Chicken, Dinner, Food, Lunch, News, Recipes

Easy and Amazing Roast Chicken

This is a recipe for a whole roast chicken that I found on Epicurious that I revised to make even easier.  It seems too easy to even be good but this was sincerely the best roast chicken I have ever had.

Roast Chicken

1 free range/farm raised 4-5 lb chicken

Sea salt

Preheat oven to 450. Wash chicken and thoroughly dry the chicken inside the cavity and out with paper towels.  Place the chicken in a roasting pan and generously sprinkle the entire chicken with sea salt (inside the cavity as well).  The recipe on epicurious said to “rain” the salt down on the chicken, maybe that’s the secret…. I did not tress it, add any butter, thyme, or even pepper, just the salt, and after about an hour in the oven, the chicken was crispy golden brown on the outside and incredibly tender, juicy, flavorful and delicious on the inside!  The best parts of the chicken is what we could pick right off the bones – my two year old ate most of his dinner before we even got the chicken to the table…

I served the chicken with mashed cauliflower that I seasoned with garlic powder and black pepper as well as a fresh arugula and spring mix salad with diced apples, olive oil, and lemon juice.


Sarah Fragoso

Sarah Fragoso is an international best selling author of 6 books, co-owner of the Chico, CA based gym JS Strength and Conditioning, and founder of the Everyday Paleo franchise. Sarah is the co-host of the popular Sarah and Dr. Brooke Show podcast and she also conducts workshops and retreats on the subjects of nutrition, lifestyle and fitness.

Her message is from the heart and she carries a genuine desire to help other families looking for guidance. These attributes have contributed to her successes and provide the drive to keep the discoveries coming.

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  1. Hmm, I’m so used to covering my bird in spices. Maybe I will try it that way. Have you ever done a chicken beer-can-style? Beer isn’t paleo, but we can still use the can to infuse the chicken with delicious steam.

    Great blog, by the way. I just stumbled on it from another blog.

  2. Justin says:

    Did you cover the chicken with foil?

    1. Sarah says:

      No, you don’t want to cover the chicken because that will create steam which you want to avoid. I promise, it will turn out great! : )

  3. Denise Anderson says:

    Made the chicken last night–Delicious! But MAN did it do a number on my oven–had to run the self cleaner afterwards! 🙂

    1. Sarah says:

      Oh yeah, should have warned you about that…. Sorry!! : )

  4. Hi Sarah,

    I’m a CF trainer from CrossFit East Bay, and I’ve been looking around for workable healthy recipes, and came across this site – VERY nice-looking stuff! I intend to try some of these out soon.

    I noticed you like to use your crockpot, which I also love, so thought I’d share a couple of my household’s favorite recipes, in case you’re looking to try anything new:

    Slow-cooker whole chicken:
    Chicken and chickpea southwest soup:

    I know chickpeas are iffy where paleo is concerned – sub as needed. 🙂

    1. Sarah says:

      Awesome Daniel, can’t wait to try these, thank you!!

  5. I’ve been meaning to email you. I’m so glad you’re doing better. I hope you’re enjoying your time off. I know it must be challenging but how wonderful to get to slow down a bit! Enjoy!!!
    I made this chicken last week and LOVED it… So did the rest of the family… even the 3 yr old. Thanks for sharing. See you soon. Sara

    1. Sarah says:

      Hey Sara! I’ll be back on Thursday for the 7 am class, if you’re there, I’ll see you then!! Glad you all liked the chicken!! Miss you!

  6. I always thought roast chicken looked too highbrow for my bumbling culinary skills and was shocked when my first one (stuffed with fresh thyme, basil, and garlic) worked out so well!

    I’ll try this one next week. Thank you!

  7. Michael says:

    Sarah, I wanna send u the pics to this!
    Frackin’ awesome and so easy 🙂
    I made one mod, 10min in, I put a good dollop of butter in the cavity
    and made a gravy with juices after
    Operation Chook took 50min, sweetness.

    1. Sarah says:

      Hey Michael, sounds awesome, please send me the pictures!! : )

  8. GeorgeK says:

    Love the site I am new to Paleo been doing CF for about 10 weeks and it’s working. Using my South Beach diet experience to lose some weight but my coaches and I have realized I need to get on the Paleo program. I’m gassing in some of my work outs and found out I’m not getting enough protein.

