Best Roast Chicken

A recipe to wow your friends and family.

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My husband and I have an ongoing competition over who makes the best roasted chicken. I am not sure he and I will ever resolve this issue, but the truth is, every cook should have their own go-to roasted chicken recipe in their arsenal.

Before I share my version for the perfect roast chicken, here are a few tips that my husband and I DO agree on for making the perfect roasted chicken: MARINATE: While my husband and I disagree about whose roast chicken reins supreme, we both agree that marinating overnight makes for the most flavorful and moist chicken. We particularly reccomend marinating the chicken by using a large, ziploc plastic bag. It allows for the chicken to be fully immersed in the marinade. For the perfect Shabbat chicken? Start marinating on Thursday night – you won’t be sorry for the extra prep!

KEEP IT WHOLE: A lot of my friends are afraid of buying an entire chicken – how do I prepare it? What do I do it without afterward? Well, first I recommend learning how to cut a chicken – it will be a skill you will wonder how you ever lived without. Once you are comfortable cutting a chicken, you will see how much more flavorful a whole, roasted chicken tastes.

UPRIGHT ROASTING: Aluminum pans are very convenient for cooking, especially on Shabbat when there is so much prep and cleanup. Nevertheless, I highly recommend switching to an upright chicken roaster. It allows for the skin to crisp on the entire chicken, and for the fat from the chicken to naturally flavor the entire bird as it cooks (not to mention its more environmentally friendly). Upright roasters are very reasonably priced, and can be found in lots of stores, such as this one from Amazon for only $12. Not only do we have two for our weekly cooking, but we also have one for Passover!


  1. salt and pepper to taste
  2. 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  3. 1/2 Tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
  4. 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary
  5. 1 Lemon, zested and sliced
  6. 1 Orange, zested and sliced
  7. 1 whole chicken, rinsed
  8. 1/4 cup white wine
  9. 6 cloves garlic


In a small mixing bowl, whisk together rosemary, thyme, olive oil, wine, orange zest, lemon zest and the salt and pepper. Add the chicken to a large plastic bag that seals, and pour the wet mixture of the chicken. Add the orange and lemon slices, as well as the whole garlic cloves.

After you seal the bag, make sure the entire chicken is covered with the marinade. Refrigerate for 2-24 hours before roasting.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. If you like, you can stuff some of the garlic cloves and citrus slices under the skin or in the cavity of the chicken. Roast the chicken for 45-55 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees.

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Shannon Sarna is the editor of The Nosher. Born to an Italian mother who loved to bake, a Jewish father who loved to experiment, and a food chemist grandfather, loving and experimenting with diverse foods is simply in her blood. Her writing and recipes have been featured in Tablet Magazine, JTA News, The Jewish Week, Joy of Kosher Magazine and Buzzfeed. She graduated from Smith College in Northampton, MA with a degree in Comparative Government and Spanish Language and Literature and currently lives in Jersey City, NJ. To see what Shannon is cooking and eating, follow her on twitter @shasarna and on Instagram.

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