The heady and rich smell of a chicken roasting in the oven is desired in many households not only on special occasions but also on casual weeknights. However, a 6-lb chicken can feed several people and should be used for a large dinner party or if desiring many leftovers. Roasting the chicken in its own skin allows the meat to cook slowly, creating the desired tender meat that most other cooking methods cannot provide. If the chicken is stuffed, it needs to cook longer to provide for the added weight.

Things You'll Need

Run cool water over the body and cavity of the chicken to cleanse it. Dry it using the clean dish towel — discard the towel or wash it right away after use.

Remove the trussing from around the legs, ensuring it still remains on the body. Open the legs wide.

Spoon the stuffing into the cavity of the chicken. Press it down lightly to fit more but do not compact it as this can impact the chicken’s cooking time and how well the stuffing itself cooks.

Wrap the string used for trussing once more around the legs, where it was before, to secure the legs together and hold in the stuffing.

Cut small slits in the skin of the thighs and breasts. Slip the chopped garlic and onion into these areas between the skin and the meat — this will add flavor as the poultry cooks.

Set the chicken, breast-side up, in the baking dish, with any excess garlic and onion scattered around the poultry.

Brush the chicken with the melted butter or olive oil until the entire skin is covered. Sprinkle any desired seasonings onto the skin.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cover the chicken and dish with tinfoil and place it in the oven. Cook the meat for 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Remove the dish every 15 to 20 minutes, tilting it to one side to obtain the drippings, and basting them back on to the chicken meat. Place the tinfoil back on and insert it back into the oven.

Remove the tinfoil from the chicken and turn the heat up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the chicken for another 15 minutes, or until golden brown on top and with an internal temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

Take the chicken out of the oven. Tent it with tinfoil and allow it to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.


  • A variety of stuffings can be used in the cavity, depending on the style and cuisine of the chicken — standard North American stuffing is created from stale bread, in Italy it is from meats, while in Spain, it may be based in rice.

  • Use the drippings, whisked with 1 tablespoon of flour and salt to taste, to create gravy.

  • Leftovers can be reheated and eaten with gravy as hot chicken sandwiches, or used in cold sandwiches or casseroles.

  • To reduce fat content when eating, remove the skin before consuming the chicken.