How to Roast a Whole Chicken in 7 Simple Steps (Healthy & Diabetic-Friendly Recipe #18)

trussed chicken


I was at a girl friend’s apartment a few weeks ago for a Super Bowl party and we got to talking about chicken- random I know. I told her that I was making two whole chickens for me and my fiance to eat on for the week and she was surprised! When I explained that whole chicken is probably the easiest thing to make, she seemed a bit skeptical, so I thought why not share my super simple recipe?

Note: Be sure that you have at least 2hrs time (depending on the size of your bird) to allow the chicken to cook through. The trick to roasted chicken isn’t the preparation, it’s the cook time! Here’s what you’ll need:

1 whole chicken (should be 1-3lbs. Be sure to remove neck & gibblets from inside! Learn more on how to pick a chicken here.)
6 lemons
4 sprigs of rosemary
4 sprigs of thyme
2-3 tbspns Kosher salt
2-3 tbpsns black pepper (or red pepper flakes)
Any other spices you love on your chicken!
1 large red onion (coarsely chopped)
4 cloves of garlic (smashed)
1-2 tbpsns olive oil
half cup of water

~3ft of twine for trussing
2-3 sweet potatoes (halved)


1. Chop up your red onion, garlic (and sweet potatoes). Drop these ingredients into a roasting pan. Add 1 tbpsn of olive oil to the pan. Set aside. Preheat your oven to 425F degrees.

2. Now you’ll need to clean your chicken. Okay be prepared- you’re going to have to get your hands a little dirty if you want to do this properly! Move your chicken to your kitchen sink. Take a look inside. Along the inside of your chicken you may notice that there’s some red pulpy flesh that stuck within the cavity (eg. along the ribs of the chicken and inner bones). If there isn’t- great; you’ve picked a well-cleaned chicken! If there is, use your fingers to remove all of these pulpy portions from the inside of the bird. This part may seem a little gross, but it’s necessary to make sure you don’t get any chicken guts on your final plate!

3. As a final step in cleaning your bird, cut up 3 lemons into halves. Rub the halves down the inside and outside of your chicken. Once this is done, give your chicken a final rinse with cold water.

4. Cut up your remaining lemons into quarters and stuff them inside of your bird. Also stuff your bird with your rosemary and thyme.

5. Optional: If you have twine, truss your chicken. Trussing your chicken helps it cook more evenly by holding all parts of the chicken close together. It also holds the lemon/rosemary/thyme in place & makes the chicken look better! 😉 Don’t know how to truss? Check out a quick how-to with pictures here. Don’t care to truss? No worries, you can skip this step.

6. Combine salt, pepper, spices and olive oil in a small bowl to make a nice paste/marinade. Rub this marinade all over the skin of your chicken! (No butter over here!)

7. Place your bird in your prepped roasting pan. Add half a cup of water to your pan & cover with aluminum foil.


1. Put your chicken in the oven! Set a timer for 30mins and forget it!

2. Check your chicken in 30 minute intervals. Once 30mins are up, reset your timer for an additional 30mins until you think your chicken is close to done. How will you know? Instead of poking your chicken to death, just check the thickest part of the bird- the thigh. If you poke that area with a knife and it runs clear (no blood), you should be okay. I generally find that my chicken take 1.5-2hrs to cook.

3. Optional: If you have a broiler in your oven, you can use this to give your chicken a nice golden brown on top. I set the broiler on HI and let my chicken brown for 5-8mins. Here’s a picture of how my two birds came out after some broiling time:

roasted chicken

4. Once done, take your chicken out and let it rest for 5-10minutes.

5. Grub-a-dub-dub!

See? Not too scary, right? And the great thing is -especially if you added sweet potatoes- you’ve got a meal that can last you a couple of days! I often bake 2 chickens at once so that if I cook them on Sunday, my fiance and I can eat until Wednesday or Thursday. Roasting a whole chicken pays serious time-saving dividends if you’re on a busy work schedule. Be sure to give whole chicken a try and let me know how it goes! 😉 -CFC

** Do you bake whole chicken? What other dishes do you make to last you throughout the week? **

(See another recipe!)


About ChicFitChef

My "deserted island" checklist: a BCBG dress, a healthy & diabetic-friendly meal and a few workout DVDs. ;-)
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4 Responses to How to Roast a Whole Chicken in 7 Simple Steps (Healthy & Diabetic-Friendly Recipe #18)

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