How to Roast Chicken

I love roasting a whole chicken because it not only feeds us for one meal but leftovers go great in sandwiches or wraps the next day. Here is my recipe and top tips for getting a yummylicious roast! Also there is no ‘sauce’ or ‘jus’ that we pair with this roast because we find it tasty on its own:)

Firstly, as you can see the chicken is butterflied. Butterflying the chicken simply means cutting out the chicken’s backbone and pressing the bird flat so that it cooks in a single layer.

I like roasting the chicken like this. I find it cooks more evenly. Seasoning it is also easier, as the entire surface of the chicken faces upwards. It is also easier to serve and cut up. Altho – it doesn’t have the glam look of a nice whole bird trussed up!

I make a simple marinade to rub on it. In goes some cumin, paprika, cinnamon, turmeric, salt and crushed garlic. You can add in some chilli flakes too if you wish. So that’s the recipe. Add some oil to the powders, mix, then rub on chicken. Let’s get back to some tips before applying the rub. The rub might seem ‘little’ compared to the size of the bird but don’t worry — just smear and rub it all over the chicken.

Make sure your chicken has been defrosted well.

Pat chicken dry before applying the rub. Just use some kitchen towels and pat pat pat.

You will want to marinate this chicken for a while – meaning applying the rub and leaving it to absorb into the chicken, so, once rub is applied, keep in fridge.

You don’t want to put a cold chicken into the oven. This will result in a raw/undercooked inside and a brown outside. So remove from fridge at least 30mins before and let it come to room temperature. 

Make deep cuts with a sharp knife on the thick parts for example the drumsticks. This ensures the marinade rub penetrates into the meat.

You may remove the wings tips (which tend to burn like in the pic) but I personally just leave them be.

Once rub is applied nicely on front and back of chicken, keep aside and place in fridge. Take out at least 30 mins before placing in oven. I sometimes take it out at least an hour prior so it comes nicely to room temp.

Just before going into the oven, I like to brush some melted butter on the chicken – this helps to brown the skin which I love.

Also, I sprinkle some additional salt on the chicken lightly. 

I also like to place the chicken on a wire rack – as opposed to a roasting tin/pan/dish –  so hot air can circulate all around the chicken and not just on top. I also line my baking sheet with foil for easier clean up.

Once it’s done, I allow it to rest for 10 minutes (using this time to yell at my children to bath before dinner) before  breaking it down to pieces. Of course do test if the chicken is cooked as you bring it out of the oven first. I don’t have any chicken carving skills in my pocket, so I wing it and just pull apart the drumsticks, then use a knife and go for the wings, then go for the meat here and there and I’m done:)

It’s a great recipe and I hope you give it a go. I usually ask the butcher man at my grocer to butterfly the chicken for me.

For more chicken recipes, click here for ones using the air fryer, here for a curry and here using an oven to bake some wings.

Did you try this recipe?

Please do let me know if you've tried it, by leaving a comment or tagging me on IG @thesuddencook.

How to Roast Chicken

A short and simple rub is spread all over the chicken, leave it to marinate then pop into oven. Done. See below for my tips on how to prepare the chicken before roasting.


  • 1 Whole Chicken Butterflied Ask your butcher to butterfly the chicken.

Combine in small bowl

  • 4 cloves garlic crushed Can be subbed with 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil or cooking oil Mix oil with powders to form a paste


  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes


  • Place chicken on a large board or dish. Pat dry with paper towels. Rub paste all over chicken front and back. Cover and place in fridge for 1 hour or overnight to marinate.
  • Remove chicken from fridge at least 30mins - 1 hour to come to room temperature before placing in oven.
  • Preheat oven to 230C. Place chicken on a wire rack, brush some melted butter and sprinkle additional pinch or so of salt lightly on surface of chicken (no need to rub). Place in oven for 15 minutes. Turn down temp to 190C /200C (you know your oven best!) and continue to roast for 45mins - 1 hour - depending on the weight of the bird.
  • Check if chicken is cooked - pierce the thickest part of the chicken with a knife - juices should be clear. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10mins. Cut up and serve.


Top Tips:
  • Make sure your chicken has been defrosted well.
  • Pat chicken dry before applying the rub.
  • Marinate chicken ahead of time. Flavours will not have developed if you marinate right before roasting.
  • Remove chicken from fridge 30mins-1hour before placing in oven.
  • Make some slits on thick parts of the chicken for even cooking and for flavours to absorb.
  • For a 1.5kg chicken, I place it for 15 mins under 230C (for a nice crisp skin) then lower to 190C/200C for another 45mins- 1hr. Every oven temperature and timing differs. So please check if your chicken is cooked once removed from oven first before slicing. Good luck!
  • Shred chicken meat from leftover roasted pieces for sandwiches or wraps. Just toast a wrap with some cheese and place chicken and some greens above. Yum!
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Andrea White
9 months ago

love how simple this is! thanks for a simple recipe and great tips!

9 months ago
Reply to  Andrea White

Most welcome Andrea. Hope you give it a go:)

9 months ago

I’ve never butterflied a chicken before, it cooked evenly. The flavours of the cumin were delicious!

9 months ago
Reply to  Peter

Great to hear! Yes butterflying it allows it to cook more evenly I feel

9 months ago

Love all the spices and garlic. Really enhanced the flavor of tel he recipe.

9 months ago
Reply to  Leader Deborah

The spice rub altho simple yields amazing results.