    This chicken looks great I’ve been doing a version of it for a while just rubbing good olive oil all over it, garlic powder salt and pepper. I accidently cooked it upside and it actually made the breast juicier.

    Gotta figure out how to stock my house with staples and get snacks nailed down so I’m prepared.

    Thanks again for the info.

  9. MardiGrasStephen says:

    YUM! I figured at best I’d have some bland chicken but actually, it was a wonderful, natural, moist chicken.

    Thank you so very much for the recipe and the blog.

  10. Thanks for all the great recipes, I am a Crossfitter at C F Altitude in Burlington Ont. Canada. I have been reading your blog for a while. I was part Paleo but have gone 100% Paleo 6days ago. I am part of the Ontario Real Food Challenge. I have bought some awsome grass fed beef and some great free range chickens from a local farmer. I will try your chicken recipe tomorrow, I will have enough for a week. Thanks again for all the great recipes.


    1. Awesome Tony, and you are very welcome!

    2. Brenda says:

      I live in Milton, Ontario. Would you please let me know where you get the grass fed beef and free range chickens?

  11. Darius says:

    Looks great. I’ve been roasting chickens exactly like this for a while now (450 degrees, 45 Minutes) … Think I saw it in Esquire once. I do add black, pepper, but otherwise nothing else. And cooking greens in some of the rendered juices (FAT!!) is excellent!

    Question for ya though, do you eat the skin? Intuition tells me that doing so is the most realistic, Paleo thing to do – but would negate shooting for lean(est) meats possible, perhaps?

    I am torn up over this dilemma, to say the least,

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Darius! Yes, we eat the skin, and love it… I think the skin is the best part actually. We are eating free range organic chicken and I believe that every single part of this kind of bird is good for you and about as paleo as you can get in today’s modern world! : ) When we are eating free range/grass fed/ organic, I say eat the fat.

  12. Darius says:

    Great to hear! If you were eating conventional chicken for whatever reason (like those they sell at Costco for example), would you still eat the skin, or would the risk of contaminants not be worth the added flavor and satiety? I suppose the meat is just as risky, but fat-soluble pollutants are probably more concentrated in the skin?

    1. Natasha says:

      Darius, that’s the idea. If you eat factory-farmed meat, you always want to avoid the fat, because that’s where the toxins are concentrated. But if you can afford free-range, organic chicken (it’s not that expensive at Trader Joe’s!) it’s well worth it!

  13. wilberfan says:

    I need some advice!!!

    My kitchen started filling up with smoke– because the juices from the (uncovered) chicken splashed and splattered all around inside the oven! (I had the chicken in a Pyrex baking dish.)

    What did I do wrong?? How did YOU keep the juice-splattering under control??

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Wilberfan! My chicken does get a bit juice-splatter-y but my kitchen has never filled with smoke! Maybe your oven runs a bit hotter than mine? Try turning down the heat a bit!! I hope it turned out ok!!

    2. Natasha says:

      Mine’s also getting smoky! I just tried turning the heat down to 400 and I’m hoping that helps. We have 1930’s appliances so they can be a little finicky…

      1. Sarah says:

        Yes, at high heat, this one can get a little smokey, especially with older appliances. Turn on the fan if you have one! : )

  14. wilberfan says:

    I have an oven thermometer (who knows how accurate it is?), and the oven was right on 425…

    It must have been percolating in my mind while I slept last night. I woke up this morning with the answer: I need a pan with higher sides–and a rack to keep the bird up out of the juices…

    2 minutes on Amazon, and voila!

    I’ve spent a couple of hours (literally) scraping a thick layer of chicken grease off of the inside of the oven this morning! Can’t decide if I’ll use the cover of that roasting pan the next time I try this…

    The upside? THE CHICKEN IS DELICIOUS!! 🙂

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Wilberfan! There is always an upside!! So sorry again about your messy oven… : )

  15. Natalie says:

    Can this be cooked at a lower temperature, and still turn out good? I like to cook my meat at around 350 degrees. Thanks for any advice.

