Juicy, flavorful, and buttery. This is the perfect roast chicken recipe. The herb butter and fresh vegetables give the whole roasted chicken an aromatic taste, while the mango-coconut sauce balances the herb flavors and softens it.

A roast chicken on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Veggies on the side and a bowl of mango-coconut sauce.

You may think that a mango-coconut sauce makes this roasted whole chicken recipe more of a summer dish, but the flavor is so soft that it can be made in every season. Now I do understand that fresh mango isn’t available to everyone all year round. If that is the case, you can opt for frozen mango or mango puree. Make sure that the canned mango doesn’t have extra sugar added or is canned in syrup. It should be canned in its own juice.

How do you keep a roasted chicken from drying out?

The fear most people have when trying to make whole roasted chicken is keeping it juicy. Which then brings the question, ‘Do you cover a chicken to roast it?’

I’m no roast chicken expert, but I’ve rarely made whole roasted chicken that was dry. I don’t cover my roast chicken unless I see that it’s starting to burn. Then I would cover it with foil. What I will do is add a lot of fat.

The butter is what makes this the best roast chicken recipe. That’s why I’ll add plenty of it on the skin and under the skin. I also add extra butter halfway through the roasting process and baste it in its juice. That ensures that the roasted chicken won’t dry out.

Raw whole chicken with herb butter on a bed of vegetables in a roasting pan

Seasoning the Whole Chicken

Pat the chicken dry and make sure it’s not cold. The cold chicken will harden your butter. You want to spread the seasoned butter on all parts of the skin. I do top, bottom, legs, everything.

Raw whole chicken with herb butter and mango-coconut sauce on a bed of vegetables in a roasting pan

More importantly, you have to get it under the skin. Use the back of a spoon to carefully separate the skin from the meat. Just wiggle the back of the spoon and glide it across the chicken’s body. Turn and do the same thing on the other side. Do the same thing with the mango-coconut sauce.

Halfway through the baking, you want to add some extra dollop of butter on top of the breast. It will melt and drip all over the chicken breast. Then take a spoon and pour some of the juice back onto the chicken and pop it back into the oven.

How to Make The Best Roast Chicken Without a Wire Rack

Finding a good roast pan is very hard. Since I’m working with a smaller oven right now, I couldn’t use my usual roasting pan. So I started wondering, ‘What can I use instead of a wire rack?’ Then I realized, I’ve actually made roast chicken without a wire rack, often. So then I started questioning which method is best?

Again, no roast chicken expert here, but I do believe that roasting a chicken without wire is the best option. Why? Because instead of a wire you place the whole chicken on a bed of vegetables and herbs which gives it even more flavors.

Roast chicken with veggies on the side of it.

What to Serve with Roast Chicken

Roast chicken is great with some roasted veggies, baked potatoes, or a fresh-citric salad. Honestly, my favorite side dish for this perfect roast chicken is definitely my Scalloped Potatoes recipe.

A close up of the roast chicken with veggies on the side of it.

Best Roast Chicken Recipe

Juicy, flavorful, and buttery. This is the perfect roast chicken recipe. The herb butter and fresh vegetables gives the whole roasted chicken an aromatic taste, while the mango-coconut sauce balances the herb flavors and softens it.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 2 people

Equipment

  • Paper Towel
  • Roasting Pan (Rack Optional)
  • Food Processor
  • Twine

Ingredients
  

Herb Butter

  • ⅓ cup (80 gr) unsalted butter softened
  • 6 rosemary sprigs
  • 7 cloves of garlic big
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mango-Coconut Sauce

  • ¼ cup (66 gr) mango mashed
  • ¼ cup (50 ml) coconut cream
  • ½ tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 pinch ground cumin
  • 1 pinch paprika powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Roast Vegetables

  • 2½ lbs. (1,2 kg) whole chicken room temperature
  • 2 lemons in quarters
  • 1 onion in quarters
  • 1 onion in slices
  • ½ cup (120 ml) dry white wine

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 475°F/240°C
  • Add the unsalted butter in a bowl. Mince 3 rosemary sprigs and 3 cloves of garlic. Add this to the butter with the lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Add all the ingredients (except salt and pepper) in a food processor and blend them together. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Pat the chicken dry. Use the back of a spoon to carefully separate the skin from the chicken. Spread about 1-2 tablespoons of herb butter with your fingers under the skin. Be careful not to tear the skin. Do the same for the mango-coconut sauce. Turn the chicken and repeat the process and the other side. Turn it back and repeat now on the outside of the skin, both sides. Make sure to save about 2 tablespoons of both the butter and sauce.
  • Place the onion slices, 2 lemon piece, and a rosemary sprig in the center. Place the chicken on top of it, breast up. Crush the remaining cloves of garlic. Stuff 2 inside the chicken and place the rest in the roasting pan. Add 1 rosemary spring in the chicken and the remaining in the roasting pan. Shove 1 piece of lemon in the chicken. Spread the remaining in the Add the two onion pieces in the chicken and the rest in the pan. Add the white wine to the roasting pan and twine the legs together.
  • Place the chicken in the oven. Take it out halfway (about 20 minutes) and add extra mango-coconut sauce and butter to the center of the breast. Use a spoon and baste some of its juice on top. Place it back in the oven and let it roast for about 20 minutes more (see note 1). To check if you're chicken is done, insert a digital thermometer (avoid bones) to check the temperature. The chicken should have an internal temperature of 165°F/75°C and run clear fluid after removing the thermometer.

Notes

  1. Every oven is different, so you roasting time may differ from mine. Keep a close eye on the chicken so it doesn’t burn or dry out. 
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