This is a best-of-all-worlds roast chicken. In one simple recipe, you get both extremely tender, rotisserie-esque meat, plus the crispiest skin imaginable. Unheard of! It’s also just about impossible to overcook and extra-easy to carve, and not one bit will go to waste—all thanks to one of the more surprising Genius tricks yet.
As the author Lindsay Maitland Hunt writes, “I wasn’t trying to rethink classic roast chicken when I went about creating this recipe, but in the end, I came up with a new go-to recipe that’s quite nearly foolproof, especially for people scared of carving a chicken. Slow roasting makes the meat fall-off-the-bone tender—read: easy to neatly pull off every piece with your fingers.
“Then there's the other goal of a great roast bird: crispy skin. Too often the meat ends up overcooked for the sake of the skin. Not here. After roasting the meat, you'll slip the skin off and crips it up in the oven until it’s as crunchy as a chip. Save the bones for making broth.
“When I’m organized enough to prep ahead for the week, I'll cook this recipe along with some other go-to essentials for off-the-cuff meals or create an entire menu with the chicken as the centerpiece.”
Recipe adapted slightly from Help Yourself: A Guide to Gut Health for People Who Love Delicious Food (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, August 2020).
This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. As an Amazon Associate, Food52 earns an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to. —Genius Recipes
- Prep time 5 minutes
- Cook time 3 hours 15 minutes
- Serves 6 to 8
(4-pound) whole chicken, patted dry
1 1/2 teaspoons
Freshly ground black pepper
lemon, quartered, plus additional wedges for serving
large sprig rosemary (and/or other fresh, sturdy herbs like thyme or rosemary)
chopped fresh parsley leaves (and/or other fresh, soft herbs like chives, dill, or fennel fronds)
Flaky sea salt (optional)
- Heat your oven to 300°F with a rack in the center position.
- Stuff the chicken with the quartered lemon and the rosemary and season it all over with the salt. Grind pepper generously over the top. Set the chicken breast-side up on a rimmed baking sheet or in a small roasting pan.
- Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a chicken thigh registers 165°F, 2 ½ to 3 hours. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Crank the oven up to 425°F.
- Pull the skin off the entire chicken. It helps to use a paring knife to cut the skin; if it’s too hot to touch, use tongs to pull the skin back. Don’t forget the skin on the bottom of the chicken. Place the chicken skin on a clean rimmed baking sheet.
- Roast the chicken skin until deep golden brown and crispy, 10 to 15 minutes.
- While the skin roasts, carve the chicken—it should be quite easy to slice or pull apart. Arrange the chicken on a serving platter. Save the bones for broth. Pour off any juices from the pan into a small bowl or saucepan, and cover to keep warm.
- Pull the crispy skin out of the oven. Crumble the crispy skin over the sliced chicken and drizzle with the juices from both pans. Sprinkle with the parsley, some freshly ground black pepper and some flaky sea salt (if you want). Serve with lemon wedges alongside.