Roast Chicken – Julia Child

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

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

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

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

Roast Chicken

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time1 hour 35 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chicken
Servings: 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

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

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20 Responses to “Roast Chicken – Julia Child”

  1. #
    IdaBaker — June 29, 2012 at 6:29 am

    These days, with the parts of a chicken often cheaper per pound than the whole, roasting it is becoming a lost art.

    I’m so happy you took up the gauntlet, and achieved your goal. It looks delicious.

    Plus, the oven pan you used is great. I just bought a set of these for my daughter who starts law school in the fall.

    Maybe I’ll purchase a raw chicken for her, too. :)

  2. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — June 29, 2012 at 7:35 am

    I love the smell of roasting chicken! Yours is just perfect looking.

  3. #
    Brian @ A Thought For Food — June 29, 2012 at 9:03 am

    This looks great! Julia certainly knew how to do roast chicken well. Beautiful bird!

  4. #
    Rachel Cooks — June 29, 2012 at 9:26 am

    This looks like a perfect roasted chicken!

  5. #
    amy @ fearless homemaker — June 29, 2012 at 10:17 am

    i loooove roast chicken + this looks fantastic!

  6. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — June 29, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    This looks amazing, and so perfectly done!

  7. #
    Kathryn — June 29, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    A good roast chicken is probably my favourite meal in the world; this looks perfect!

  8. #
    Autumn@Good Eats Girl — June 29, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    I love roasted chicken…this looks like a perfect one!

  9. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — June 29, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    the smell and taste of a roasted chicken just can’t get any better than that..i love going to costco and smell the roasted chicken that they just took out of the oven. i’ve never done it myself but if it’s as easy as you say, then i definitely will have to do this sometime and throw some herbs in the mix :)

  10. #
    Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite — June 30, 2012 at 1:47 am

    There’s nothing easier or more comforting than roasting a chicken, right? I liked this version but preferred Mr Neil’s roast chicken (nothing quite compares!)

  11. #
    Carla @ Carla's Confections — June 30, 2012 at 3:17 am

    This looks really perfect!

  12. #
    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective — June 30, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Sigh… I’ve had Julia’s chicken. AMAZING!

  13. #
    Carrie @ Bakeaholic mama — June 30, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Is there any meal more perfect than roasted chicken? I think it is my favorite comfort food, this one looks delicious.

  14. #
    Barbara @ Barbara Bakes — July 1, 2012 at 12:28 am

    So fun reading your Julia posts. Looks like a perfect roast chicken.

  15. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — July 1, 2012 at 10:15 am

    I need to roast more chickens when my husband comes home. He loves them! I love that this recipe only includes things that most people already have in their fridge!

  16. #
    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — July 1, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    That chicken recipe sounds amazing!

  17. #
    Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — July 1, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    I love roasted chicken and yours is beautiful.

  18. #
    Hailey @ nakedcupcakes — July 4, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Go you for roasting a chicken! I will admit it still intimidates me, but yours just looks perfect :)
    maybe i’ll grab a meat thermometer and give it another go tho!
    thanks :)

  19. #
    Becky — July 5, 2012 at 1:09 am

    I made Julia’s roast chicken several years ago, but I followed her directions religiously. I basted that dang bird every 10 minutes for 1.5 hours. Ugh! It may be about time for me to take up my french cooking chellenge again.

  20. #
    Lenore — July 24, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    We had a rotisserie when we lived in the UK, so I’ve roasted a chicken that way, but I’ve never done it since we moved back over here and just have a regular oven. If you say it is so easy, though, I think I may need to try it! :)

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