Julia Child’s roast chicken recipe; whole chicken stuffed with lemons and onions, cook on a bed of vegetables, creating a perfect one dish meal. 

Easy roast chicken. A perfect one dish dinner! Recipe at bakedbyrachel.com

Before this past year, I’d never roast a chicken in my life. Yes, I’d cooked a few turkeys but never a whole chicken. Everyone seemed to rave about how easy and tasty they were. I gave it a shot one night hoping to turn it into a post, only for the skies to open up. A dark and nasty rain storm hit leaving me with no chance to take any decent pictures. It was a delicious dinner… and a warm one. So, I guess that’s the bonus.

Why I love roasting chickens: It’s easy! Stuff that baby with some good aromatics, make a bed of various vegetables and you have yourself a one dish dinner in just over an hour. Slightly time consuming, yes BUT it’s easy and you can kick back and give yourself a pedicure while your chicken cooks away.

Roast Chicken Recipe from bakedbyrachel.com

Another reason – it’s a great lesson for kids. We eat a lot of chicken but usually it’s just chicken breast. This way they get to see chicken in it’s whole (albeit non living) form.

Let’s not forget the biggest reason of all. It tastes really good. Full of flavorful tender and juicy meat with an amazingly crisp skin, perfect for snacking on while you set the table. It’s a must. Don’t shy away from that golden skin.

Roast Chicken Recipe from bakedbyrachel.com

Week 8 of the JC100 called for roasting a chicken. Yay! Now, I’ve already shared a roast chicken recipe but there’s always room for more. Julia keeps it simple, stuffing her chicken with slices of lemons, onions and celery leaves. A rub of butter and a sprinkling of salt and pepper give the final touch. All of these I did, but couldn’t resist adding some smashed garlic to the cavity as well. Garlic and chicken are like peanut butter and jelly, they are meant for each other. The one step I skipped was basting my bird because I opted to create a bed of potatoes from the start. This meant I wouldn’t have access to the juices. I like to avoid opening the oven when possible during the cooking process to keep the temperature consistent, in addition to cutting back on the times I need to guard the oven from children… or the other way around.

If you’ve never roasted a chicken, I highly recommend it. It has so many possibilities for dishes. Eat it as is, juicy and straight off the bone. Use the tender meat in fresh homemade soup , chicken pie, or even fun little appetizers and various dishes requiring shredded chicken! It’s a must!

Roast Chicken Recipe from bakedbyrachel.com

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Roast Chicken

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Yield: 5


  • 1 roasting chicken , 3 1/2 - 4 1/2lbs
  • 1 lemon, cut into slices
  • 1/2 yellow onion, cut into sections
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • celery leaves
  • 1-2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • salt
  • ground black pepper
  • Plus additional vegetables for the pan, potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, etc as desired
  • Kitchen twine


  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Prepare chicken, discarding or reserving the extras for another use. Pat dry with paper towels.
  • Sprinkle the cavity well with salt and pepper. Fill with lemon slices, onions, garlic and celery leaves. Tie legs together with kitchen twine.
  • Arrange various vegetables around the chicken, for roasting as a side dish. I used 3-4 potatoes chopped up into bite sized pieces. Season with spices as desired.
  • Generously rub softened butter over the entire exterior of your chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • If you have a leave in meat thermometer, now is when you should insert it. I prefer to insert mine into the white meat vs dark. Just be sure to insert it in the thickest section and away from any bones as that will alter the temperature.
  • Roast at 425°F for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350°F and cook for an additional 45-60 minutes or until temperature registers 170°F or higher.
  • Allow chicken to rest for at least 10 minutes prior to slicing into. Enjoy!


Recipe source: Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom by Julia Child
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most accurate data, use your preferred nutrition calculator with the actual ingredients you used to make this recipe.
Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Snap a picture and tag @bakedbyrachel on Instagram!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keywords: Chicken

Celebrating 100 with Julia Child:
Week 1: Rolled omelette
Week 2: Chocolate mousse
Week 3: Coq au Vin
Week 4: Salade Niçoise
Week 5: Vichyssoise
Week 6: Reine de Saba
Week 7: Fillet Meunière