How to Roast a Chicken

How to Roast a Chicken

Serves 2-4

Roast chicken may seem like an impossibly difficult thing to cook, but honestly, it’s one of the easiest meals ever. Just a few steps and then pop it in the oven. That’s it! Keeping things clean is the most important part of cooking chicken. Be sure to work on a plastic cutting board that can be cleaned with hot water and disinfect any areas or tools that come in contact with raw chicken. Now wash your hands. No, really, wash them again—before and after you touch raw chicken. Note: You’ll need a meat thermometer and a 9 × 13-inch (23 × 33 cm) roasting pan with sides at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) high.


1 (4–6 lb/1.8–2.7 kg) whole chicken, thawed (if frozen)
1 organic lemon
1 organic garlic bulb
2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
2 tsp (10 mL) ground sage
2 tsp (10 mL) sea salt
1 tsp (5 mL) freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
  2. Drain any liquid from inside your chicken and place it breast side up in a roasting pan with sides at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) high.
  3. Cut the lemon into 4 pieces. Take the garlic bulb and cut it widthwise so every clove is cut in half. Open the chicken’s legs and push the lemons and garlic bulb into the chicken’s cavity— that’s the big open space inside.
  4. Pour the olive oil over the outside of the chicken and spread it evenly over the chicken with your hands. Now wash your hands.
  5. Sprinkle the sage, salt, and pepper over the outside of the chicken. Use your hands to rub these all around the chicken evenly. Now wash your hands again.
  6. Place the chicken in the pan on the middle rack of the oven and set your timer for 30 minutes. When the timer goes off, turn the oven heat down to 375°F (190°C) and let it roast for another 45 minutes.
  7. Check the chicken for doneness with a meat thermometer. Using oven mitts, remove the roasting pan from the oven so that you can reach all parts of the chicken safely. Place the sensor portion of the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken’s thigh. The chicken is cooked when the thermometer reads at least 165°F (74°C). Double-check the temperature by inserting it in the fattest part of the breast as well. If the chicken isn’t done after this amount of time, put it back in the oven and check the temperature every 10–15 minutes until it’s done.
  8. Once the chicken is fully cooked, using oven mitts, remove it from the oven and place the roasting pan on a heat-proof surface to let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes. This lets all the juices settle into the meat.
  9. Turn off the oven!
  10. Now the chicken is ready to eat! If you’re going to store the chicken in the fridge for using in other recipes, be sure it cools completely to room temperature first, then remove the meat from the bones and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

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Recipe by DL Acken and Aurelia Louvet from Let’s Eat: Recipes for Kids Who Cook, copyright © 2023 by DL Acken and Aurelia Louvet. Reprinted with permission of TouchWood Editions