Jennifer Martin says:

    I am making this for dinner tonight and noticed in one pic that you had your bird breast side down. Was that on purpose or just an errant photo. Thanks for any response!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jennifer – Just the photo. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. You have such great information here. Thanks so much. It’s so helpful! I’ll be trying this recipe tonight!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Sara – Thanks so much! Let me know how you like it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I roast chicken by rubbing salt into the chicken and the covering the whole chicken with chicken spice. Nothing else is added to the chicken or in the roasting dish. I always open roast chicken at 190 degrees Celsius using 50 minutes per kg or part there of as a guide. When the chicken is done it is remove it from the roasting dish to a heatproof container with a lid. The chicken then rests the closed container for a few minutes. The chicken does not dry out and has this wonderful roast chicken flavour.
    We either eat it with veggies, or I turn it into a roast chicken and veggie pie, sometimes it becomes a roast chicken salad, or becomes part of a pasta dish. You dnt need expensive ingredients to make good food, just tweaking the baking temperature makes a big difference.