Juicy Roast Chicken with Dry Rub

There’s something about a roast chicken that brings to mind family dinners and happy times. It’s the sort of meal where the aromas fill the kitchen well before anyone gets to taste the first bite, which means everyone sits around talking and laughing while they wait. I hope these are the same sorts of memories my kids (and, eventually, grandkids) will be able to look on fondly as they make meals for their own families.

This is my grandma’s roasted chicken recipe. This is the juiciest roast chicken recipe I’ve ever tried; just a couple of little tricks make this one stand out from the crowd. I like that the ingredients are things I tend to have on hand like simple seasonings, margarine, and celery. All I really need to go out of my way to buy at the grocery store is the chicken itself!

It’s a recipe that works with bigger or smaller birds, though you may need to adjust your cooking times slightly depending on if your bird is bigger or smaller than three pounds. If you happen to have a meat thermometer, that will take all of the guesswork out of cooking times, just roast until you see the temperature hit the magical 180° mark.

Roast chicken gravy.

Gravy is often on the menu with a roast dinner and you certainly have that option here. In fact, with the dry rub drippings in the pan, you may find this roast chicken recipe will yield one of the best roast chicken gravies you’ll ever taste.

Making the gravy is simple. When you remove the chicken from the oven, move the chicken to a serving platter or cutting board while it rests. Then pour off all but 2-3 tablespoons of drippings from the roasting pan, place it on a burner on your stove at low to medium-low heat, then add 2 cups of chicken broth to the pan. In a small dish or cup, make a slurry with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 1-2 tablespoons of cold water (follow directions on your cornstarch package). Then add the slurry to your pan and bring the gravy to a simmer for one minute before serving.

Juicy Roasted Chicken with Dry Rub

3.8 from 112 votes


  • 1 (3 pound) whole chicken, giblets removed

  • 1 stalk celery, leaves removed

  • 1/2 cup margarine, divided

  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  • Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C).
  • Make dry rub by combing garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper in small dish.
  • In a roasting pan, season chicken generously inside and out with dry rub mixture, be sure to season under skin where skin is loose. Add 3 tablespoons of margarine to chicken cavity. Arrange remaining margarine in small dollops, pressing gently to adhere, around chicken exterior.
  • Cut celery in 4 pieces, and insert in the chicken cavity.
  • Bake uncovered 75 minutes, to internal temperature of 180° F (82° C). For best results, baste at 35 minutes with melted margarine and pan drippings (optional). Remove from oven and baste final time, then cover with tented aluminum foil. Allow chicken to rest 25-30 minutes before carving and serving.


  • You can easily add some vegetables to the bottom of your roasting pan to turn this into a complete one-pan meal. Whole carrots cut into thirds, red or yellow potatoes cut in half, or turnips and parsnips cut in pieces work beautifully.

Round this roast chicken out into a full healthy family meal that you can create all in one pan by adding some vegetables to the bottom of the roasting pan. The vegetables may slightly alter the cooking time of the chicken, so be ready to add a few minutes to your cooking time if necessary — and always rely on a meat thermometer to tell you when your chicken has reached a safe 180°F (or 82° C).

We cut a couple of whole carrots into three or four large pieces and throw them in the bottom of the pan. You could also take three or four whole red or white potatoes, cut them in half, and add them to the bottom of the pan as well. Other veggies that work well for roasting are parsnips and turnips. Thanks to the drippings from the chicken and the long cooking time, the vegetables will be seasoned perfectly and roasted to a delicious golden brown.

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