Cajun Whole Roast Chicken – This crispy, spicy, juicy poultry is super tasty with minimal prep time. You can easily feed a large family or have leftover roasted chicken all week long to make sandwiches, chicken salad, and other tasty dishes. One try, and you’ll have this recipe on repeat every week, guaranteed.
I’m a big fan of roasting chicken because it is just so mouthwateringly good and super easy. In this recipe, I’ve added potatoes and carrots to the pan, meaning all you need is a little side salad, and you’ve got a delicious meal with minimal work. 🙌
Plus, Cajun spices…need I say more? I don’t, but I will. 😆 The spice mix in this recipe will give your Cajun roasted chicken a deep, spicy, Southern flavor you won’t find on any rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.
Why Whole Cajun Roast Chicken Is Awesome
We already covered how delicious this recipe is, but there are more reasons I love this oven-roasted whole chicken and potatoes. With just a few ingredients, you’ve got an entire meal. Prep time is quick, and cooking is super hands-off, making this a great recipe for all my busy mamas out there. Plus, this recipe is super economical. You can get a whole chicken for as little as a few dollars!
- Whole Chicken – Smaller chickens will take less time to cook, and larger chickens will take longer. You can even use a Cornish hen to make a mini whole Cajun chicken.
- Spices – Creole salt, bouillon powder, minced garlic, onion powder, thyme, oregano, basil, smoked paprika, white pepper, and cayenne pepper all come together to make this chicken off-the-charts delicious.
- Veggies – Onions, potatoes, and carrots roast along with the chicken basting in its juices, making this a one-dish meal if you like.
How to Roast Whole Cajun Chicken
Prepare the Chicken
- Prep Chicken – Rub inside and out the chicken with salt, white pepper, and bouillon powder, and set aside.
- Prepare the Marinade – In a small pan set over medium-low heat, combine oil or butter, minced garlic, herbs, paprika, onion, and cayenne pepper. Stir for 30 seconds to a minute.
- Steep – Let this mixture sit for a little bit, about 5 minutes.
- Marinate Chicken – Then, generously rub the chicken with a spice combination and refrigerate it until you are ready to cook.
Roast the Chicken and Veggies
- Assemble Ingredients – Add onions to a roasting pan or cast iron, and then place the chicken, breast-side up.
- Truss the Chicken (or not) – Tie the legs of the chicken together with kitchen twine to help hold its shape.
- Add Veggies – Toss the potatoes and carrots around the chicken.
- More Seasoning – If desired, sprinkle with about a tablespoon or more onion powder.
- Roast at 375℉/190℃ for about an hour and 15 minutes, or until the meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part reaches 165-170℉/74-77℃.
- Baste – Brush the Cajun mixture over the chicken, potatoes, and carrots every 30 minutes.
- Serve – Once cooked through, remove the chicken from the oven and let it stand for 10 minutes before carving.
- Veggie Swap – Instead of potatoes and carrots with baked Cajun chicken, use any veggies you like! Sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini are all delicious choices. Keep in mind cooking times for some vegetables are shorter than others, so you may want to add softer vegetables to the pan about 15-20 minutes before the chicken is done cooking.
- Spatchcock It – You can spatchcock the chicken and cook it flatter instead of tying the legs together if you want. Turn the chicken over, so it is breast-side down. Use a knife or a sharp kitchen scissor to cut down both sides of the backbone to remove it. Flip the chicken over and press down firmly to flatten it. This technique helps keep the chicken juicy throughout. Adjust cooking time to about 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165-170℉/74-77℃.
- Poultry Swap – You can totally do this with your Thanksgiving turkey. Simply increase the ingredients for a larger bird and extend the roasting time.
Tips and Tricks
- If the skin starts to brown too much before the chicken is cooked through, tent the chicken with foil until it is done cooking.
- Another way to tell your chicken is done is to wiggle the leg. If the leg is loose and flexible, the chicken is likely done. The more Cajun-baked chickens you make, the easier it will get to tell.
- Before roasting the chicken, rub it with the spice sauce all over, even under the skin. This will help you get that delicious, crisp skin my family always fights over. 😂
You can prep your chicken and cut your vegetables a day in advance. Store them separately in the fridge in airtight containers. When ready to roast, simply put everything in the pan, preheat the oven, and bake.
Serving and Storage Instructions
Serve oven-roasted whole chicken and potatoes along with any other veggies you added hot out of the oven. I also like to enjoy it with a side salad.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. You can reheat the leftover chicken in the oven or microwave. If you reheat in the oven, set the temperature to 350℉/177℃, and heat the food until it is just warmed through. Don’t leave it too long, or the chicken will dry out.
Use a baking pan with enough lip to keep all the juices in the pan. Choose a pan that is quite a bit wider than your chicken too. This will help avoid drippings escaping to the bottom of your oven when you baste the chicken with the spice sauce.
Add a splash of water to the pan if it seems like your drippings want to burn. Most chickens are juicy enough and release enough fat that you shouldn’t need to.
Baking a chicken is a slower process, usually at a lower temperature. Roasting is at higher temperatures, typically 400℉/205℃ degrees or hotter. I like to roast at a lower temperature because you get just enough browning on the outside of the chicken as it cooks.
What to Serve With Whole Roast Chicken
More Delicious Chicken Recipes to Try
- Smoked Chicken Leg Quarters
- Crispy Grilled Chicken Wings
- Florentine Chicken
- Chicken Wings
- Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Go ahead and try this recipe; I know you’re going to love it. How do you plan on using the leftovers? A fabulous chicken salad or chicken taco night? Let me know in the comments. 😄
Watch How to Make It
This blog post was originally published in March 2016 and has been updated with additional tips and a video.
Cajun Whole Roast chicken
- ¼ cup cooking oil, or more if needed
- 1½ teaspoons Creole salt, adjust to taste
- 1 teaspoon bouillon powder, adjust to taste (optional)
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons granulated onion powder
- 2 tablespoons thyme, oregano or basil works (fresh or dried)
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- ½-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2 pounds potatoes and carrots, cleaned and quartered
- Rinse chicken with water, inside and out, then pat dry with paper towels.
- Rub the chicken inside and out with salt, white pepper, and bouillon powder, and set aside.
- In a small pan set over medium low heat, combine oil or butter, minced garlic, herbs, paprika, onion, and cayenne pepper. Add enough so there is plenty for basting.
- Stir for 30 seconds to a minute. Let this mixture sit for a little bit, about 5 minutes.
- Generously rub the chicken with the spice combination, then refrigerate until ready to cook.
- Preheat the oven to 375℉/190℃.
- Add onions to the roasting pan or cast-iron skillet, then put in the chicken, breast-side up. Tie the legs of the chicken together with kitchen twine to help hold its shape. Toss the potatoes and carrots around the chicken. If desired, sprinkle with a tablespoon or more of onion powder.
- Roast in the oven at 375℉/190℃ for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part reaches about 165-170℉/74-77℃. Brush the chicken and veggies with the Cajun marinade every 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven; let the chicken stand 10 minutes before carving so the juices settle back into the meat. Serve with the roasted potatoes and a side salad.
Tips & Notes:
- If your chicken skin starts to brown too much before the chicken is cooked through, tent the chicken with foil until it is done cooking.
- Another way to tell your chicken is done is to wiggle the leg. If the leg is loose and flexible, the chicken is likely done. The more Cajun baked chickens you make, the easier it will get to tell.
- Before roasting the chicken, rub it with the spice sauce all over, even under the skin. This will help you get that delicious, crisp skin my family always fights over.
- Please keep in mind that the nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on the products used in the recipe.