Dutch Oven Whole Chicken

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This easy Dutch Oven Whole Chicken is roasted with lemon butter, fresh rosemary and thyme for the most tender roast chicken you’ve ever tasted!

Simple ingredients create a golden brown chicken with crispy skin that’s the ultimate comfort food. It’s perfect for Sunday suppers or special occasions!

whole roasted chicken in a dutch oven.

The Best Roast Chicken

There’s nothing as delicious as roasting a whole chicken in a cast iron dutch oven. I love a good pot roast, but this roasted chicken recipe is at the top of my list.

Plus, I’ve already made plans for the leftovers!

You’ll love the savory juices that create a garlic herb sauce which melts in your mouth. The meat comes out moist and flavorful, and the aroma is second to none.

It’s one of those easy one-pot meals that’s fancy enough to serve as a main course, or works as a casual dinner when paired with new potatoes and Brussels sprouts.

It’s perfect for Easter, Thanksgiving, or Sunday dinner with the entire family!

sliced chicken on a bed of vegetables.
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Why Use A Dutch Oven?

  • Baking a dutch oven roast chicken is practically foolproof and works every time!
  • Using a cast iron pot seals in the heat and cooks meat faster.
  • The tenderness of this lemon chicken recipe beats the results of a slow cooker or instant pot consistently.
  • It’s truly a one-pot wonder! Bake and serve from the same pot!
  • The chicken juices fall to the bottom of the pot and coat every root vegetable with lemony garlic goodness.
  • With very little effort, you’ll enjoy crispy roast chicken and vegetables in less than two hours.
ingredients needed to make a whole chicken in a dutch oven.

Ingredients

Simple ingredients create the best recipes. See recipe card for quantities.

  • whole chicken – purchase the freshest 5 pound bird you can find
  • cloves of garlic or garlic bulb – adds depth of flavor
  • fresh thyme – can use dried, but fresh is best
  • fresh rosemary – use fresh if at all possible
  • lemon – provides the citrus element needed for this recipe
  • onion – adds flavor to other root vegetables
  • butter – bastes chicken to add color and help seasoning stick
  • garlic salt with parsley – the perfect seasoning
  • cracked black pepper – just a dash is all you need

Equipment

  • 6 to 7 quart cast-iron dutch oven
  • meat thermometer
  • kitchen twine
  • kitchen tongs (ad)

Roast chicken in dutch oven for the best possible results.

How to Roast a Whole Chicken

Pat dry a whole chicken with paper towels. Remove any giblets. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Sprinkle the cavity generously with garlic salt. Stuff a few slices of lemons, fresh rosemary, garlic and fresh thyme inside.

stuffing a whole chicken with herbs and lemons.

Place chicken in the bottom of the dutch oven with the legs up and wings down. The breast side should be on top. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine using a simple knot.

Add new potatoes and Brussels sprouts in the pot surrounding the bird.

fresh chicken on veggies and lemons in a dutch oven.

Brush melted butter over breasts, legs, thighs and wings with a pastry brush.

spreading butter on chicken with a pastry brush.

Cover the top of the skin with butter, then sprinkle entire bird with garlic salt.

Squeeze a little lemon juice over the fresh vegetables and sprinkle with garlic salt. Drizzle top of the vegetables with melted butter.

chicken seasoned and sitting on vegetables and lemons in a dutch oven.

Place entire pot into a 425 degree oven and make sure it’s UNCOVERED. Roast for 1 1/2 hours or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F at the thickest part of the meat.

whole chicken roasted in a dutch oven on vegetables.

How to Carve a Roast Chicken

  1. Let meat rest at least 15 minutes. Cover loosely with foil.
  2. Using a sharp knife and kitchen tongs (ad), cut between the breast and the legs on each side. Twist the legs until joints break and pull away from the carcass.
  3. Slice between the joints of the legs and the thighs and separate pieces.
  4. Cut through the joints of each wing.
  5. Make a slit down the middle of the sternum with breast side up.
  6. Run knife down under the breast bone on the left side. Cut under and around the sides. Remove entire breast in one piece. Slice into thick slices. Repeat on right side.
  7. Arrange chicken on a platter over roasted vegetables, or serve directly from the pot.
sliced roasted chicken on root vegetables.

