Cooking a roast chicken is easier than you think with this simple technique that guarantees juicy chicken that’s full of flavor!
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. In small bowl, use spoon to stir together chili powder, oregano, salt, garlic powder, and pepper.
Transfer chicken, breast side down, to 12‑inch ovensafe skillet. Use paper towels to pat chicken dry on all sides. Use your hands to rub exposed side with 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with half of spice mixture.
Flip chicken breast side up. Rub exposed side with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with remaining spice mixture. Wash your hands.
Transfer skillet to oven and roast until breast registers 160 degrees and drumsticks and thighs register 175 degrees on instant-read thermometer (see photos, below), 50 minutes to 1 hour. (As you temp, make sure to keep the thermometer away from any bones—they can give you inaccurate readings.)
Use oven mitts to remove skillet from oven and place on cooling rack. Place oven mitt on skillet handle as reminder that handle is HOT. Insert wooden spoon into chicken cavity, hold outside of chicken with tongs, and transfer chicken to carving board. Let chicken rest for 20 minutes. (Do not discard drippings in pan.)
While chicken rests, in second small bowl, use clean spoon to stir water and cornstarch until dissolved.
Holding skillet handle with oven mitt, add cornstarch mixture to drippings in skillet and place over medium-high heat. Whisk to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Cook until mixture is boiling and slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Turn off heat and slide skillet to cool burner. Whisk in lemon juice.
You can change up the flavor of your roast chicken by using other combinations of spices and dried herbs. Experiment with what you have in your spice cabinet, or try one of these flavor profiles.
Spice-Rubbed Roast Chicken with Dill and Garlic: Omit chili powder and oregano. Add 1 tablespoon dried dill to bowl along with other seasonings in step 1.
Spice-Rubbed Roast Chicken with Coriander and Lemon: Omit chili powder and oregano. Add 1 tablespoon ground coriander and 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest to bowl along with other seasonings in step 1.
You just pulled this golden-brown roast chicken out of the oven and you’re dying to dig in—we get it. But trust us, it’s worth the 20‑minute wait to make sure that your chicken is as juicy as possible. Why? As chicken cooks, its muscle fibers contract, squeezing out liquid. Letting the chicken rest for a bit once it’s out of the oven allows those fibers to loosen up and draw that moisture back into the meat. If you carved your chicken right away, all of those juices would end up on your cutting board instead of in your chicken. And not to worry—after its 20‑minute rest your chicken will still be piping hot.