Our Absolute Best Recipes For Cooking A Whole Chicken

By SAVEUR Editors - March 22, 2019

So you bought a whole chicken. Now what? Often, we make fantastic dishes from chicken thighs or stuff breasts with cheese or seasonings for flavor. But whether you’re whipping up a chicken dish in less than 30 minutes, or making chicken recipes from around the world, cooking with an entire chicken doesn’t have to be intimidating. From traditional southern fried chicken hailing from a North Carolina BBQ restaurant, to Chinese chicken baked in salt, we’ve rounded up our best whole chicken recipes so you can make use of the whole bird.

Pan-roasting—as opposed to slow-braising—renders the chicken skin golden and the meat tender and juicy for this dish with riesling cream sauce, chanterelles, and Swiss chard. Get the recipe for Pan-Seared Chicken with Riesling Cream Sauce, Chanterelles, and Chard »

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Similar to a shrub—a fruit syrup punctuated by vinegar—this blueberry sauce makes a bracing drink when mixed with club soda or booze. It's also the first step in a fruity vinaigrette and is a perfect glaze on oven-baked chicken. Keep in mind this is not a marinade. Brush it on toward the end of cooking and let the chicken soak up more of the sauce before serving. The final soak is key. Get the recipe for Blueberry BBQ Chicken »

Tim Robison

Cauliflower, leeks, and bay leaf infuse this chicken dish's luscious, reduced red wine sauce with flavor. Get the recipe for Chicken with Cauliflower and Leeks in Red Wine Sauce »

Beth Galton | Food Styling: Mariana Velasquez

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Encasing a whole chicken in salt before cooking insulates the bird, allowing for gentle, even cooking and resulting in extra moist meat. In Hainan, the bird is typically prepared in a wok set over low heat, but it can also be baked in the oven, as we do here. You can reuse the salt up to three times for other salt-baked birds; otherwise discard it. Get the recipe for Chinese Salt-Baked Chicken With Congee and Pickled Mustard Greens »

Jason Lang

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Chicken braised with wine and tomatoes is easy enough to put together on a weeknight (this recipe is ready in an hour), and you can adapt it for a whole chicken or your preferred mix of breasts, thighs, or drumsticks. Do go for bone-in meat for a richer and more flavorful sauce. Get the recipe for Chicken Cacciatore »

Joseph De Leo

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Paprika lends to the burnished skin and earthy sweetness of this roast chicken, its flavor brightened with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Set on a bed of pearl onions, carrots, garlic, fennel, and zucchini, the vegetables soak in all the bird's juices as it roasts. Get the recipe for Red Roast Chicken with Lemon and Garlic »

Farideh Sadeghin

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Though spiced in a familiar, jerk-like marinade, this chicken gets shallow-fried and then cooked down with caramelized aromatics until sticky and spicy-sweet. Get the recipe for Fricassee Chicken »

Matt Taylor-Gross

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Parker's BBQ in Wilson, North Carolina, famous for its Family Platter with shatteringly crisp fried chicken, goes through seven to eight thousand chickens a week. A favorite of chef Elizabeth Karmel's, this super-simple recipe lets the flavor of the chicken shine. Get the recipe for Parker's BBQ Fried Chicken »

Nicole Franzen

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At chef John Fleer's restaurant Rhubarb, in Asheville, North Carolina, dried morels are pulverized and rubbed onto the chicken before roasting to perfume the bird and help produce evenly browned skin. Fresh morels soak up the juices released from the chicken as it roasts. If fresh morels are not available, 1 oz. of dried and reconstituted morels will yield about 4 oz. of fresh. Get the recipe for Roasted Morel-Rubbed Chicken with Charred Lemon, Asparagus, and Potatoes »

Joseph de Leo

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Our version of this classic uses peeled garlic; after removing the chicken from the pan, keep cooking the garlic until the cloves have all but melted. Then, a quick spin with a whisk makes a smooth sauce well worth the effort of all that peeling. Get the recipe for Chicken With 40 Cloves of Garlic »

Penny De Los Santos