A complete guide to perfect oven-roasted whole chicken glazed with an excellent sweet and spicy BBQ sauce: this easy-to-follow recipe makes the chicken super juicy, delicious, and tender.
When it comes to roasted chicken, the simpler the method, the better it will turn out. That is why I use a very simple dry rub for this recipe.
Dry-brine, or rub, is a spice mixture that contains at least two basic ingredients: salt and pepper. It not only helps to tenderize the meat but also to make the meat taste super delicious and look undoubtedly amazing.
You can go wild and crazy with chicken dry rub mixture as much as you want. It can be simple with only salt and pepper, or it can be over complicated with thousands of secret ingredients.
Ultimately, the flavor of the rub brings to the table is much more than just plain salty. At the end of the day it comes down to "How do you want roasted chicken to taste" while building the dry-brine/rub mixture.
Since I will glaze this roasted whole chicken with the amazing sweet and spicy BBQ sauce, I try not to go over complicated with the rub.
Essential ingredients for chicken dry rub
This basic rub only includes a short list of common and easy to find ingredients. Every rub should always start with a base of salt and pepper.
- Salt - I only use Kosher salt in all of my recipes. As a rule of thumb, the thicker the meat, the more salt you'll need in the rub.
- In this recipe, I only used 1.5 teaspoon salt for a regular commercial kitchen which weights about 2.5lb.
- Ground black pepper - I used finely ground black pepper in this simple whole roasted chicken.
- If you want a lot of texture of pepper appeared on the skin of the chicken, you can always opt out for coarse black pepper.
- Smoked salt - This ingredient is completely optional. I like to sprinkle a little amount of smoked salt on the surface of chicken to bring out the smoky taste without the use of the real smoker.
- If you don't use smoked salt, just add the same amount on top of regular Kosher salt called for.
- Garlic powder - Just don't use fresh garlic as it won't work for dry rub.
- Fresh garlic is too strong and will over power other ingredients. Not to mention it is easily to burn.
- Ground mustard seed - I used ground mustard to add a tangy heat to my roasted chicken without over power the rest of the ingredients. You can switch it out for onion powder if it is not available to you.
- Cooking twine - you need this to truss your chicken. I bought one of these twines since 2012 and it lasts forever.
- Cooking thermometer - a perfect tool to check for chicken doneness. This instant-read thermometer is all you need.
Chickens are best roasted at temperatures between 450F to 500F (or 230C to 260C) then finished roasting at a lower temperature for the last few minutes. This temperature range allows the chicken to cook quickly without causing the bird to dry out.
If a chicken is baked at 400F, it'll take around 18 minutes per pound (450gr) to finish.
If a chicken is baked at 450F, it'll take around 15 minutes per pound (450gr) to finish.
For this recipe, the chicken should not spend more than an hour in the oven.
The most common method is using a thermometer. Insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken, usually the thigh, and away from any bones. The chicken should be done cooking when its internal temperature reaches 165F - 170F.
Or you can determine roasted chicken doneness by looking at the color of its juice. If the juice from the cavity is clear that indicates roasted chicken is done. If the juice is cloudy or pink, the chicken is undercooked.
Chicken should be basted while oven roasted in order to help retain moisture. Additionally, basting with BBQ sauce helps bringing that juiciness for this oven roasted whole chicken.
You can baste chicken with its own juice. If the chicken is too lean, it will not produce enough fat for basting so you can use softened/melted butter or oil instead.
This BBQ sauce can be kept in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Oven Roasted Whole Chicken
- Instant read thermometer
- Cooking twine
- 1 whole chicken about 2.5lb
For BBQ Sauce
- In a sauce pan, combine all ingredients and warm gently over medium heat, stirring occasionally.1 c ketchup, ½ c water, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp white vinegar, 3 tbsp light brown sugar, ½ tsp ground cumin, ½ tsp Kosher salt, ½ tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- Do not bring the mixture to boil. Only warm enough for all ingredients dissolve completely.
- Once everything is incorporated, remove the pan from the heat. Let the sauce cool down to room temperature.
- Transfer the sauce to an air-tight container. It can be kept up to a month in refrigerator.
Dry brine the chicken
- Pat dry the chicken with paper towel.1 whole chicken
- Sprinkle dry-rub mixture all over the chicken, include its cavity and the back.1 tsp Kosher salt, ¼ tsp smoked salt, ¼ tsp ground black pepper, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp ground mustard
- Transfer the chicken to a clean pan, tuck the wing tips behind the shoulders, tie the legs using cooking twine if necessary.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let the chicken tenderize and absorb the dry-rub for at least 1 day (maximum 2 days) in the fridge.
Oven-roast the chicken
- Pre-heat the oven to 450F
- Take the chicken out of the fridge and let it cool down at room temperature for 15 minutes before roasting.
- Line a baking pan with heavy duty aluminum foil, place the chicken in the pan, breast side up.
- Place the chicken on the center rack of the oven and roast for 30 minutes.
- Turn the oven temperature to 460F.
- Take the chicken out and carefully flip it over using plastic or wooden spatulas.
- Return the upside down chicken to the oven and continue to roast for 10 minutes.
- After that, take the chicken out and brush an even layer of BBQ sauce all over the back of the chicken.
- Flip the chicken back to breast side up.
- Continue to cook for 5 minutes, then brush another layer of BBQ sauce on the breast side.
- Cook for another 5 minutes. The chicken should be done cooking at this time.
- Take the chicken out of oven, let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then serve.
How long to bake a whole chicken in the oven?
- If a chicken is baked at 400F, it'll take around 18 minutes per pound (450gr) to finish.
- If a chicken is baked at 450F, it'll take around 15 minutes per pound (450gr) to finish.
- For this recipe, the chicken should not spend more than an hour in the oven.
How do I know a whole roast chicken is done?
- The most common method is using a thermometer. Insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken, usually the thigh, and away from any bones. The chicken should be done cooking when its internal temperature reaches 165F - 170F.
- Or you can determine roasted chicken doneness by looking at the color of its juice. If the juice from the cavity is clear that indicates roasted chicken is done. If the juice is cloudy or pink, the chicken is undercooked.
Besides BBQ sauce, what else can I baste oven roasted chicken with?
- You can baste chicken with its own juice.
- If the chicken is too lean, it will not produce enough fat for basting so you can use softened/melted butter or oil instead.
How long can this sweet and spicy BBQ sauce be good for?
- This BBQ sauce can be kept in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Disclaimer: this recipe was originally published on Oct 25, 2020.