Ina Garten's Roast Chicken Recipe

Like a little black dress everyone should have in their closet, every good cook should have a roast chicken recipe they swear by in their repertoire. This amazing roast chicken recipe is easy to make, endlessly customizable, and truly complements the cook. Our adaptation of Ina Garten's roast chicken fits the bill perfectly.

If you ask food blogger and photographer Ksenia Prints of At the Immigrant's Table, a good roast chicken is probably the top answer for "What would be your last meal?" Everyone remembers their mother's or grandmother's roast chicken, even if in truth, it was a bit dry on the inside and lacking in flavor.

This Ina Garten's roast chicken with a twist recipe is anything but dry or tasteless. With our little tricks and flourishes, you will prepare and serve a moist, flavorful whole chicken that would make the perfect centerpiece on any table.

Your family and friends will be raving about this roast chicken for days. It's so simple to prepare, you won't want to wait for a special occasion to make it. So give it a try now, and it is sure to be one of your favorite recipes. We'll reveal how we updated Ina Garten's original, but perhaps you can guess what it is.

Gather the ingredients for Ina Garten's roast chicken with a twist

A good roast chicken doesn't need a whole lot of decoration to shine. In here, any ingredients except the roasting chicken itself are just ways to amplify the flavor and juiciness of the meat, while slightly elevating its flavor and aroma.

To start, make sure you choose a good roasting chicken. Depending on the size of your oven and the amount of people you're going to feed, you may even want to grab two chickens at once and just double the rest of the ingredients. After all, leftovers are so much fun to have in the fridge.

For flavoring, we stuff our roast chicken with fresh rosemary, oranges, and garlic. Onions will make up the bed that the chicken is going to rest on.

We do have one surprise ingredient to our adaptation of Ina Garten's roast chicken, and it's one you don't want to skip! Mayonnaise is going to form the rub on the outside of the chicken, and it helps the skin turn golden brown while the meat stays plump and tender. Traditionally, butter is used for this, but our testing has repeatedly shown mayonnaise to produce better results — so take a risk and try our divine twist.

Prep the chicken

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Choose a roasting or casserole dish that's big enough for your chicken, and prep it by coating the insides with oil or butter or spraying it with cooking spray.

Next, it's time to prep the chicken. Remove the giblets, any excess fat and pinfeathers, and rinse the chicken. Depending on the state in which you got your chicken (already cleaned and emptied of the innards, or fresh from the butcher), you may have more or less work to do on this part.

Pat the outside of the chicken dry with paper towels. Be sure the chicken is really dry before you proceed, as the coating won't stick to a wet chicken and you won't get as nice of a sear. Then, place the chicken in the large roasting pan that you prepped earlier.

Stuff the inside of the chicken with filling, and rub the outside

Sprinkle salt and pepper inside the chicken cavity. Then, stuff the chicken cavity with the rosemary, orange quarters, and the garlic. Getting "inside" the chicken isn't the most pleasant task, but it's a crucial step to add flavor to your bird, inside and out. Quite honestly, it's what sets apart a store-bought rotisserie chicken from a real, homemade roast chicken.

Rub the outside of the chicken with mayo, and sprinkle the entire area liberally with salt and pepper. Tie the chicken legs together with kitchen twine, tucking the wings snugly under the body.

Arrange the onions around the chicken

Grab your onion, and slice it into half moons. The way to do this is to peel the onion, cut it in half lengthwise, and then finish it off by cutting it crosswise into half-rings.

Before arranging the onion slices around the chicken, drizzle the slices with olive oil, and toss to coat. You want to fit the onion pieces snugly around and under the chicken, with very little to no surface area visible, as it tends to burn in the oven. Give your entire creation — onions and chicken alike — a generous sprinkle of salt and a few fresh grinds of black pepper.

Roast the chicken at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour and 20 minutes

Let's get our roast chicken cooking!

Transfer the chicken to the oven to roast for an hour. After an hour, remove chicken and turn it over to the other side, setting it back to the oven for another 30 minutes. This means that if you started by roasting the chicken breast side down, bum up, you need to turn it over to get those breasts golden brown.

Your chicken will be done when the internal temperature of the chicken reads 155 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, and the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken from oven, cover completely with aluminum foil, and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.

Serve Ina Garten's roast chicken with a twist

Slice the chicken and discard the filling. It can be added to chicken bones to make a uniquely flavored chicken broth later. It's a great way to use as much of your chicken as possible.

Carve your roast chicken and transfer the chicken meat onto a large platter, surrounding it with the onion slices. Serve Ina Garten's roast chicken with a twist immediately with the onion slices, all the leftover juices and any sides you like. Your platter will look divine!

Roast chicken goes very well with mashed potatoes, roast potatoes, yams, and other side dishes.

What we change in Ina Garten's roast chicken recipe

Our biggest twist to Ina Garten's roast chicken is using mayonnaise in place of Garten's more traditional 2 tablespoons of butter. Mayonnaise allows the skin of the chicken to get crispier, and helps keep the meat more juicy and flavorful. It's a small change that really makes a world of difference in flavor and texture!

Our other change is using rosemary in place of thyme, and oranges in place of lemons in Ina Garten's original recipe. Both adaptations make the chicken more aromatic and unique. If you're looking for a more mellow roast chicken, feel free to try it with fresh thyme and lemon, or go for another combination of herbs and citrus: grapefruit and tarragon, Meyer lemons and oregano, or blood orange and parsley.

Ina Garten's Roast Chicken Recipe
5 from 44 ratings
With our little tricks and flourishes, you will prepare and serve a moist, flavorful whole roast chicken that would make the perfect centerpiece on any table.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
1.5
hours
Servings
6
servings
chicken leg on plate
Total time: 1.67 hours
Ingredients
  • 1 (4-pound) roasting chicken
  • 4 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1 large orange, or 2 small, quartered
  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 large yellow onion, halved and sliced crosswise into half-rings
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Rinse and prep the chicken, removing the giblets, any excess fat and pinfeathers. Pat the outsides dry with paper towels. Place the chicken in a large roasting pan.
  3. Sprinkle salt and pepper inside the chicken cavity. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the rosemary, orange quarters, and the garlic.
  4. Rub the outside of the chicken with mayo and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
  5. Tie the chicken legs together with kitchen twine, tucking the wings snugly under the body.
  6. Before arranging the onion slices around the chicken, drizzle the slices with olive oil, and toss to coat. Fit them snugly around the chicken.
  7. Transfer chicken to the oven to roast for 1 hour. After an hour, remove chicken and turn it over to the other side, setting it back to the oven for another 30 minutes, until the internal temperature of the chicken reads 155 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, and the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh.
  8. Remove the chicken from the oven, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
  9. Slice the chicken and discard the filling. Carve chicken and transfer chicken meat onto a platter.
  10. Serve immediately with the onion slices, all the leftover juices, and any sides you like.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 593
Total Fat 43.3 g
Saturated Fat 11.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 191.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 10.3 g
Dietary Fiber 2.1 g
Total Sugars 4.0 g
Sodium 885.4 mg
Protein 39.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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