Recipes Main Courses Poultry and Game Classic Roast Chicken
Classic Roast Chicken

Classic Roast Chicken

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 65 minutes
Servings: 4

Roast chicken is a wonderful supper centerpiece, and it is also great the next day. Here, you roast 2 birds so that you will have dinner for one night plus leftovers for making other delicious meals.

To store the second chicken, let it cool, then remove the meat from the bones, discarding the skin and carcass. If you have pieces left from the first chicken, remove the meat from them as well. Shred the meat and store in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


  • 2 chickens, each about 3 1/2 lb.
  • 4 Tbs. minced fresh rosemary or tarragon
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or chicken broth


Prepare the chickens
Preheat an oven to 450°F.

Place the chickens, breast side up, on a rack in a large roasting pan (or use 2 pans). Pat the chickens dry with paper towels. Rub the outside of each chicken with 2 Tbs. rosemary and a generous amount of salt and pepper.

Roast the chickens
Roast the chickens for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F and continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh, away from the bone, registers 170°F, about 40 minutes more.

Transfer 1 chicken to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes. Set the second chicken aside to cool before shredding the meat and storing (see note above).

Make the pan sauce
Discard all but about 1 Tbs. of the fat from the roasting pan. Place the pan over medium-high heat and add the broth and wine. Bring to a boil and stir, scraping up the browned bits from the pan bottom. Cook until slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.

Carve one of the chickens into serving pieces and divide among 4 plates. Top with the sauce and serve. Serves 4; makes about 8 cups cooked chicken total.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Weeknight, by Melanie Barnard (Oxmoor House, 2006).
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