whole roasted chicken in cast iron skillet

Whole Roasted Chicken

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 20 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Quick and easy roasted chicken is a staple recipe that you should know how to make! It comes together fast, is made with simple ingredients, and the chicken is so moist.



  • One whole chicken, 4-5 pounds
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 large ribs of celery
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Move your oven rack to the lowest position in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. Prepare the onion by cutting the root and stem end off and removing the outer layer of peel. Slice into 3-4 large rounds. 
  3. Prepare the carrots and celery by washing well and cutting into 3-4 inch pieces. It’s OK to leave the stems and leaves on, no issues there.
  4. Place the onion, carrots, and celery in a single layer on the bottom of a large cast iron skillet or a baking dish (you can use a 9×13 inch baking dish or a large oval one). The vegetables will act like a rack to keep the chicken off the bottom of the pan. 
  5. Prepare the chicken by removing it from any packaging. Remove any neck pieces from the cavity of the chicken if needed and set aside (I save them to make broth with). 
  6. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
  7. In a small bowl combine the salt, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  8. Rub the spice mixture evenly all over the outside of the chicken, use all of the spice mixture to do this. 
  9. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables in the pan – breast side down.  This will help keep the breast meat from drying out and overcooking before the legs and thighs are cooked through.
  10. Bake the chicken in the hot oven until the chicken reaches 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the breast and thigh. This will take about 20 minutes of cooking time, per pound of chicken. So a 4-5 pound chicken will roughly take 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes to cook through. 
  11. When the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the oven. 
  12. Allow the chicken to cool for 10 minutes before serving the chicken. I like to cut the chicken into pieces on a cutting board before taking it to the table to serve. 
  13. The juices from the chicken left in the pan, combined with the roasted vegetables, make for a very flavorful liquid (often called drippings). You can serve these drippings to dip your chicken in or you can turn them into a simple gravy (see the instructions below this recipe for the gravy recipe – keep scrolling!). 


  • The skin of the chicken should be perfectly crispy when the chicken is cooked through. If the skin looks like it’s cooking too fast and the meat isn’t done yet, cover the chicken with foil to prevent the skin from over cooking while the meat finishes cooking. 
  • Full instructions on how to make chicken gravy with your pan drippings can be found in the blog post following this recipe (keep scrolling!).
  • Instructions on how to cut up or carve a whole chicken can be found in the blog post following this recipe. 
  • Category: main dish
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American
Nutrition Information: YIELD: 8 SERVING SIZE: 1/8 of the chicken meat
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 344.3 Fat: 7.5g Cholesterol: 206.8mg Sodium: 419.1mg Carbohydrates: 9g Sugars: 1g Protein: 63.9g Vitamin A: 39.7µg Vitamin C: 1mg

Keywords: how to bake a chicken, how to roast a chicken, roasted chicken, baked chicken, whole baked chicken, whole roasted chicken