Top Tips

  • If you don’t have a dutch oven, use a roasting pan that’s large enough to hold a whole chicken recipe with veggies. It may take longer to cook, so watch carefully.
  • Substitute sweet potatoes, parsnips or carrots for potatoes and Brussels sprouts if desired.
  • When carving, make sure the juices run clear. If not, bake it longer until they do.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Or, use in many recipes like Chicken & Dumplings, my 30 minute Chicken Pot Pie, and Lemon Chicken Spaghetti.

Recipe FAQS

Can I roast a chicken in the crock pot?

You can, but it takes up to 5 hours on high instead of only 1 1/2 hours in a dutch oven at 425 degrees. I’ve not had the same results when roasting meat in a crockpot or slow cooker. There’s a difference in texture and flavor.

Do you add water when roasting a chicken?

You don’t need to add water if you add vegetables to the bottom of the pot. The juices from the meat keep everything moist and the veggies cook better once you add butter.

How long does it take to cook a whole chicken per pound?

A 5 pound bird requires at least 1 1/2 hours of roasting time in a hot 425 degree oven. After that, add 15 minutes per pound. You’ll need to use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. It should register at least 165 degrees F at the thickest point. A hot oven is necessary to ensure the outside skin gets crispy and golden.

Love this recipe? Try these other one-pot wonders that are sure to please!

Recipe Card

whole chicken roasted in a dutch oven oven a bed of vegetables.

Dutch Oven Whole Chicken

This easy Dutch Oven Whole Chicken is roasted with lemon butter, fresh rosemary and thyme for the most tender roast chicken you've ever tasted!
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dutch Oven, Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Resting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 8
Calories: 422kcal

*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.

Ingredients

  • 5 pound whole chicken (fresh)
  • 1 garlic bulb (cut in half)
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch fresh rosemary
  • 2 fresh lemons (cut in half)
  • 1 large onion (cut in half)
  • 1 stick butter (melted)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt with parsley (use more if needed)
  • 1 dash cracked black pepper
  • 1 package Brussels sprouts
  • 1 package new potatoes

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Pat dry a whole chicken with paper towels. Remove any giblets.
  • Sprinkle the cavity generously with garlic salt. Stuff a few slices of lemons, fresh rosemary, garlic and fresh thyme inside.
  • Place chicken in the bottom of the dutch oven with the legs up and wings down. The breast side should be on top.
  • Tie the legs together with kitchen twine using a simple knot.
  • Add potatoes and Brussels sprouts in the pot surrounding the bird. Top with a sprig of rosemary and thyme. Garnish with onion and lemon.
  • Brush melted butter over breasts, legs, thighs and wings with a pastry brush.
  • Cover the top of the skin with butter, then sprinkle entire bird with garlic salt.
  • Squeeze a little lemon juice over the fresh vegetables and sprinkle with garlic salt. Drizzle top of the vegetables with the rest of the melted butter.
  • Place entire pot into a 425 degree oven and make sure it's UNCOVERED. 
  • Roast for 1 ½ hours or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F at the thickest part of the meat.
  • Rest the chicken for 15 minutes before carving.

Notes

  • See blog post for instructions on how to carve a chicken. 
  • Use a meat thermometer for best results. Insert it into the thickest part of the chicken. It should read 165 degrees F. 
  • If you don’t have a dutch oven, use a roasting pan that’s large enough to hold a whole chicken recipe with veggies. It may take longer to cook, so watch carefully.
  • When carving, make sure the juices run clear. If not, bake longer until they do.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 422kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Sodium: 488mg | Potassium: 462mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.

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10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for this beautiful roast chicken recipe. It looks too beautiful to eat! I especially appreciate the notes on how to carve a chicken. Can’t wait to make this for Sunday dinner!

  2. 5 stars
    This chicken is incredible! Loved all your detailed images for the steps! This roasted chicken has so much flavor and easy to make!

  3. 5 stars
    Love this roasted chicken recipe. Tender juicy and delicious! The chicken flavors the vegetables so beautifully. Oh wow!

  4. 5 stars
    Another great recipe Debi! Love that the veggies and chicken are all done in one pot too, delicious, easy, a winner!!!

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