Roasted Chicken with Mayonnaise
Is there a better smell than a chicken roasting in the oven? Personally, I love to start my chicken while the kiddos are still napping. I love when my son barrels down the stairs asking, “What’s that yummy smell?!” Roasted chicken is an inexpensive and easy way to feed the whole family. Just some quick work to the bird and into the oven it goes!
But some tend to be intimidated by roasting a whole bird! That’s why I think you will love this fool-proof roasted chicken recipe!
What is Roasting?
Roasting and baking are terms that are often interchanged. You ROAST a chicken. You BAKE a cake. But what do those terms really mean? And why is roasting the best way to cook a whole chicken?
Both are means of cooking by dry heat. Both take place in an oven.
Roasting is a cooking method that usually applies to solid food and happens at a higher temperature (400℉ or higher) with uncovered food. This allows for carmelization and deeper browning to happen.
Baking usually changes the structure of food (a pan of batter to a cake). So the food may not be solid when it enters the oven. The temperature is lower (375℉ or lower) and color and texture will likely be consistent throughout.
In addition, where fat in roasted foods is on the outside (like our mayonnaise roasted chicken or olive oil on veggies), the fat in baked items is mixed thoughout the foods (like the butter in your favorite cake).
We are roasting our chicken because we are after that juicy, flavorful mouthfeel, and a crispy skin your kids will fight over (at least mine do!)
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using my link. But rest assured, my friend. I only recommend products and services that I love and have used myself.
What You Need to Make a Roasted Chicken
We have some kind of roasted meal here at least once a week. Why? Because it’s easy and there are so few dishes to clean!
Here’s what I recommend you have before you start with your Mayonnaise Roasted Chicken:
A meat thermometer – when you are dealing with large pieces of meat, like whole chickens, it can be difficult to eyeball your dish for doneness. And ain’t nobody want to serve an under-cooked bird (and being precise will make your red meat BOMB every time). Every kitchen needs a meat thermometer.
A chicken roasting vessel – Can I tell you a secret? I don’t own a roasting pan. I’ve thought about adding one to my kitchen many times, but I like my kitchen supplies to be as multipurpose as possible, especially those that take up lots of room. Instead, I use a ceramic baking dish, like the one pictured below. If I have a small chicken, I may even put it in my cast iron skillet!
Pro Tips for an IMPRESSIVE Roasted Chicken
- DON’T OPEN THE DAMN OVEN!!!!! – The secret to roasting is high heat, and each time you crack that oven door to check on your beautiful bird, you release a bunch of it and interrupt the cooking process. Leave it be, and don’t open the door until the timer has beeped.
- Use a THIN coat of mayonnaise – You may be tempted to just keep slatherin’ it on. But a thin layer ensures you get a crispy skin.
- Let it rest! – I can’t stress this enough. When you finally pull your finished chicken from the oven, and it temps out at a perfect 165-170℉, LEAVE IT ALONE! Give the chicken a good ten minutes. Your roasted chicken will be doing some carry-over cooking. Since it is still hot from the oven, the meat will continue to cook a bit from it’s own heat until it cools a bit. When meat cooks, the juices rise to the skin, some of it evaporating away. Then the meat will relax as it cooks and the remaining juices will redistribute throughout the meat. Carve the bird too early, and you will have the chickens juices all over your cutting board, instead of in your meat where it belongs.
Common Questions About Roasted Chicken
- What should I serve with my roasted chicken?
- Typically, I serve my roasted chickens in variations of the same meal. I serve my roasted chickens with root vegetables and some type of green. My root veggie might be mashed potatoes or a medley of parsnip, potato, and carrot roasted with olive oil and herbs.
- Should I place vegetables in the same dish with my chicken?
- Maybe. Because the chicken takes so long to cook, your vegetables may be overcooked if they are cut too small. The drippings from the chicken can also be too much for your veggies. If you cook the chicken and veggies together, choose sturdy vegetables like carrots and potatoes.
- If cook my veggies separately from the chicken itself, to tie the whole meal together, I serve the veggies and chicken with a gravy made from the pan drippings.
- Is there anything I should do to prepare the chicken for cooking?
- When you buy your chicken, if you purchase it at a regular grocery store, it will come in a nifty little bag. Many times, the bird will still be frozen. At least 24 hours before you want to serve your chicken, unwrap the chicken from it’s packaging, and rinse it, inside and out, with cool water. Reach into the cavity and make sure there are no giblets (the liver, heart, and neck – fun stuff!). Pat the chicken dry before proceeding with the recipe.
- If the chicken is frozen. You can set the chicken, wrapped or unwrapped, in the fridge for 24 hours to thaw. You can also set it under cool water to thaw it more quickly. (Expect to leave the chicken in cool water for 30 minutes per pound.)
- I also recommend you trim the excess skin and fat around the chicken’s legs. This is mostly for aesthetics – a neat and tidy presentation.
- Do I have to tie the legs?
- I have found no difference between tying and not tying the chicken legs before roasting. The bid will still cook. It will be delicious. Tie the legs if the spirit moves you. If it doesn’t, your chicken will be just fine.
Preheat your oven to 400℉. Then, make sure your bird is thawed, rinsed, and patted dry. Trim up any extra fat and skin, and check it for any feathers.
Salt and pepper the inside of the chicken, and then side it aside.
Now, we are going to get to work on your spice blend.
If you want to save yourself time, you can download my Spice Blend Recipe Cheat Sheet. We will be making the SAVORY BLEND for our chicken.
This time, I added some fresh lemon zest and fresh thyme leaves to my savory blend, because we happened to have them on hand. Lemon is classic with roasted chicken, but I find it’s one of those things you either love or hate. You can mix your seasoning in a bowl. But if you have a mortar and pestle, a quick grind is a great way to bring some fresh life into your herbs and spices.
Once I have all my spices together, I mix them into the mayonnaise. Then I take my onion and garlic (and optional lemon), and stuff them into the bird’s cavity. Tie the legs together.
Then get started rubbing that yummy seasoned mayonnaise all over the chicken. Remember – a thin layer!
After that, set the chicken in your roasting/baking dish and it’s good to go! Check the chicken’s internal temperature after 90 minutes. I like to check both the breast and thigh. Give her a rest while you set the table (ten minutes or so), and enjoy!
Mayonnaise Roasted Chicken
- baking dish or cast iron skillet
- Meat Thermometer
- 1 whole chicken 5-6 lbs
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp Hungarian Paprika
- 1 tsp Onion powder
- 1 tsp ground thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried lemon peel – or 1 Tbsp fresh (optional)
- 1 onion
- 1 small lemon (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Rinse and dry the chicken. Trim and excess fat or skin and clean the skin of any feathers. Set aside.
- Add spices to a small bowl and stir together. If you have a mortar and pestle, give the spices a quick grind.
- Add mayonnaise to the bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Peel your onion and slice it in half. Insert both halves into chicken's cavity. Do the same with your lemon if you are using lemon. Tie the legs.
- Rub the chicken with the mayonnaise mixture in a thin layer. Make sure to cover the crevices by the legs and wings. Keep the mayonnaise thin! Discard the leftovers. Place your chicken in the baking dish. Tuck the wings.
- Place chicken on the center rack of your oven. Roast for 90 minutes (for a 6 lb chicken, if your chicken is smaller, refer to the table above). The chicken should be 165°F in the thickest part of the thigh.
- Let your chicken rest at room temperature for 10 minutes before carving. Enjoy!
Share your experience!!
Did you make it? Did you love it? Maybe you adjusted the recipe and it turned out amazing!
I want to hear about it!