Recipes Main Courses Poultry and Game Simple Roast Chicken

Simple Roast Chicken

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 75 minutes
Servings: 4

The simplest way to prepare a whole chicken is also one of the most satisfying: roasted in the oven until cooked to juicy perfection. Cook it now and you’ll have an easy dinner for two tonight as well as plenty of leftovers to incorporate into another dish tomorrow.


  • 1 chicken, about 4 lb. (2 kg)
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves


Preheat an oven to 425°F (220°C).

Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the chicken all over with the olive oil, and season generously inside and out with salt and pepper. Tuck the wing tips behind the back and tie the legs together with kitchen twine.

Put the chicken, breast side up, in a cast-iron baker large enough to hold the chicken with the lid on. Sprinkle the chicken with the thyme leaves. Cover the baker with the lid.

Transfer to the oven and roast the chicken until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone, registers 160°F (71°C), 1 to 1 1/4 hours, removing the lid during the last 10 to 15 minutes of roasting.

Transfer the chicken to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes. Pour the pan juices into a gravy boat. Carve the chicken and serve the juices alongside. Serves 4.

Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen