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Sweet Basil Roasted Chicken

Sweet Basil Roasted Chicken is moist, juicy, and the ultimate Sunday supper. This chicken recipe starts with a basil rub that is made with simple blend of spices found in the pantry including basil, of course, along with paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder.

Sweet Basil Roasted Chicken in a Dutch oven on a table

Sweet Basil Roasted Chicken

Here’s one chicken that is worthy of a being the main event at your next Sunday supper without causing too much fuss for the cook. I have to admit I was a little intimidated the first time I roasted a whole chicken.

After trying this recipe several years ago, though, I learned that making roast chicken is actually one of the easiest home cooked meals to prepare. All you need is a little time.

A bowl of spices on a table, with Sweet Basil Roasted Chicken


  • A whole roasting chicken — choose a 6 to 7 pound whole chicken or hen. Some brands come with their own pop-up thermometer for convenience.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil — helps promote a crispy skin
  •  Kosher salt — enhances flavor and also acts as a tenderizer
  • Granulated sugar — for just a touch of sweetness
  • Dried basil — in this recipe dried herbs are preferred over fresh
  • Garlic powder — do not use garlic salt
  • Onion powder — do not use onion salt
  • Sweet paprika — or use smoked paprika
  • Lemon juice — to brighten and enhance the rub
  • Black pepper — for seasoning


Do the prep work, start baking, and then take a Sunday nap until dinner is ready!

  1. Start with a 6-7 pound roasting hen. Remove all the parts from the cavity, and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Truss, or tie the chicken legs together.
  2. Place the hen in a dutch oven or roasting pan.
  3. Combine the olive oil, spices, sugar and lemon juice to make a rub.
  4. Use your hands and rub the spice blend all over the chicken.
  5. Bake uncovered for two hours in a 350-degree oven.

How to truss a chicken

  1. With the chicken breast side up and the legs facing you, tuck the wing tips behind the breasts.
  2. Grab a long length (about 3 feet) of kitchen twine, slide it under the chicken, and pull it up to snug up the sides of the legs.
  3. Cross it over and form a figure eight around the legs.
  4. Tighten the twine to squeeze the legs in, then wrap the twine around the side of the chicken and tie a double knot with the twine at the back of the bird.
A chicken in a dutch oven, with Sweet Basil Roasted Chicken

How do you know when the chicken is done?

The United States Department of Agriculture recommends cooking all poultry (breasts, whole bird, legs, thighs, wings, ground poultry, giblets, and stuffing) to an internal temperature of 165°F to kill bacteria.

The most accurate way to measure the internal temperature of cooked chicken is with a meat thermometer, an instant read thermometer (or digital thermocouple thermometer).

Always test for doneness by checking to make sure the juices run clear or that a thermometer inserted into the inner thigh reads 165°F degrees.

Sweet Basil Roasted Chicken in a Dutch oven on a table

Should you roast a chicken covered or uncovered?

With roasting, the chicken is left uncovered while cooking so the skin gets crisp and brown.

This is achieved by preheating to the proper temperature for the recipe before placing the food in the oven. Although it may seem elementary, the secret to properly roasting chicken is making sure there is consistent heat surrounding the poultry in the oven.

Slow cooker instructions

Although this recipe for roasted chicken is for conventional roasting in the oven, it can easily be adapted for a slow cooker. Keep in mind in order to get a crispy golden skin, stick with roasting it in the oven.

For the slow cooker, cook on high for 4 – 5 hours or on low for 8- 10 hours until the juices run clear.

A plate of food on a table, with Sweet Basil Roasted Chicken

More easy chicken recipes

Here are a few of my favorite ways to serve chicken for dinner at our house:

  • Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken — This EASY chicken dinner takes just 10 minutes to prep, requires very few ingredients, and is a healthy no-fuss meal!
  • Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole —  Chunks of chicken in a creamy sauce with a crunchy topping of Ritz crackers, poppy seeds, and almonds. Pure comfort food!
  • Cheesy Chicken Mac Casserole — A casserole of rotini pasta tossed together with juicy rotisserie chicken in a homemade cheddar cheese sauce with a crunchy topping.
  • Chicken Dijon — A fresh twist on the French classic, Chicken Dijon is infused with minced rosemary and simmers to perfection in a creamy white wine Dijon mustard sauce. 
  • Chicken Fried Rice — Make Chicken Fried Rice at home that’s as good as Chinese take-out! It’s easy and delicious when you know about the “secret” ingredient. 
  • Even more chicken recipes!

Let’s cook!

Make it a complete meal by roasting vegetables at the same time and in the same pan along with the chicken.

Toss in potatoes, carrots, onion, even sweet potatoes, for a complete no-fuss home-cooked meal your family will love.

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