Our crispy skin roast chicken recipe has always been an everyday favorite. It took a while for us to figure out how to keep the skin crispy during oven roasting. Read more to understand our process and secret to roasting a whole chicken with crispy skin.

crispy skin roast chicken in cast iron pan

Secret to crispy skin roast chicken

This is our fail-proof method to keep the chicken skin crispy when roasting a whole chicken: sear the chicken first and bake it in a really hot oven. We’ve tested so many differnent methods from adding butter under the skin to more butter on top. But all it does is give more grease at the bottom of the pan. Our secret (not-so-secret-now) is to sear the whole chicken first on all sides. And honestly, it works! The skin is crispy, not soggy. Nothing goes to waste.

Second secret is using the right pan for roasting whole chicken

Let’s get straight to the point: cast iron is our first pan pick for getting the skin crispy. When cast iron gets hot, it really get hot and holds the heat. Our trusted and old cast iron pan is great for searing hot to get the chicken skin crispy. If you don’t have a cast iron, and you’re using any other type of pan, just make sure the pan gets really hot. And when placing the whole chicken on the pan to sear, don’t mess with it after you’ve placed it down. Allow the chicken to create the crust on the skin before you flip it to sear the other sides.

crispy roast chicken in pan

Video: Crispy Skin Roast Chicken Recipe

You Need an Instant Read Meat Thermometer for Roast Chicken

This is a tool that you should have when roasting chicken: an instant read meat thermometer. This will allow you to check the internal temperature of your roast chicken to make sure it’s cooked all the way through. And it ensures that you’re not overcooking your chicken and end up with a dry bird. And the last thing one wants to do is to cut into the chicken and still see it raw in the center. Gasp! If it’s a dinner party it’s a fail for everyone to see the chicken still raw in the center. Trust us, it’s happened. Having this valuable kitchen tool will save a lot of under-cooked and over-cooked chicken issues. Here’s three of our go-to instant read thermometers:

Tips for Roasting a Whole Chicken with Crispy Skin

  • Like we discussed above, getting a good sear on the chicken skin is important. We love using our cast iron pan to get the initial hot sear on the chicken skin. After we’ve seared all the sides of the chicken, then it’s ready for the oven. Getting that crust on the chicken keeps the juices inside the chicken and makes the meat juicy while maintaining a crispy outside skin.
  • Add your favorite marinade. There’s so many flavor options . You can add garlic and butter under the skin if you like. But be cautious of dry rubs because it can cause the skin to burn with all the seasonings on it. If you want to use a rub, make sure to oil the top of the dry spices liberally with the oil so during the hot roasting, they don’t burn.
  • Make sure to let the chicken rest for about 7-10 minutes before cutting into it. This will allow the juices to release a bit.
  • Gravy is great! Don’t waste those juices and make a gravy out of it.
  • All crispy skin roast chicken recipe details are in the recipe box below.
crispy skin roast chicken in cast iron pan

Crispy Skin Roast Chicken

Invest in an instant read thermometer. This is a valuable tool to check the internal temperature of the chicken to ensure the chicken is cooked all the way through.
Roasting time will vary on chicken size, but a general rule of thumb when roasting a whole chicken at 400°F/205°C is usually at least 15 minutes/lb.
5 from 6 votes


  • 1 whole Chicken (3-4 pounds) , giblets removed
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil , or melted Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt , or to personal taste
  • fresh cracked Black Pepper



  • Preheat oven to 400°F/205°C.
    Preheat oven
  • Remove giblets from inside of chicken. Pat dry the chicken. Coat chicken with olive oil or melted butter. Liberally season with salt and pepper. Truss chicken if desired.
    Seasoning raw whole chicken
  • Heat a large cast iron skillet (or other oven safe skillet which is large enough to fit your chicken) over medium-high heat. Brown each side of the chicken, about 3 minutes per side.
    Searing the whole chicken on a pan
  • Place skillet with chicken (breast side up) in the oven.  Roast for about 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes or until the temperature deep in the meat part of the thigh and breast reads 165°F/74°C when probed with an instant read thermometer or when the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh (roasting time will vary depending on size of chicken).
    Checking chicken temperature with an instant read thermometer
  • When chicken is cooked through, remove it from the oven and allow to rest for about 10 minutes covered with foil.
    Completed roasted chicken
  • Once rested, carve the chicken and serve warm.
    Carving the roasted chicken


Nutrition Information per Serving

Calories: 296kcal, Protein: 20g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 82mg, Sodium: 1820mg, Potassium: 206mg, Vitamin A: 152IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 13mg, Iron: 1mg
cutting crispy roast chicken recipe

Our Best Roast Chicken Recipes

We love roasting whole chicken and different cuts of chicken. It’s such a comforting dish and best of all, the house smells wonderful. Check out our full collection of baked chicken and roast chicken recipes here.