Dinner,  Food Lessons,  Techniques

Back to the Basics: Baking A Whole Chicken

Saying that the last few weeks have been crazy is truly an understatement. I honestly wanted to avoid talking about the pandemic, but that’s our reality right now. I hope that you and your family are doing well and I truly appreciate the time you take to visit my blog.

One thing that has truly given me comfort during this time is cooking at home. There is something about being in the kitchen that gives me a sense of purpose and a chance to channel my energy to something healthy.

Unfortunately, I realize not everyone gets to feel this way. For some cooking is stressful or this is a tough time financially. Although, I enjoy cooking, I have found myself relying on my pantry, being more frugal, eating out less, and planning my grocery shopping carefully to avoid excessive exposure.

I have also found myself sometimes getting back to the basics. For example, like baking a whole chicken.

However, when I make time to, I do LOVE to roast my own chicken at home. Homemade roasted chicken is inexpensive to make and simple to make. I only spent around $4 for this 2 1/2 pound chicken. It can be used for so many different meals over several days. I really should do it more often!

This recipe doesn’t call for stuffing the chicken with vegetables or trussing. The compound butter keeps the meat flavorful.

Mise En Place

  • One 2 1/2 to 3 pound Whole Chicken
  • 1 stick of Unsalted Butter – Room Temperature (this is important for easy mixing and spreading)
  • 2 teaspoons of Herbs de Provence (OR your favorite mixture of herbs)
  • 1 teaspoon of Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon of Onion Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper

How to make my Herb Butter Roasted Chicken:

First, you’ll need to prep the chicken. To do this, pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season the cavity of the chicken generously with salt and pepper.

Let the chicken a bowl and covered for about 15-20 minutes to bring it to room temperature. Cooking meat that is room temperature helps to prevent it from drying out. Need more proof? Checkout this article from Bon Appetit Magazine: https://www.bonappetit.com/story/room-temperature-meat-tempering

Next you’ll to make the compound butter. With a mixer or whisk, combine the butter, herbs and seasonings. It is important to have room temperature butter because it makes it easier to incorporate the ingredients and later spread the mixture on the chicken.

Butter and Herbs

Place the chicken on a baking pan that has a rack. The rack will allow air to circulate around the chicken and gives it a rotisserie like taste and color.

Stuff a few tablespoons worth of the compound butter underneath the skin of each chicken breast and underneath the skin of the thighs. Rub the remaining compound butter all over the chicken.

Here I’m sliding my finger under the chicken’s skin to separate it from the breast meat. In this pocket I’ll stuff some of the compound butter.

Then, bake the chicken, breast side up, in a 400 degree oven for at least 60 minutes or until the chicken is cook through.

Tip: Cooking times may very based on your chicken’s weight and your oven.Check the temperature before the estimated cooking time to ensure you don’t overcook the meat.

Your roasted chicken is done when it reaches a safe and proper temperature and the juices run clear. According to the USDA, chicken should reach 165 degrees F. You can check the temp using a meat thermometer.

Tip: Insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh meat and don’t touch the bone.

Allow meat to rest for about 10 minutes before carving and serving.

This 2 1/2 pound chicken took about 1 hour to bake.

All in All

This is a very simple version of a baked chicken. Family usually eats a few pieces for dinner and then I use the refrigerate the leftovers. Throughout the week I may pull the remaining meat to make another dish like my Chicken Pot Pie or Chicken Pesto Lasagna. Either way it is versatile and can be adapted as you need.

Again, I hope that you and your family continue to stay well.

What kinds of foods or meals are bringing you comfort these days?

Herb Butter Roasted Chicken

This oven roasted chicken is full of flavor thanks to using a simple compound butter. It is also simple to make and inexpensive, making it a great comfort dish!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Dish
Servings 4


  • 1 Whole Chicken 2 1/2 - 3 pounds
  • 1 Stick Unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 Teaspoons Herbs de Provencal or your favorite herb mixture
  • 1 Teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 Teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt Plus more for chicken cavity
  • 1/2 Teaspoon black pepper Plus more for chicken cavity


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a baking rack on a large sheet pan.
  • Prep the chicken: To do this, pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season the cavity of the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Allow chicken to sit in a bowl, covered at room temperature for 15-20 minutes.
  • While chicken sits covered, prepare the compound butter: Mix together the room temperature butter, herbs, garlic powder, onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
  • Place the chicken, breast side up, on the prepared rack and pan. Stuff a few tablespoons of the butter under the skin of the breasts and thighs. Rub the remaining butter all over the outside of the skin of the chicken.
  • Bake the chicken for at least 55-60 minutes and check temperature using a meat thermometer. Chicken should reach 165 degrees F when thermometer is inserted in thickest part of thigh (not touching the bone) and juices run clear. If chicken is not done, continue to bake and check temperature every 10 minutes until it reaches proper temperature.
  • When done, remove from oven and allow chicken to rest 10 minutes before serving.


Tip: Cooking times may very based on your chicken's weight and your oven.Check the temperature before the estimated cooking time to ensure you don't overcook the meat. According to the USDA, chicken should reach 165 degrees F. You can check the temp using a meat thermometer. Store leftovers in the fridge, best in an air tight container for about 2 days.  
Keyword chicken

One Comment

  • Carolina Patterson

    My husband is Keto so its harder to find new recipes. This chicken will be perfect for the whole family! I plan on making it tonight. Thank you!