A simple roasted half chicken that is packed with flavors. The half chicken is oven-roasted to perfection, seasoned with homemade lemon thyme spice rub! Golden brown on the outside, tender, and juicy on the inside.
Today, I'll be sharing one of my favorite chicken recipes. This roasted half chicken is easy to prepare and make. Perfect for stress-free weeknight meals. It’s entirely done in one sheet pan or a skillet! A very comforting and hearty meal that your family will enjoy!
Easy Roasted Half Chicken Recipe You'll Love
This roasted half chicken is seasoned well with a very basic seasoning blend of fresh lemon juice, paprika, thyme, garlic, and, peppercorn. Simple seasoning, yet the flavorful chicken result that we all crave.
To make it a full meal, the chicken is roasted together with some baby potatoes. So delicious that even a picky eater will enjoy this dish!
Now, let's talk about the preparation and cooking methods.
How to Prepare the Whole Chicken for Roasting:
- First, you need to remove the giblet if there is one inside the chicken cavity. Freeze the giblet to make gravy, sauce, or stock.
- Second, pat the chicken dry with paper towels. As far as rinsing or not rinsing, you can make a decision based on the CDC recommendation on how to handle chicken safely to avoid food poisoning here.
- Third, halve the chicken.
- Fourth, rub the chicken with the seasoning blend. Marinating is an optional step. I personally marinated the chicken for about 30 minutes to enhance the flavor.
The Benefits of Cutting Chicken in Half
- Faster cooking time.
- Crispier skin and juicier meat.
- It's cheaper to buy a whole chicken and cut it in half than buy pre-cut.
- You can use the backbones to make a stock.
How to Halve the Chicken
First, you will need a 4-pound whole chicken to make this recipe. Here's how to halve the chicken:
- First, place the chicken breast side down. With the tip of a sharp knife or a pair of sharp kitchen scissors cut along both sides of the cartilage at the end of the breastbone, then remove the cartilage (similar to spatchcocked).
- Second, make sure that the skin is evenly distributed across the front of the bird. Cut lengthwise down the center of the chicken to split it into halves.
- Last, don't throw away the backbone. You can use it to make chicken stock, so be sure to freeze it for later use.
Season the Half Chicken:
First, make the spice rub by combining the fresh lemon juice, thyme, peppercorn, paprika, oil, garlic, and kosher salt. After that, spread the seasoning blend all over the chicken.
How to Roast Half Chicken
To roast the half chicken, you will need a baking dish, roasting rack, or oven-safe skillet. In this recipe, I used an enameled skillet.
My favorite way to cook the chicken is to roast it at a high temperature. This method always works wonders, resulting in crisp skin, juicier meat, caramelized juices, and intense flavors.
Here are some steps to follow:
- Place the chicken, breast side up in an oven-safe skillet or baking pan and cook in the oven at 500°F for 15 minutes to get that nice golden brown color on the skin. Baste the chicken once.
- Remove the skillet or baking dish from the oven, then use those drippings to brush the chicken. Basting helps keep the meat moist and adds flavor. Don't worry, the chicken skin will stay nice and crisp.
- Cut the potatoes into smaller pieces, and place them onto the bottom of the pan then transfer the pan to the oven.
- Reduce the temperature to 425°F and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked (a thermometer inserted into the thigh should ideally register 165°F). Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving.
- Test the potatoes to make sure they are done. If not, transfer the chicken to a cutting board and return the potatoes to the oven until cooked through.
In this recipe, I halved the baby potatoes. They are relatively small and cooked perfectly at the same time as the chicken. You can also add other vegetables, such as carrots if the pan is big enough.
What to Serve with Roasted Half Chicken
- Roasted Frozen Vegetables
- Southern Fried Cabbage with Bacon
- Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan
- Easy Roasted Asparagus
- Dinner Rolls with Herb Butter
- Green Beans Almondine
- Roasted Yellow Squash with Parmesan
I hope you'll enjoy this recipe and share it with friends! If you try it and don’t mind, please leave me a comment and/or give this recipe a rating. Be sure to subscribe to receive weekly recipes and follow me on Pinterest.
Roasted Half Chicken
- baking dish, baking sheet, or oven-safe skillet
- 4 pounds whole chicken, (about 4 pounds or use pre-cut half chickens, 2 pieces)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorn
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeeze lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme , (about 1 ½ tablespoon fresh thyme)
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, (use less or more according to your liking)
- 1 pound baby potatoes
- Remove the chicken giblets and pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Cut the chicken in half. Set aside.
- Wash, scrub, dry and cut the baby potatoes in half. Set aside.
Mix the Seasoning Blend:
- In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice, garlic, peppercorn, salt, thyme, paprika, kosher salt, and oil.
- Rub the seasoning all over the chicken and marinate for 30 minutes in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 500°F.
- Place the chicken, breast side up in an oven-safe skillet or baking pan then put it on the low rack in the oven. Cook for 10 minutes, basting the chicken once with the drippings. Continue cooking for 5 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven, add halved potatoes onto the bottom of the chicken. Brush the chicken and halved potatoes with some dripping juice. Transfer the pan back to the oven.
- Reduce the temperature to 425°F and continue cooking for about 20-25 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 165°F. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving.
- Test the potatoes to make sure they are done. If not, transfer the chicken to a cutting board and return the potatoes into the oven until cooked through.