Garlic Butter Roast Chicken is the perfect whole roasted chicken for Thanksgiving. A whole chicken is slathered in a garlicky herb butter and roasted to golden perfection. 

whole roasted garlic butter chicken on a platter with fresh herbs

 Roasted chicken is one of those dishes that should be simple, the ingredients should be easily accessible, and the cooking method shouldn’t be complex.  The flavors of the chicken should be allowed to shine and gently complemented without being overpowered by seasonings.


Garlic Butter Roast Chicken is a whole chicken that is seasoned with a garlic compound butter which is rubbed inside and outside and underneath the skin.  As the chicken roasts, the garlic butter infuses the chicken with tons of flavor and creates a juicy, delicious roasted chicken. 


  • First step is to clean the bird, and around here we wash our chicken!  Remove giblets from inside a defrosted chicken – you can keep it to make giblet gravy or discard. 
  • Gently rinse with cool water inside and outside, you can even add a splash of vinegar to the water.  Remove any feathers, typically there are extras on the wings and legs. 
  • Pat dry inside and outside using a paper towel, removing any excess moisture from the skin will allow the chicken to roast well and makes the skin crispy.
whole roast garlic butter chicken on a platter, top view


The next step – and this is an important step, season well!  Season inside and out, and under the skin (more on that in a bit).  When you have a large piece of meat, such as a whole chicken, it requires a bit of seasoning so be generous, especially with salt and pepper.   Some of it drips off as the chicken cooks and releases its juices.   

  • Start by lifting the flap at the neck of the chicken and gently run your fingers in between the skin and the flesh to create a pocket for the garlic butter. 
  • Put a spoonful of the garlic butter between the skin and the flesh, then gently rub the outside of the skin to spread the butter across the chicken breast.
  • Rub inside of the chicken with a spoonful of the garlic butter, and stuff with half an onion.
  • Finally, rub the outside of the chicken generously with the remaining garlic butter, after all this is a garlic butter chicken! 
  • Truss or tie the legs together and tuck the wings back and under the chicken (see video on how to do so), this not only helps the chicken look more appealing if served whole, it also prevents the legs and wings from overcooking. 
whole roasted garlic butter chicken on a platter side view


Garlic butter is the key ingredient in Garlic Butter Roast Chicken. It’s a combination of simple herbs and spices but loaded with lots of crushed garlic.  Skip jarred garlic and crush it for maximum flavor!  Room temperature butter and olive oil makes it easy to mix together to form the seasoning for the Garlic Butter Chicken.

Room temperature butter

Olive oil

Lots of crushed garlic

Ground black pepper, freshly cracked which has even more flavor

A generous amount of salt

Fresh thyme that’s been removed from the stems and finely chopped

Fresh parsley, don’t discard the stems, chop stems and leaves because both have at a ton of flavor


Place the chicken in a baking pan.  Add chicken broth to the pan to keep the chicken from drying out.  It also helps the butter from burning.   There are many recipes that suggest lowering and raising the temperature at different times, this is not one of them.  Roast at 425 degrees until the chicken is golden brown and reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

If the skin of the chicken is golden or if the seasonings begins to burn, simply tent the chicken by loosely covering it will foil.  This allows the chicken to continue to cook on the inside while slowing down the process of cooking on the outside.


A whole roasted chicken is extremely versatile dish because it just keeps on giving.  It’s easy to use the leftovers in many other dishes such as soups, tacos, or rice dishes.  Use the leftover carcass to make chicken stock.  Here are a few ways to use up those leftovers:

Chicken Noodle Soup: shred leftover chicken and stir in at the end.

Bacon and Chicken Fried Rice: sauté diced chicken with onions, then fry up with rice, peas, carrots and seasonings.

Baked Chicken Alfredo Pasta: mix shredded chicken with pasta and alfredo sauce.  Top with shredded cheese and bake until bubbly.

White Chicken Chili:  Stir in shredded chicken.

Chicken Salad Sandwich: Mix diced chicken with honey garlic dressing, chopped grapes and slivered almonds.  Serve on toasted bread.

Chicken Puffs: Mix shredded chicken, dried cranberries, walnuts and scallion with mayo dressing.  Spoon into the middle of puffs.

whole roast garlic butter chicken on a platter, top view


Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 6
Whole chicken is slathered in a garlicky herb butter and roasted until golden brown and juicy.  


  • 6 lb. chicken
  • 4 oz. room temperature butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp chopped thyme
  • 2 tsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 onion
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Remove giblet and any feather from the chicken.  Rinse inside and out thoroughly.  Pat the skin and inside cavity dry with a paper towel.
  • In a small bowl, mix softened butter, olive oil, crushed garlic, thyme, parsley, black pepper and salt.
  • Place a heaping spoonful inside the cavity of the chicken then add onion.  Tie the legs together using kitchen twine. Tuck the wings under the chicken; *check video for tutorial.
  • Gently loosen the skin from the breast by running your fingers between the breast meat and skin.  Place a spoonful of garlic butter under the skin and spread.  Place the chicken onto a 13×9 roasting pan.
  • Rub the outside generously with remaining garlic butter.  Pour chicken broth into the pan then place into the oven.
  • Roast the chicken while periodically basting with the drippings from the pan.  If the chicken and seasonings starts to burn, loosely tent the chicken with foil, this prevents it from burning as it continue to cook.
  • Cook for about 1 ½ hours or until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees when using a meat thermometer.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before carving.


Author: Jehan Powell