ARTICLE / RECIPE ROUNDUP

Perfect Recipes for Sunday Roast Chicken

There’s more than one way to roast a chicken — and, lucky you, you've got a lifetime to try them all.

Of all the things I cook and eat on a regular basis, I love nothing more than a perfectly roasted chicken. The must-haves are crispy skin (or at least very, very tasty skin), juicy thigh meat, and not-at-all-dry breast meat; I'm flexible with the rest. And somehow, I never tire of the process. In part, that’s because there really are so many ways to do it.

When I started roasting chicken on my own, I began with Mark Bittman’s basic recipe from How to Cook Everything, my bible. Then, a few years ago, my go-to became the Zuni Chicken recipe — with or without the accompanying bread salad. And my latest obsession is Samin Nosrat’s Buttermilk Chicken, with its gorgeous color and flavor.

But there’s always room for more.

Peruvian-Style Roast Chicken with Green Sauce

Jenn Segal at Once Upon a Chef calls this recipe her take on Peru's delicious Pollo a la Brasa, and reviewers attest to its authenticity. A 4-pound chicken is marinated overnight in olive oil, lime juice, garlic, salt, pepper, sugar, paprika, cumin, and oregano, then roasted for 20 minutes at 425 degrees, followed by another 70 minutes cooking time at 375 degrees. The sauce, however, is the clincher — a creamy green mixture that includes cilantro, jalapeños, garlic cloves, and lime juice. Serve it over everything.

Peruvian-Style Roast Chicken with Green Sauce

Roast Chicken with Pancetta and Olives

For this recipe, from Leite's Culinaria, the bird is broken down into 10-12 pieces (the chicken breasts are cut in half) for even cooking. The chicken parts are roasted skin-side up with a rustic Italian mix of pancetta, olives, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and white wine.

Note that this recipe uses two chickens, so go ahead and halve the recipe if you don't need that much. Need help with the math? With Yummly, you can adjust the number of servings (just change the number of servings at the top of the ingredients list - right after "SERVINGS:") and we'll recalculate the ingredient quantities for you.

Roast Chicken with Pancetta and Olives

Misoyaki Roast Chicken with Shoyu Onion Sauce

Tim Wu, a videographer for Food52, took a traditional Japanese fish marinade made with red miso and mirin and applied it to roast chicken — with amazing results. It's the perfect roast chicken recipe if you're looking for something a little out-of-the-box. Be sure to get the marinade inside the chicken cavity to flavor the bird all around, and use unsalted butter since miso is naturally salty.

Misoyaki Roast Chicken with Shoyu Onion Sauce

Barbara Kafka's Simplest Roast Chicken

Who is Barbara Kafka, you ask? She was a beloved cookbook author and food columnist for the likes of Gourmet and Vogue who passed away in 2018. This recipe, which some argue is the best roast chicken recipe around, is her basic high-heat roast chicken method — you cook it at 500 degrees for ultra-crispy, golden-brown chicken skin. And basic it is: It's little more than garlic, kosher salt, black pepper, and a couple of lemons for the cavity.

But feel free to play around with it! Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme to the cavity, or swap out the lemons for oranges. You can also make a quick gravy with the drippings and some chicken stock. You can avoid some smoking and sputtering from the high-heat cooking by adding veggies to the roasting pan; they'll soak up the pan juices for an extra-flavorful side dish.

Barbara Kafka's Simplest Roast Chicken

Smoked Paprika Roasted Chicken

For step-by-step video instructions (and a delicious dinner), look no further than this easy paprika roasted chicken from Yummly. It's a great way for first-time cooks to see all the steps for roasting a chicken, from finding and removing the giblets, tucking the wing tips back and tying the legs with twine, to checking for doneness with an instant-read thermometer.

Smoked Paprika Roasted Chicken

Whole Roast Masala Chicken

The secret to this delicious (if non-traditional) Masala chicken recipe from Manila Spoon is, obvs, in the spice mixture, full of cinnamon, cumin, coriander, turmeric, ground cloves, and garlic. That, and the yogurt! Leave enough time for the chicken to sit in the refrigerator, covered with aluminum foil, for three hours before roasting for the best flavor.

Whole Roast Masala Chicken

Brown Sugar Butter Roasted Chicken

There are few things that are not made better with the addition of butter and brown sugar — including this roast chicken, by How Sweet It Is. A mixture of softened butter and brown sugar is rubbed all over a seasoned chicken, including underneath the skin, before roasting for about 1 hour and 20 minutes at 425 degrees. The salty-sweet combo is a winner.

Brown Sugar Butter Roasted Chicken

Buttermilk Roast Chicken

The best buttermilk roast chicken recipes hinge on soaking the chicken in a buttermilk brine for a not-insignificant amount of time — and for good reason. Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen, who we can thank for this recipe, writes, “Trust me, the difference between a two-hour soak and a day-long one is tremendous.” She uses chicken parts (I still prefer whole, which is why I usually use Samin Nosrat’s recipe) roasted at 425 degrees for 30 or 40 minutes, depending on your cut(s).

Buttermilk Roast Chicken

LEFTOVERS

My low-key vendetta against chicken parts is twofold. First and foremost, I love the way a whole chicken looks — there’s a ta-da to it, even though it’s still a relatively simple and affordable meal. And also, why roast individual pieces when you can have all the leftovers? Even in my house, where the fight for drumsticks and thighs has become so intense that I regularly make (or — shhhh! — buy) two chickens for two adults and two kids, we turn leftover chicken into any number of magical weeknight meals.

A couple of go-tos, beyond salads and sandwiches, include:

{Leftover} Rotisserie Chicken Soup

Soup is a famously easy way to put both the leftover white meat and the carcass to work. You can riff endlessly on this recipe from The Kitchen Is My Playground — I throw in leftover rice or pasta and often add dill or other fresh herbs.

Leftover Rotisserie Chicken Soup

Leftover Chicken Pie

In my household, we joke that my son’s favorite kind of pie is chicken pot pie. This version, from Gillian’s Kitchen, includes sausage as well. Mine doesn’t usually look as pretty, but it’s the taste that matters, right?

Leftover Chicken Pie

Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole

If your leftover chicken hasn’t already disappeared into quick tacos, nachos, or quesadillas, there’s this enchilada recipe from Jo Cooks, which is about as easy as it gets. With a mere 25 minute cook time, it's a great way to get dinner on the table in a hurry.

Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Roast Chicken Leftovers Curry

Leftover chicken gets the Indian treatment from Easy Peasy Foodie — with sweet potatoes to help stretch what chicken you have.

Roast Chicken Leftovers Curry

Want more chicken? Try one of these searches on Yummly!