The best roast chicken recipe everyone should know, according to the chef

  • I’m a chef with 15 years of experience and I’m still teaching people how to make this rotisserie chicken.
  • The trick is to brine the bird for 24-48 hours before cooking it in a preheated Dutch oven.
  • It usually takes about 45-55 minutes for the chicken to cook completely.

As a chef and cooking teacher with over 15 years of experience, I always recommend this juicy roast chicken recipe.

As the days get shorter, dinner should become more comfortable. Nothing excites those taste buds like a comforting chicken dinner.

Here’s everything you need to know about roasting a chicken and how to make my easy recipe.

Home cooks might be intimidated by making a whole chicken, but it’s easier than you think

raw whole chicken on a kitchen counter

Cooking a whole chicken intimidates some home cooks.

Alissa Fitzgerald

A properly roasted chicken is a success, but the process can seem quite daunting. The perfect roast should have golden, crispy skin and the most tender, juicy meat.

To get that crispy skin, you need a little extra cooking time or a higher heat. But extra cooking time can dry out the meat — making it a gorgeous bird with a not-so-good taste — and too much heat makes the cooking uneven.

Fortunately, a super simple technique changes everything: brining.

Brining a chicken with a dry rub will leave the bird moist on the inside and crispy on the outside.

whole chicken roasted in a dutch oven

Brining chicken before cooking makes it super juicy.

Alissa Fitzgerald

To make a delicious whole chicken, simply marinate the meat in a salt solution for about 24 hours. Using a dry brining technique, made famous by the Zuni Café in San Francisco, makes the process even easier.

Generously salt the bird all over and let it sit in a cast iron skillet or heatproof Dutch oven in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, simply take out the chicken, heat up your oven, and you’re basically good to go.

The salt brings out the liquids in the meat, and then, through osmosis, the liquid is reabsorbed, giving you perfectly seasoned chicken that doesn’t lose moisture in the oven.

The recipe may require a bit of prep, but the juicy results are worth it

roast chicken sitting on a plate

The technique results in a delicious bird every time.

Alissa Fitzgerald


  • Whole roast chicken 3 to 6 pounds
  • Generous amount of kosher salt


  1. Remove the neck and gizzards from inside the chicken and reserve them for another use.
  2. To dry-brine chicken, add a layer of salt to the bottom of a Dutch oven. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry before placing it on the salt. Sprinkle generously with salt until it looks like the bird is covered. Leave in the refrigerator for 24 hours (or up to 48 for larger birds).
  3. Turn the chicken at some point during the brining process to ensure an even distribution of the salt. Don’t worry about getting salt in the cavity or under the skin.
  4. The next day, preheat your oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Remove the chicken from the pan, rinse off any excess salt and wrap it in paper towels to dry it.
  6. Rinse the Dutch oven with warm water to clean off the salt and remove the cold from the fridge. Place the mold in the oven to preheat for 20 to 30 minutes. When the pan is hot, remove it with oven gloves.
  7. Using a pair of sturdy tongs, lift the bird out of the cavity and place it breast side down in the hot pan – it should sizzle. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
  8. When the 30 minute timer goes off, turn the bird over using tongs so the breast meat is facing up. Leave uncovered and cook another 15-25 minutes until juices run clear when pierced with a sharp knife.
  9. Let stand 10 minutes, slice and enjoy.

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