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Natalie, Yes you can cook it at 350 it just might take a bit longer. Try going for an extra 20 minutes and check it with a meat thermometer. : )

  16. Stacy says:

    I usually cook my chicken in th crockpot but it always falls off the bone. I would LOVE to try to oven..maybe less mess to clean up? 🙂 But how long would you recommend cooking it at that 450?

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Stacy! Cook it for 1 hour. : )

      1. LOVE the website and have shared it with soo many people!! My husband is a family practice doc and we try soo hard to express to patients how important it is to eat healthy and exercise!!! Thank you for sharing!!!!

  17. Sarah M says:

    Sarah, can you cook this in the slow cooker? I work nights and have a hectic work schedule, and find when I work slow cooker recipes work the best. Also I don’t believe I have a roasting pan and don’t want a mess to clean up in my oven, lol!!

    1. Yes, you can for sure make this in the slow cooker, even better is this one for the slow cooker, just takes a few extra minutes and it’s so so good!!

  18. Tonja P says:

    I made this chicken over the weekend–it was totally amazing. I also made an arrowroot gravy from the drippings with a little chicken stock–holy cow (or should I say chicken)–less is more and the skin was divine. Thanks for the recipe–it’s a keeper!!

    1. Sarah says:

      The gravy sound amazing! I’ll have to try that! : )

  19. Heidi says:

    Wonderful chicken, and I had no grease spatter. I cooked it breast down and surrounded it w/ parsnips, onions, sweet potatoes, and potatoes (I know, I know.) I think the veggies absorbed a lot of the fat so it didn’t end up on the oven walls.

  20. Holly says:

    This was great! Pour water in the bottom of the pan to keep smoke from forming. Also, I placed a sheet of foil over the top, not tucked, just to shield and keep from scorching. I love this recipe and will use it often.

  21. Stephanie says:

    This was so delicious, thanks for the recipe. I’m new to paleo and new to cooking meat, so I was a little intimidated by cooking a whole chicken, but it’s so much cheaper than buying cut up parts. So I tried your easy recipe. Other than the smoke, which I know I need a roaster to fix that or to try putting veggies around it like Heidi suggested, it was great. OMG the fat in the pan is so good!!!! Coming from an ex-fat phobe and ex-vegetarian wow, I was eating spoonfuls of it. Maybe my body is just so happy to be getting that fat. I now have lots of leftovers to eat all week and saved a lot of $$$ to boot. And now I can try your calle de pollo when I get some time.

  22. I could not find any larger size chickens, so I used 2 3.5 lb birds. I used my huge roasting pan to cut down on smoke from grease splatter, and used just over 1/2 tbs kosher salt. Cooked for 55 minutes, rested for 20… the birds were perfect!

    The best part is: after dinner I deglazed the pan, skimmed the grease off (I don’t like my broth to be too greasy, and there was still some fat left on the carcasses), added the carcasses and pan drippings to my crock pot with water, onion, celery and bay leaves. I was worried that I had used too much salt in the roasting, but this morning, after spending the night in the slow cooker, the stock was perfect. One cup of stock went into tonight’s slow cooker pulled pork, the rest will be used with the leftover chicken for soup tomorrow.

  23. Sarah- we love this chicken (especially my husband) and I make it a couple times a month now. Do you think I would have success using this recipe with my thanksgiving turkey? I worry about experimenting on something so big (and expensive!). Thanks!

  24. Jackie says:

    I love baked chicken and have made it differently over the years until I stumbled across this post. I love this recipe and it’s now the only way I’ll make baked chicken. I would love to add one suggestion, it makes the recipe THAT much better. Instead of regular sea salt, I use Borsari Sea Salt…it’s an amazing paleo friendly sea salt infused with garlic, herbs, and spices. It’s amazing and my kids won’t eat the baked chicken if I use regular salt! Little food snobs. 🙂 It’s only sold at Wegmans (east coast grocery chain) but you can get it online at amazon. This stuff kicks up the baked chicken to an amazing level of awesomeness.

    1. Wow, sounds awesome with the Borsari Sea Salt! I can’t wait to order and try some, thank you!!

  25. now this is the type of thing that can make me like chicken again! turned out brilliantly even though i apparently need to invest in a real roasting pan so that 1 side doesn’t turn out soggy. the non-soggy side (and i tried to flip it too) was excellent.

