Roasted whole chicken combined with a flavorful blend of vegetables creates an easy meal for a family. Here’s how to roast a chicken in one pan with the bed of potatoes and carrots underneath.
As a newlywed, I was so intimidated to try a classic roast chicken but with more than a decade of perfect roasted chickens gracing our dinner table, I realize it is actually one of the easiest dinner recipes you can make!
All it takes is the right tools and a great recipe.
This is one of my mom's favorite dinners and it is perfect for serving to company or for a relaxing Sunday dinner with your family.
The entire meal, both the chicken and the vegetables and potatoes, is roasted in one pan but if you wanted to go the extra mile, you could serve it with a warm loaf of Italian bread or a fresh batch of dinner rolls. Homemade applesauce would make a fun side dish for the kids.
- The Best Roasting Pan for Crispy Chicken
- Add the Vegetables to the Roasting Pan
- What Temperature to Bake Chicken
- How Long to Roast the Chicken
- How to Season the Chicken
- Do You Roast a Chicken Covered or Uncovered?
- Serving Suggestions
- How to Store Leftovers
- Recipes for Leftover Chicken
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Before we get started, you can make sure you have all the ingredients you need:
- A Whole Chicken: I usually buy the biggest chicken at the store because leftovers are so yummy and can be used in many other recipes the next day.
- Red Potatoes
- Fresh Carrots: I prefer the long kind, not the bag of baby carrots. I feel they roast better.
- Fresh Thyme (Optional): If you don't want to spend the extra money on fresh thyme, you can substitute a 1 teaspoon of dried thyme.
You can see the recipe card for quantities and don't miss the Variations section for swaps if you don't want to use these basic ingredients.
The Best Roasting Pan for Crispy Chicken
The roasting pan is the single most important tool you'll need to make a perfectly crispy chicken with crispy vegetables underneath.
If your roasting pan is too small, the vegetables will crowd and steam instead of crisp up and roast.
I love to use the largest roasting pan I have, it is big enough for a full-size Thanksgiving turkey. By using this big pan for my smaller chicken, it gives me more surface area for the veggies to crisp up.
The smallest roasting pan I would recommend is a 14.5-inch pan but a bigger pan is even better.
Add the Vegetables to the Roasting Pan
The recipe card gives you quantities for the potatoes and carrots, but truly your roasting pan size should determine how many vegetables you use.
Peel and chop the carrots and cut the potatoes so that the vegetables are all roughly the same size, about 1.5-inch chunks.
Cut the onion into thick chunks and scatter them in the pan.
Notice how the vegetables make one even layer in my roasting pan. Too many more than that and the vegetables will steam and get soggy.
Adjust the quantity of veggies to fit your pan.
Once your oven is preheated, you'll roast the veggies for 15 minutes before adding the chicken.
What Temperature to Bake Chicken
To get a crispy chicken with juicy, tender meat and perfectly crispy vegetables, your oven needs to be pretty hot.
I've found the perfect temperature to bake the chicken is 425°F.
How Long to Roast the Chicken
Since whole chickens can vary in size and weight, you can't count on one simple time frame.
Multiply the number of pounds of your chicken by 18 - 20 minutes to get a good time frame for how long it will take to roast the chicken.
However, the most accurate test for whether or not the chicken is cooked is to use a probe thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast. I always cook our roast chickens until they reach 185°F.
How to Season the Chicken
The secret ingredient that makes this the very best roast chicken ever is that I insert a pierced lemon into the cavity of the chicken before baking it.
The lemon juices help keep the chicken moist and add delicious flavor to the roasting veggies underneath.
NOTE: The lemon flavor is not so strong that it is noticed in the final dish, your family will likely not even know you used it, but they'll wonder why everything tastes so amazing.
Wash the lemon and simply pierce it several times with a knife. You don't need to cut it into wedges, you just want the slits to be able to release the juices.
Stuff the lemon into the cavity of the bird.
If you're using fresh thyme, add that to the cavity after the lemon.
Melt the butter in your microwave.
When the vegetables have finished their 15 minute pre-bake, toss them with a spatula and then add the chicken right on top.
Brush the chicken with the melted butter. This will help give the chicken a gorgeous golden brown color and help crisp up the skin.
If you skipped the fresh thyme, you can sprinkle 1 teaspoon of dried thyme over the vegetables and the top of the chicken at this point.
Do You Roast a Chicken Covered or Uncovered?
If you want a golden brown crispy chicken, you definitely want to cook the chicken uncovered in the roasting pan.
Insert the probe from a thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and roast your chicken until it reaches 185°F.
HINT: When I baked this chicken in a smaller pan than I normally do so I could photograph the step-by-step photos for you, the juices from the chicken and lemon were too much for my too-small pan. They were still utterly delicious, but I highly recommend using a larger pan as discussed above.
This is a very classic roast chicken and vegetables recipe, but there is plenty of room to play around with variations:
- Spicy Chicken - You could add your favorite spice blend with more heat to the vegetables and/or the top of the chicken after the melted butter has been brushed on.
- New Veggies - I love the potatoes and carrots, but you could add in bell peppers, brussel sprouts, or butternut squash. More delicate vegetables like zucchini or broccoli should be added when the chicken has only 20 more minutes to cook.
- Sweet Potatoes & Apples - Swap sweet potatoes and apples for the potatoes and carrots, I'd still add the onion.
My husband always carves the whole chicken and places the meat on a platter to bring to the table. We serve up the roasted veggies onto dinner plates in the kitchen and then share the sliced chicken family-style.
You could also add all the veggies to a large serving bowl and place those on the table too.
The pan juices are always delicious, sometimes we'll spoon them over the veggies and then drizzle it over the chicken at the table.
How to Store Leftovers
Leftovers will keep in an airtight container for 3 - 5 days in the fridge.
Store the leftover chicken separately from the vegetables because they will heat up at different times.
You can freeze the leftover chicken meat and it will reheat perfectly but I don't recommend freezing the roasted vegetables as they will lose their texture in the freezer.
Recipes for Leftover Chicken
If you roasted a nice large bird and have leftover chicken meat, you can slice it up and use it in these delicious leftover chicken recipes:
How to Roast A Chicken
- 6 red potatoes cut into large chunks
- 3 large carrots peeled and cut into large chunks
- 1 onion cut into large chunks
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 4-pound whole roasting chicken
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 lemon
- 1 small bunch of fresh thyme
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- In a large roasting pan toss the potatoes, carrots, and onions with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Roast the veggies for 15 minutes.
- While the veggies are roasting, wash the chicken and pat it dry. Place it on a dinner plate.
- Use a knife to pierce several slits into the lemon. Stuff the cavity with the lemon and then the bunch of thyme.
- Melt the butter in a microwave-safe container and brush it over the top of the chicken, including the legs. Sprinkle the surface with salt and pepper.
- When the timer rings from the veggies, remove the pan from the oven. Toss with a large spatula to prevent burning on the bottoms.
- Place the chicken on the bed of vegetables. Insert a cooking probe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast.
- Place the roasting pan back into the oven. Cook until the meat in the breast reaches 185°F, planning for about 18-20 minutes per pound.
- The bird should be golden brown with crispy skin. Carve and serve with the vegetables.
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