Garlic Butter Roast Chicken is the most tender, juicy oven-baked whole chicken recipe! Serve it up with your favorite side dishes for a healthy meal the whole family will love!
Magically rich and buttery garlicky oven-roasted chicken with fresh herbs, juicy meat and perfectly crispy skin is the name of the game here!
If you’ve tried my Instant Pot Whole Chicken, you know I’m crazy about tender, fall-off-the bone chicken.
After making a whole chicken in the Instant Pot, I swore I wouldn’t go back to oven-roasted chicken (yup, it’s seriously that good), but here we are, because – guess what?! – I learned a new trick.
It involves a generous amount of butter, fresh garlic, and fresh herbs. Which, as we all know, is the recipe for wishes granted, regardless of the context.
A couple simple tricks makes this the best roast chicken recipe.
Here’s how it works.
The Secret To Ultra Tender Chicken:
The trick to achieving the BEST roast chicken that is tender and juicy is adding a layer of butter between the skin and the muscle of the chicken.
In essence, you want to get a decent amount of fat underneath the chicken skin so that it both tenderizes and flavors the chicken.
Even the chicken breast turns out nice and juicy, which is difficult to achieve when cooking a whole body chicken in the oven!
A generous amount of the butter garlic herb mixture gets rubbed all over the outside of the chicken (on top of the skin) to cover the whole surface, which also generates a great deal of flavor and moisture.
It also ensures we get amazing tasting crispy skin, which as we all know, is why we’re here in the first place.
In addition, basting the chicken periodically ensures the breast turns out nice and juicy. The dark meat pieces have enough intramuscular fat to remain tender during the baking process, but the breast needs a little extra love in order for it to turn out delicious.
How Long To Roast Chicken:
The amount of cook time it takes to roast chicken from start to finish varies depending on the size of the chicken and also the temperature of the chicken before it goes into the oven.
At 425 degrees Fahrenheit, it takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to roast a 4-pound chicken.
The chicken is cooked through when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, and the best way to ensure it doesn’t get overcooked is by using an instant read thermometer.
Some people roast chicken at 350 degrees, which is perfectly acceptable as well, but I find the lower temperature doesn’t generate meat that’s any more juicy or tender than what you get at 425.
So in essence, 425 will save you time and give you a goof-proof amazing result.
Let’s talk about the simple ingredients needed to make this garlic butter roast chicken.
Ingredients for Garlic Butter Roast Chicken:
Whole Body Chicken: Pick up a whole chicken from the grocery store, which will be right next to the other chicken products. Generally, store-bought chicken ranges from 3 to 5 pounds, with most birds ending up around 4 pounds.
This recipe takes all sizes into account, as we are ensuring we don’t under or overcook the chicken by using a meat thermometer.
Butter & Avocado Oil: Butter is the elixir of the Gods, but we also use a little avocado oil to help protect the butter from burning. Because butter has a lower burn temperature than most oils and avocado oil has a high smoke point, the combination of the two ensures we have an incredibly flavorful.
You can also use a bit of olive oil in place of avocado oil if you prefer.
Fresh Garlic: There’s no mystery that fresh garlic and butter pair marvelously together, and garlic makes chicken amazing every single time. Lots of fresh garlic cloves get roughly chopped to go into the butter mixture to make the chicken nice and flavorful.
Fresh Rosemary & Parsley: Herbs level up the whole experience by adding bright, earthy flavors. I like using fresh rosemary and parsley, but you can also use dried herbs if you prefer.
Sea Salt & Black Pepper: Using plenty of kosher salt is paramount in ensuring the chicken turns out flavorful and tender. I put 1 teaspoon of sea salt (not to be confused with iodized salt as iodized salt is much saltier) in the recipe which I believe is conservative as I know many people are watching their salt intake.
Realistically, I think 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons of salt result in the tastiest flavor. Make sure to also season with black pepper!
Lemon: Chop a whole lemon to place inside the chicken’s body cavity. Some people stuff the cavity with carrots, onions, and celery so that is an option too. If you’d like, serve the chicken with slices of lemon too so that you can drizzle the white meat with lemon juice.
Now that we’ve covered the simple ingredients list, let’s roast a whole body chicken!
How to Roast Chicken:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove the chicken from its packaging and remove the organ meats that are inside the cavity of the chicken. You can cook these organ meats separately, or you can discard them.
Transfer the chicken to a large casserole dish, large roasting pan, or to a baking sheet.
Melt the butter in the microwave in a small bowl, then stir in the avocado oil, fresh garlic, herbs, and sea salt.
Use a spoon to get underneath the skin of the chicken so that you can easily distribute the garlic herb butter mixture between the skin and the muscle. The skin should peel away easily without much effort.
Scoop a generous amount of the garlic butter mixture underneath the skin so that it’s covering much of the breast.
Pour the rest of the garlic melted butter over the body of the chicken and stuff the chicken cavity with one chopped lemon. If you have kitchen twine (also known as kitchen string), use it to tie the legs together (this is optional but keeps the chicken held together during the cooking process.
Place the chicken on the center rack of the preheated oven and roast for 40 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the oven and baste it with the juices at the bottom of the pan using a spoon or baster, ensuring you cover the whole surface liberally with the pan drippings.
Move the oven rack to the bottom shelf (so that the chicken will be farther away from the top heating element) and place it back in the oven for another 30 to 40 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F.
To get an accurate temperature, insert your meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast meat and allow it to sit for 20 to 30 seconds or so, or until the numbers stop increasing.
Note: if you’d like, you can continue basting the chicken every 15 minutes or so and check the temperature of the chicken each time you do.
Once the chicken is finished, remove it from the oven and let the chicken rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing into it with a sharp knife.
During the resting time, you can continue basting it with the pan juices if you’d like.
Serve roasted chicken with your choice of side dishes, and enjoy!
Store any leftover roast chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
You can use the chicken carcass to make Instant Pot Bone Broth!
What To Serve with Roast Chicken:
Here are my top suggestions for serving with this garlic butter roast chicken recipe.
- Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Garlic and Lemon
- German-Style Potato Salad with Caramelized Onions and Chives
- Smashed Sweet Potatoes
- Healthy Green Bean Casserole
- Creamy Cauliflower Casserole
- Caramelized Onion Roasted Garlic Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan
- Balsamic Roasted Vegetables
Enjoy this simple roast chicken!
Garlic Butter Roast Chicken
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the chicken from its packaging and remove the organ meats that are inside the cavity. You can cook these organ meats separately, or you can discard them. Transfer the chicken to a large casserole dish, roasting pan, or to a baking sheet.
- Melt the butter in the microwave, then stir in the avocado oil, fresh garlic, herbs, and sea salt.
- Use a spoon to get underneath the skin so that you can easily distribute the garlic herb butter mixture between the skin and the muscle. The skin should peel away easily without much effort.
- Scoop a generous amount of the garlic butter mixture underneath the skin so that it’s covering much of the breast.
- Pour the rest of the garlic butter mixture over the whole surface of the chicken. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the sliced lemon and use kitchen twine to tie the legs together (if you have it. If not, leave the legs untied).
- Place the chicken on the center rack of the preheated oven and roast for 40 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and baste it using a spoon or baster, ensuring you cover the whole surface liberally with the juices.
- Move the oven rack to the bottom shelf (so that the chicken will be farther away from the top heating element) and place it back in the oven for another 30 to 40 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F. For the best results, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature.
- Once the chicken is finished, remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing into it. During this time, you can continue basting it if you’d like.
- Serve roasted chicken with your choice of side dishes, and enjoy!
This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.