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Have you ever roasted a whole chicken in the oven?  If not, you should give it a try.  It is a simple, delicious, and economic way to eat chicken, plus it feels “fancy”!  The chicken is prepared in just a few minutes and then roasted for about an hour to an hour and a half, depending on the size of the bird.  While the chicken bakes you have lots of time to prepare the rest of the dinner or get a few things done around the house, it’s that simple.

If you haven’t bought or used a whole chicken before you might feel a bit “grossed out” by it, but really it’s easy.  You remove it from the packaging, remove the giblet package from inside the bird and discard (or save to use for something else), rinse, pat dry, and rub with seasoning.  It is that simple, taking less than 5 minutes from start to finish.  You can do it!

The one thing I find essential to roasting a chicken is having a meat thermometer.  The only way to really tell if it is done is to check the internal temperature of the breast, making sure it reaches 160-165 degrees.  Make sure you check the temp of the breast in a few places, in the center of the breast, ensuring the thermometer isn’t touching a bone.  If you don’t have a thermometer you can still roast a chicken, just make sure the juices run clear and the breast meat is no longer pink.

The other great thing about roasting a chicken is you can get at least two meals from it.  I roast the bird and we use the legs and breasts for dinner and then the next day I put the carcass in a large pot, cover it with water, and boil covered for a few hours to make my own chicken stock.  Then I separate the chicken from the bones and use the meat and the stock for a soup.  Two meals in one, perfect!

I hope you give this recipe a try, it is so easy, you’ll love it!

Sweet ‘n Spicy Roasted Chicken

Adapted from

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 Tbs. butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • juice from one lemon
  • 1/4 cup honey

Preheat the oven to 325.

Remove the chicken from the packaging, discard the giblets, rinse the chicken and pat it dry.  Place the chicken in a shallow baking dish.

In a small bowl mix together the melted butter, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne, pepper, dry mustard, and salt.  Rub the spice mixture over the chicken, using your fingers to get it between the breast and the skin.

Place the chicken in the oven and roast for 35 minutes.  While the chicken is roasting combine the lemon juice and honey in a small sauce pan and warm to combine.  When the 35 minutes has pasted bast the chicken with the sauce.  Continue to bast the chicken every 20 minutes until the internal temperature of the breast reaches 165 degrees.  The total roasting time for a 4 pound chicken would be around 1 hour 20 minutes, but make sure you let the internal temperature (or the clear juices from the chicken) be a guide to when it is done.

Remove the chicken from the oven and bast with the sauce one more time.  Slice and serve immediately.

Try serving with easy Fococcia Bread, Chewy Italian Bread,  Garlic Fries, Rosemary Roasted Potatoes, or Garlic and Cheddar Mashed Potatoes.  Use the left over chicken and homemade chicken stock (made from the carcass the next day as described above) to make Chicken and Quinoa Soup.