Basic Whole Roasted Chicken

Ahhh, back to my sweet spot...

...the savoury stuff.

Whole Roasted Chicken
Whole Roasted Chicken

After chocolate cake, chocolate cupcakes and a chocolate loaf, I was ready to put away the mixer and pull out a roasting pan.  I have been wanting to share this chicken recipe for the longest time, ever since I came across Sylvia's beautiful pictures at Feasting from Home.  This is a gorgeous blog with equally gorgeous photos and recipes. I have tried so may of her recipes and they are rock solid. So solid that even when I have to take my own riff on them they still turn out spot on. I am excited to try her Zucchini Fritters (I think Little would love them) and the next time company comes over (you know who you are) you will most likely find these warm olives on the corner of my cure board.

Whole Roasted Chicken
Whole Roasted Chicken

Two things kept this chicken off the site... the first was I usually tend to cook it late in the afternoon making.  The aroma that this chicken delivers fills the house and makes even my Little one wake up from his afternoon siesta say "it smells good in here mommy".  Trying to hold back the boys to take some pics proved difficult.

Whole Roasted Chicken
Whole Roasted Chicken

Second, is that I think some techniques require in-progress pictures. I used to take more but found them more fulfilling an artistic need of mine, rather than a helpful visual for my readers.  However when I received a lot of feedback on the chicken wings asking how do you "french" a drumette, I realized a couple step by step pictures would have been helpful.

But here's the thing...

... there is NO way to make a raw chicken look good.

Whole Roasted Chicken
Whole Roasted Chicken

ESPECIALLY when you cut it open. (Even this rare-meat loving carnivore grimaces a little when you take a pair of scissors up the back of a naked bird.)

Whole Roasted Chicken
Whole Roasted Chicken

Enter black and white photos for raw chicken.  So thank you Sylvia, both for your photo & recipe inspiration.  This is by far one of my family's favourite ways to have chicken and the leftovers the next day are even better.   I made some changes because I wasn't sure how Little would handle the heat, but I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how rich and flavourful this chicken is, especially given how fast and simply it comes together.  I think butterflying the bird it absolutely the way to go - so much easier to baste, carve & plate.

Whole Roasted Chicken
Whole Roasted Chicken

And I promise after trying to put every vegetable under the sun into some recent desserts....

Whole Roasted Chicken
Whole Roasted Chicken

... I will never put chicken in your chocolate.

Basic Whole Roasted Chicken

Author: Food Well Said by

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 1 hour

Total time: 1 hour 15 mins

The lengthy instructions are no indication of how easy and simple this roast chicken is. A winner every night, and even better the next.


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 3 tablespoon smoked paprika (not sweet or Spanish)
  • 4 - 8 garlic cloves (we use large organic so less is better, but don't be shy here)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon corriander
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Dipping Sauce to follow:
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup greek yogurt, thick
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Prepare chicken: Rinse and pat dry chicken. Place on cutting board, breast done. With sharp kitchen scissors, cut along both sides of the backbone and remove. (save for soup if desired). Turn bird over and with the base of your wrist firmly press down on the breasts until you hear a crack the bird is lying relatively flat. Place on wire rack over square roasting pan and set aside.
  3. Prepare marinade: Place paprika, garlic, cumin, corriander, salt, pepper vinegar and oil in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Using a pastry or silicone brush, paint the entire bird front and back (don't forget the crevices) I usually put some under the skin as well. Be generous but reserve some for basting during baking.
  4. Place basted chicken in oven breast side down for 30 minutes. Flip over, baste with more marinade and bake another 15. Repeat this process one more time for a total cooking time of about 60 minutes or when meat thermometer inserted into thigh reaches 180 F.
  5. Remove from oven, let rest for 7- 10 minutes.
  6. Prepare dipping sauce: place cilantro, yogurt, salt, pepper and lemon juice in processor and blend until smooth. Serve along side chicken.