Why go out and buy a rotisserie chicken when you can make a whole chicken yourself for less? Cooking a whole chicken isn’t as difficult as you may think. And these whole chicken recipes will feed the family and leave you with tasty leftovers you won’t mind eating the rest of the week. From whole smoked chicken to Instant Pot whole chicken, these recipes are a must-try for any home cook that loves serving up juicy, tender, and flavorful chicken dishes for dinner.
Cooking the whole bird can make life so much easier. After all, what’s better than having leftovers? Not just for a Chicken Alfredo Pizza or that luscious Chicken Lasagna, but also an incredible chicken broth. Take off all the meat from the bones and save for tacos, put the bones in a big pot and cover with water and simmer for a couple of hours and you have an incomparable chicken broth. Nothing you get in a cube or can compare.
If you have a 3-pound chicken, it will take about 1-1¼ hours to roast your chicken in the oven at 375F. Bigger chickens will take longer (4 pounds at 1¼ to 1½ hours; 5 pounds 1 ¾ to 2 hours). An Instant Pot can shorten this to an hour, depending on the size of your chicken.
Not at all! In fact, it’s even easier because it takes a short prep time, and the rest is waiting for it to cook.
Yes, you can let it sit at room temperature for about 30 to 45 minutes. Otherwise, it may cook unevenly if it goes from the fridge and into the fire, so to speak.
The Whole Chicken Recipe Lineup
1. Instant Pot Whole Chicken
If you have an Instant Pot, this recipe will give you perfectly tender and juicy meat. Best of all, it’s on the table in less than an hour! Additionally, Creole seasoning, thyme, and rosemary come together to make the chicken, potatoes, celery, and carrots in this recipe really sing.
You can round out the meal with fluffy Texas Roadhouse Rolls and slightly spicy southern Collard Greens. Or make it for Thanksgiving will all the same sides if you can’t find that turkey, then everyone will be impressed.
Just wrap it up tightly or put it into an airtight storage container in your fridge, using it within three days or freezing for later.
2. Cajun Whole Roast Chicken
Let’s get bold and spicy with this roasted chicken recipe. It’s baked on a bed of tasty potatoes and veggies and tastes like a rotisserie chicken. It also satisfies all the textural elements with a crispy exterior and a juicy interior with minimal prep.
After enjoying these savory flavors, be sure to store leftovers properly. Never leave it out at room temperature beyond 2 hours, and store it in your fridge to enjoy for up to 4 days.
3. Slow Cooker Whole Chicken
Most people don’t realize they can put a whole chicken in the slow cooker. But you can! You get tender, juicy meat through and through with the flavorful drippings permeating the veggies. Thanks to lemon, thyme, Creole seasoning, and bay leaves, you get a wonderful savory flavor all over.
Like other whole chicken recipes, you’ll want to put any leftovers in an airtight container and keep them in your fridge. You can freeze it, too, if you remove it from the bones.
4. Smoked Beer Can Chicken
The cheerful color of this smoked beer can chicken makes it one of the best smoked chicken recipes there is. Just bring this one out for company, and you’ll hear your guests singing your praise. You need a can of beer, garlic, bouillon powder, paprika, white pepper, and thyme to bring the flavors of this smoked chicken dish to life.
After everyone enjoys their fill, make sure you store your whole smoked chicken in the fridge. Separating the meat and freezing it makes an easy way to meal prep too.
5. Blackened Spatchcock Chicken
You can have this whole chicken recipe on the table to serve to your family and loved ones in less than an hour. And only 10 minutes to prep!
“Spatchcock” refers to the cooking technique where the chicken’s backbone is removed to make it open and flattened before cooking, making for juicy meat.
Perfect for any night, you’ll love it if you have leftovers to enjoy the next few days. Just keep them in your fridge and use them quickly for the best taste!
6. Smoked Chicken
You don’t have a smoker but wanna smoke a whole chicken? Then it’s your lucky day! With just four ingredients to make a rub, you wind up with some of the most delicious chicken around.
Once you have this made, you can enjoy the leftovers for a few days in the fridge. Savor it for longer by wrapping it well and putting it in the freezer to save dinner on a busy night.
7. Ashanti Chicken Whole Deboned Chicken Rice
For something more original, try this Ashanti chicken. It’s a deboned roast chicken seasoned with thyme, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and bouillon powder stuffed with spicy Jollof rice, a traditional African dish. It will impress your guests with its elegance and flavor.
If you have any leftovers, store them in the fridge and use them within a few days. And if you make extra, it will keep in your freezer for three months, too.
8. Chicken With East African Flavors
Cumin, cardamom, and chili pepper combine with other spices to reveal this crispy yet tender roasted chicken that bursts with flavor. Just 10 minutes is all you need for prep!
You can use coconut oil in place of the butter if you wish, but whatever you do, remember to store this in the fridge when you’re finished with dinner. And use up those leftovers within a few days if not freezing them!
9. Roast Cornish Hens
When you want to make an unforgettable impression for a special occasion, perhaps an anniversary date night, Cornish roast hens are packed with flavor. Plus, the meat just falls right off the bone.
With no need to carve these smaller birds, the elegant flavors of this recipe could do with some lovely sides. Duchess Potatoes look gorgeous with these hens, plus a little green from Sauteed Spinach will round out your meal.
Never forget to wrap your leftover Cornish hens properly. Finish them within three days or freeze them for up to a month.
For any of these nine recipes you choose, you’ll discover new ways to bring out the best taste for whole chicken!