Roast chicken is a seemingly simple thing to make—buy a whole chicken, season it, and stick it in the oven for about an hour. Easy, right? Not if you've tried this and come up with either an unevenly cooked clucker or even dry, sinewy meat that nobody wants to chew. Several failed attempts to get perfectly cooked, juicy meat and lightly browned, slightly crisp skin can make you want to give up and buy grocery store rotisserie chicken forever.
While there's no shame in taking some supermarket shortcuts sometimes, you can learn to create moist, flavorful roast chicken at home without disappointment. Follow our tips below the recipe to create this comforting classic.
Mayo Roast Chicken
Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
- 1 whole 5-pound chicken
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 head of garlic, cut in half
- 1 bunch of fresh herbs, such as thyme or rosemary, optional
- 2 lemons, quartered
- 1/2 cup Primal Kitchen Mayo with Avocado Oil
- 2 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 yellow onion, cut into quarters
- 1 cup chicken bone broth or white wine (if desired)
- Preheat oven to 425ºF and position a rack in the lower third of the oven.
- Remove the chicken giblets from inside the bird. Rinse the chicken thoroughly and dry well with paper towels. Salt and pepper the inside and outside of the chicken liberally. Stuff the cavity with garlic, herbs and lemon. Plop the mayo on top of the bird and, using clean hands, massage the mayo on the entire outside surface of the skin as well as underneath the skin (take care not to tear the skin) as much as you can.
- Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the carrots and onion on the bottom of a roasting pan or baking sheet. Add the chicken on top. Pour the chicken broth, bone broth or wine on the bottom of the pan and carefully place the pan in the oven.
- Roast for about an hour and a half, or until the juices run clear when you slice between a leg and thigh. Remove from oven and tent with foil. Rest the bird for 15-20 minutes before carving.
- Serve the chicken with extra Primal Kitchen mayo on the side for dipping.
You can easily switch up the flavor of your mayo roasted chicken by using flavored mayo. For a Tex-Mex spin, try Primal Kitchen Chipotle Lime Mayo. For a garlic-lover's dish, sub Primal Kitchen Garlic Aioli.
3 Tips for Cooking Juicy Roast Chicken
1. Season the bird well and add flavorful elements. Even farm-fresh, organic chickens can be a bit on the bland side. Remove any giblets or innards that may be inside the cavity, pat skin dry with paper towels and then season liberally—inside and outside of the bird—with salt and pepper.
This is basic seasoning, of course, so you can be as imaginative as you want. Add dried herbs, citrus zest, smoked paprika, ancho chili powder, garam masala, curry powder, or even truffle salt to switch things up.
Add even more flavor with aromatics like garlic, onion, quartered lemons or oranges, and fresh herbs to the inside of the bird. Prop the chicken up on a bed of vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, celery, turnips or sliced fennel.
2. Keep the meat moist by adding fat and cooking liquid. To achieve roast chicken nirvana—bronzed, slightly crackly skin and moist, tender meat—slather that bird in fat. We love to use Primal Kitchen Mayo with Avocado Oil, but you could also use plain 'ol butter or even Avocado Oil. Coat the bird with your fat of choice and then gently work your fat-coated fingers between the skin and the meat of the breasts and legs, being careful not to tear the skin.
Before placing the roasting dish in the oven, add one cup of chicken broth, bone broth, or white wine (if desired) to keep a moist cooking environment. Keep an eye on the bird while it's roasting and baste it a couple of times with the liquid in the bottom of the dish if it starts looking too dry.
3. Cook your clucker just enough at the right temperature. We recommend roasting at 425ºF for about an hour and a half, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Keep in mind that ovens can vary, so the recommended roast time is give or take. The recommended internal temperature of a cooked chicken is 165ºF, and you can test that by inserting an instant-read meat thermometer into the thickest part of the bird. You can remove the chicken a bit before it reaches 165ºF (158-160ºF), as it'll continue to cook as you let it rest.
Two cook tips to note:
- Take the bird out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature on the counter (takes about 30 minutes). This will ensure a more even cooking time.
- When the chicken is done roasting, remove it from the oven and tent with foil. Allow to rest for 15-20 minutes before carving it. This will give time for the juices to redistribute throughout the chicken and ensure you'll bite into moist meat.
Try one of these dishes alongside your mayo roast chicken: