Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken

This roast chicken makes a nice Sunday lunch or dinner. You may serve it with mash potatoes or French fries. The leftover chicken is great for sandwiches.

makechef roast chicken recipe


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 stick or 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon szechuan pepper (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Note: The garlic cloves can be substituted for dry garlic powder, 1 teaspoon.


  • Preheat the oven to 475º F. Place the rack in the middle position.
  • In a bowl, combine the butter, garlic cloves, lemon zest, salt and pepper to form a paste. I do sometimes add fresh rosemary to the paste.
  • Using the fingers, gently separate the skin above the breast. Push the paste under the skin. I usually find it useful to use a chopstick to do that.
  • Poke the lemon with the tip of a knife (about 10 times) and place the lemon inside the chicken’s cavity.
  • Rub the olive oil on the chicken skin and sprinkle the paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and szechuan pepper (if using) on the skin.
  • Place the chicken on the oven rack (middle position) and immediately lower the temperature to 400ºF. Cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Baste after 45 minutes.
  • Internal temperature should show 165º F and the juice should run clear.
  • Let the chicken rest for about 15 minutes before carving.