Learn how to make a whole roast chicken in your dutch oven! This Dutch Oven Roast Chicken is a great way to cook your whole chicken so it's golden brown on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. Perfect to serve with your favorite side dishes!
If you're looking for an easy way to make the most succulent chicken, then let me share with you: Dutch Oven Roast Chicken!
All you need is a dutch oven (ovenproof dish with a lid), and an oven, and you can make the perfect whole roasted chicken. There's just a few minutes of prep time, then you stick it into the oven and let the Dutch oven make the perfect, juicy whole chicken!
You can make it plain, or add some flavors to the pot. For this recipe, I've added oranges, herbs, and a little smoked paprika.
What is a Dutch Oven?
A dutch oven is a heavy pot with a tight fitting lid that is used for slow cooking.
It is typically made of cast iron or enameled cast iron and has a handle on the lid and sometimes on the pot itself.
The dutch oven can be used on the stovetop or in the oven.
This special cooking pot is great to have in your kitchen because it can be used to make a variety of dishes including soups, stews, casseroles, and of course, roast chicken!
You can put a whole chicken in the dutch oven and have it cook in its own juices until its tender on the inside. Then, remove the lid, turn up the temperature and let the skin get brown and crispy.
The result is a perfectly cooked chicken that is a comforting way to add protein to your meals along with your favorite sides!
Why Make This Recipe
The dutch oven cooks food evenly making your chicken cook perfectly with crispy skin on the outside.
You can season the chicken in many different ways according to your taste preferences.
Once the chicken is cooking, there's little you need to do. This recipe is mostly hands off while cooking.
Roasted chicken is a comforting part of any meal and can be served with a meal or saved for meal prep or soup throughout the week.
- Whole Chicken - You'll need a chicken that is roughly 3 pounds in weight. You can find whole chickens in most grocery stores or at farmers' markets.
- Salt and Pepper - These get sprinkled on the chicken to balance and enhance the natural flavor of the meat.
- Oranges & Orange Juice - Adds a layer of aromatic citrus that brightens up the flavor. Optional.
- Butter - Gives the chicken a rich buttery flavor while helping the skin get nice and crispy.
- Seasonings - Dried Italian herbs, smoked paprika, and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary add a layer of smoky herb flavor to the chicken.
Please scroll down to the recipe card below for the full quantities.
Wondering how to make this Dutch Oven Roast Chicken recipe? It's easy!
Just follow this step-by-step photo tutorial. Then, scroll down for the recipe card for the full ingredients list and recipe method.
Prepare the oven: Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Get out your dutch oven and set it aside.
Prepare the whole chicken: Wash the chicken under cold water, remove and discard the giblets, and pat dry with paper towels. Season the chicken well with salt and pepper.
Mix the seasonings: Melt the butter, then stir in the orange juice, dried herbs, and paprika until fully combined.
Stuff the chicken: Wash the oranges, cut 1 orange into pieces, and put them inside the chicken.
Season the chicken: Place chicken backside up into the Dutch oven and brush with half of the orange herb butter. Turn the chicken, breast side up and thoroughly brush it with the rest of the flavored butter, rubbing it into the skin.
Add the flavorings: Cut the second orange into pieces and put it into the Dutch oven around the chicken, along with rosemary sprigs.
Roast the chicken in dutch oven: Cover the Dutch oven with a lid, place it into the oven, and cook for 60 minutes. Remove the Dutch oven lid, increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F and cook for 15 minutes or until the chicken is browned and cooked through.
Rest and serve: Allow the chicken to rest in the dutch oven for 10 minutes then remove carefully. Slice and serve with your favorite side dishes. Enjoy!
The safe internal temperature of chicken is 165F. To check for safety, use a meat thermometer and insert it into the thickest part of the chicken thigh.
If your dutch oven doesn't have a lid, you can use foil to create a makeshift one. Just be sure to seal it tightly around the edges so that no heat escapes while cooking.
Pat your chicken dry with paper towels thoroughly. This will ensure that the butter and seasonings stick to the chicken skin and that it gets crispy in the oven.
Be sure not to overcrowd your dutch oven. This will cause steaming rather than roasting. If you need a larger dutch oven, two smaller chickens can fit if they are placed side by side.
The chicken should rest for 10 minutes inside the pan to ensure that the juices redistribute. If you slice into it too soon, all those delicious juices will run out and your chicken will be dry.
Chicken safety: Wash hands, surfaces, and utensils thoroughly after handling raw chicken. Before serving, ensure the chicken is piping hot and thoroughly cooked, juices run clear and no pink color remains.
There are many different ways you can season your roasted chicken. Try these seasoning ideas below:
- Lemon and garlic: Add the zest of one lemon, along with minced garlic to the butter mixture.
- Chipotle lime: Omit the orange juice and add the zest of one lime and a tablespoon of adobo sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo.
- Herbes de Provence: Substitute the Italian herbs for herbes de Provence.
- Rosemary and lemon: Omit the oranges and add the zest of one lemon and a few extra sprigs of rosemary.
- Greek seasoning: Substitute the smoked paprika for Greek herb seasoning.
- Cajun seasoned: Add Cajun seasoning to the butter mixture.
Storage & Freezing
Cooled chicken can be placed into an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator for up to four days.
To freeze, place cooled chicken into an airtight freezer-safe container or bag. Freeze for up to four months. When ready to eat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight then reheat until warmed through.
To reheat, simply place sliced chicken onto a baking sheet and into a 350-degree oven until warmed through, about 15-20 minutes.
The dutch oven should be big enough so that the chicken fits snugly inside. If it's too small, the chicken will be overcrowded and won't cook evenly. If it's too big, there will be too much space and the chicken won't brown as well. A good rule of thumb is to use a dutch oven that's about the same size as your chicken.
It's not recommended to cook a frozen chicken in a dutch oven because it won't cook evenly. The best way to thaw your chicken is to place it in the refrigerator overnight so that it can slowly defrost.
There are so many delicious side dishes that go well with dutch oven chicken. Try serving it with roasted potatoes, sauteed vegetables, a simple salad, or rice. For a heartier meal, add some crusty bread on the side. Try it with Truffle Mashed Potatoes, or Air Fryer Baby Potatoes.
Dutch Oven Roast Chicken
- Dutch Oven
- 3 pounds whole chicken
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 oranges
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- ½ teaspoon Italian herbs dried
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- Sprigs of rosemary
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
- Wash the chicken, remove and discard the giblets, and pat dry with paper towels. Season the chicken well with salt and pepper. Wash the oranges, cut 1 orange into pieces and put inside the chicken.
- Melt the butter, then stir in the orange juice, dried herbs, and paprika.
- Place chicken backside up into the Dutch oven and brush with half of the orange herb butter.
- Turn the chicken, breast side up and thoroughly brush it with the rest of the butter, rubbing it into the skin.
- Cut the second orange into pieces and put into the Dutch oven around the chicken, along with sprigs of rosemary. Cover the Dutch oven with a lid, place into the oven and cook for 60 minutes.
- Remove the Dutch oven lid, increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F and cook for a further 15 minutes or until the chicken is browned and cooked through (the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F).
- Allow the chicken to rest in the pan for 10 minutes, so it stays juicy, then remove and carve as desired.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.