Roasted Whole Chicken

Juni and I eat a lot of chicken and we soon figured out that buying a whole chicken lasted a lot longer than just buying thighs or breasts and ended up being cheaper too. Plus you could make stock from the carcass later.

This recipe is adapted from “French Chicken in a Pot (aka Dutch Oven)” by The Barefoot Cook.

Roasted Whole Chicken

Hands-on: 15 minutes | Hands-off: 80-110 minutes | Total: 95-125 minutes


  • Whole chicken
  • 1 Lemon
  • Salt
  • Your favorite spices (basil and oregano is always a safe bet if you’re unsure)
  • Olive oil or other paleo oil of choice


  • Oven-proof dutch oven with lid. We’ve found that a cast-iron dutch oven is preferable but a stainless-steel will work just fine.
  • Foil if the lid doesn’t fit tightly (or if you don’t have a lid!)
  • Meat thermometer
  • Kitchen string. You can use several strands of sewing thread tied together if you don’t have kitchen string. I read you can even use dental floss if you’re in a bind (pun intended) but I’ve never tried it.
  • Second person (optional but makes the process a lot quicker. One person handles the raw chicken while the other handles the salt and spices.)


  1. Adjust rack to lowest position and preheat oven to 250F
  2. Pat dry the chicken. If your chicken came with gizzards save them for stock.
  3. Cut the lemon in half. Squeeze half the lemon into the cavity of the chicken. Squeeze the other half all over the outside of the chicken. Save the lemon halves.
  4. Heavily salt inside and outside the chicken.
  5. Rub your favorite spices on the outside chicken. Don’t be afraid to get experimental! If you’re unsure what to try, basil and oregano always tastes great.
  6. Place the lemon halves inside the chicken.
  7. Truss the chicken with the kitchen string (or equivalent).
  8. On the stove top, heat the oil in the dutch oven over medium heat until it’s just smoking.
  9. Place chicken breast side down in dutch oven and cook for about 5 minutes. The skin should start to look crispy.
  10. Carefully flip the chicken over. I usually use tongs to help me here. Brown the other side for about 6 minutes.
  11. Place a sheet of foil over the pot and cover with lid. You can skip the foil if your lid fits tightly.
  12. Place dutch oven into your preheated over. Cook for 80 to 110 minutes or until the thermometer reads 165F in the thickest part of the breast.
  13. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. I usually let the chicken cool for about 10 minutes before attempting to carve it.

 Tips and Tricks!

So you have a whole chicken, now what? Shred some of the chicken and put it in a salad. Or eat the chicken with steamed veggies on the side. Or make paleo tacos! Make sure you save the carcass and gizzards for stock. You can always freeze the carcass for later if you don’t plan on making stock soon.

How to Truss a Chicken

How to Carve a Chicken


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