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Best Last-Minute Roast Chicken

Cook Time
1 hr 30 mins

Try this one plain, with the seasoning pastes below, or with a seasoning rub.

Chardonnay Pairings: Roast Chicken with Meyer Lemon Shallot Sauce (0313)

Photo by Annabelle Breakey
  Fine sea salt (1 tsp. for a 3- to 3 3/4-lb. chicken or 1 1/4 tsp. for a larger one)
  Pepper (1/2 tsp. for a smaller chicken or 3/4 tsp. for a larger one)
  Middle Eastern Zaatar Seasoning Paste or
  Indian Green Curry Seasoning Paste (optional)
 1 chicken, 3* to 4 1/2 lbs., lumps of fat and tail removed, rinsed and patted very dry
  About 1 tbsp. olive oil (for plain or Indian Green Curry chicken)
Step 1

Mix salt, pepper, and ingredients for seasoning paste, if you are using it (with seasoning paste, use a large bowl). For chicken without seasoning paste, rub all over with oil, then with salt and pepper, putting a little inside too. For chicken with seasoning paste, slide 2 fingers between breast skin and meat to make pockets. Turn chicken over and loosen thigh skin the same way. Put chicken in bowl with seasonings; smear some in pockets, inside cavity, and all over outside. Set chicken breast-up on a V-shaped rack in a 12- by 17-in. roasting pan; tuck wing tips under if you like.

Step 2

Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 475° for a 3- to 3 1/2-lb. chicken, 450° for a 3 3/4- to 4 1/2-lb. bird, or 400° (for any size chicken) if using a seasoning paste (to prevent scorching).

Step 3

Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally through thickest part of breast reaches 160°, 30 to 35 minutes for a smaller plain bird, 45 to 50 minutes for a larger plain one, or 1 to 1 1/4 hours with a seasoning paste; after 30 minutes, begin checking chicken occasionally, and if any areas are getting dark, tent them with foil. Let chicken stand in a warm place 10 minutes; transfer to a platter.

Step 4

*To find small (uncooked) chickens, try markets that roast rotisserie birds (which are small) on-site.

Step 5

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving plain chicken.

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving
Calories 404Calories from Fat 55
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 25g39%

Saturated Fat 6.8g34%
Cholesterol 134mg45%
Sodium 613mg26%
Total Carbohydrate 0.2g1%

Dietary Fiber 0.1g1%
Protein 42g84%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.