the perfect roast chicken

This one of my husband’s favorite dinners. I make it at least twice a month in our kitchen. And then we have leftovers to use in other dishes -like classic chicken pot pie, cheesy chicken enchiladas, or fresh chicken noodle soup!

It quite literally is the PERFECT roast chicken.

At first it seemed daunting…but the truth is, when you are following a Barefoot Contessa recipe, there is not much that can go wrong. I did make a few variations, catering to some of the things Bret and I like (root veggies, for example). This meal is sure to impress any dinner guest, and (as an added bonus) it is one of “the world’s easiest dinners.”

Here’s my recipe adopted from the amazing Ina Garten:


  • 1 5-6 pound chicken
  • Kosher salt & black pepper
  • 1 hefty bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1 lemon cut in half
  • 2 tbsp of garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp of butter, melted
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped in large slices
  • 2 large carrots, chopped in large pieces
  • 2 large potatoes (any kind), chopped in large pieces
  • 6 inches of cooking twine


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Prep all ingredients and chop the veggies prior to handling the chicken.

3. Remove the giblets from inside the chicken cavity. Rinse the inside and outside of the chicken. Remove any excess pinfeathers or fat. Pat dry. Place the chicken on it’s back (legs facing upward) in a cast iron skillet or other roasting pan.

4. Generously salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the inside of the chicken with all the lemon, garlic, and thyme.

5. Brush the top of the chicken with the melted butter and sprinkle with S&P. Tie the legs together with your cooking twine and tuck the wings under the body as much as possible.

6. Place the onion slices, carrots, and potatoes around the chicken in the skillet.

7. Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between  the leg and the thigh. Cut off cooking twine, carve & serve immediately with the roasted veggies. Lastly, enjoy!

Below you will see a photo of a roast chicken with all the veggies from the recipe above and another photo of a roast chicken with just onion (no carrots or potatoes).

I hope you try this recipe and see for yourself how perfect a roast chicken can taste!
Let me know if you have any questions!

xo sarah


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