    1. valleygirl says:

      I have a roasting pan and the underside was still soggy…but GOOD soggy…DELICIOUS soggy. Sounds weird but it was SO infused with flavor that it was a toss up which was better, the crispy skin or flavorful underside!

  26. Jackie says:

    I just wanted to say that this is my go to roast chicken recipe! My family of 5 pick this bird clean, it’s so good! Thank you for posting this recipes! 🙂

  27. Allison says:

    Wow! this is the 1st & only whole chicken I’ve ever baked (OK, I admit that I’m a take out kind of gal!). I don’t even like touching a raw whole chicken : ) However, taking my fear in stride, I tried it because I’m on Paleo & wanted something easy. It’s so simple & delicious. My picky kids just ate & ate – amazing. Thanks for inspiring me to get busy in the kitchen. Now I’m off to bake a Paleo apple pie . . .

  28. valleygirl says:

    This is what I get for not following directions! I put my oven to 350 like always and just went with it figuring since my chicken was so small (not sure of the poundage but it was a small fryer chicken) I thought it would still take the hour. Nope. Everyone is cranky and hungry and no chicken yet. OOOPS. It sure smells yummy though and I can’t wait to try it!

    1. valleygirl says:

      Yup learned my lesson. Oh my gosh, NEVER in my life have I had chicken SOOOO tasty! I am amazed. My picky 5 year old ate a drumstick, a wing is over there seriously licking the bones clean all excited that “Ooh, there’s stuff inside! It’s sooo good”. Cannot believe it. Even the underside of the bird that looked a bit soggy is sooooo good. Crispy skin on one side, drenched in flavorful broth on the other. Wow. I wish my chicken was bigger! Hubby isn’t home yet and I am hoping I can leave some for him! LOL THANK YOU for this!

  29. Karen says:

    We LOVE this chicken! I do 2 chickens every other week for Sunday dinner and they are always awesome! My 17 yr old step son INHALES 1/2 a bird every time! I do them on a rack over a mix of brussel sprouts, parsnips, turnips, carrots, sweet potatoes and mushrooms and fresh garlic cloves. I roast the birds for about 90 minutes (since there are 2 it seems to take a bit longer), pull them out, let them rest for 20 minutes and toss the vegg back in the oven to get crispy. YUM!!! SOOOOOO good!!!

    1. Bethany says:

      Karen- when do you initially add the veggies? They don’t stay in the whole 90 minutes with the birds, do they? It sounds awesome!

      1. Karen says:

        Hi Bethany!

        I just now saw your question–but yes! I do let the veggies go the whole time I roast the chickens. Being under the chickens the veggies don’t get crispy until I put them back in for the last 20 minutes. They are well cooked for sure, and I do leave them in large chunks/pieces and they are delicious after being in the chicken juices/fat.

        I hope you try it this way!


  30. Britta says:

    I’m surrounded by the lovely smell of chicken in the oven and just hope that I’ll be lucky to ONCE get a chicken out that is just as juicy as everyone here replies… I’m trying and trying and trying and NOT giving up! So hopefully THIS recipe is THE one – also for me to succeed with:-) I added sweet potatoes and onions (as to another commenters advise and hope it will take some of that dreaded splatter;-) I’ll post about my outcome!

    1. Britta says:

      It did it did! It came absolutely just as juicy and tasty as everyone else raved about, YAY, I’m one happy chick:-)) Thank you so much!

  31. Hi there, I just wanted to say that I tried this chicken the other night and it was amazing!! Best roasted chicken I have ever made, hands down. The kids came back for more! Like some suggested, I threw some sweet potatoes around the base of the chicken, to reduce the splatter, and they tasted glorious with all the yummy chicken fat. Thank you for this recipe, I love your site!

  32. Hi Sarah,
    How much salt (roughly) did you put on the chicken?
    Thank you.

  33. I found this through your go-to recipe posting. It is now one of my go-to as well.

    I was nervous about the high temperature but it was wonderful. I put it in a small dutch oven so I did not have much splatter at all. My only problem was that it was not 100% thawed before I started and it ALMOST burned before it was done. But really best roasted chicken ever and I Love my roasted chicken.

    Thanks, Sarah

    1. So glad you enjoyed the chicken!! 🙂

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