Dutch Oven Whole Chicken

4 mins read

Roast a whole chicken in the dutch oven with this easy recipe. This Dutch Oven Whole Chicken cooks in one pot with potatoes to create a complete meal that is perfect for any time.


A whole roast chicken is the perfect dinner any day of the week. It’s the perfect easy meal for your family or impress your guests with it at a dinner party. Instead of grabbing a rotisserie chicken from the store, make your own homemade whole roasted chicken in a dutch oven.

The recipe yields tender roasted chicken with a crispy and delicious skin. It’s a fool-proof way to create a delicious dinner every single time!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Prep the entire recipe in less than 15 minutes!
  • Everything cooks in one pot to make clean up easy.
  • It works well for a paleo, diary free or Whole 30 lifestyle.
  • Following this method results in moist chicken and crispy, golden-brown skin.
  • With simple seasonings and fresh lemon and garlic, the flavor is incredible.

Ingredients You Need

This dutch oven chicken recipe uses simple seasonings, fresh veggies and a whole chicken to create a delicious meal. You can easily make substitutions if you don’t have a particular ingredient on hand.

  • Whole Chicken: Use a whole chicken between 3 to 5 pounds. If you have a larger dutch oven, you can generally fit a larger chicken. A chicken larger than 3 pounds will require a longer cook time, so keep that in mind.
  • Fingerling Potatoes: You can substitute with any other white, yellow or red potato, if needed.
  • Other Veggies: You will need onions, celery and carrots. You can also use parsnips. You can omit the celery and carrots, but the onions are recommended for the best flavor. Use yellow or sweet onions.
  • Chicken Broth: Adds moisture and flavor.
  • Lemon: Fresh lemons are a must for the best flavor. If you really LOVE lemon flavor like I do, use up to 1-2 whole lemons.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: You can substitute the olive oil for unsalted butter.
  • Garlic: For the freshest flavor.
  • Spices: You will need fresh parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, dried thyme, paprika, black pepper and salt for this recipe. If you want to make it really simple, you can just use parsley, salt and pepper.

Equipment Needed

You will need a large Dutch Oven. One that is at least 5 1/2 quarts will generally fit a whole chicken. An oval shaped one is preferred to properly fit a whole chicken inside but I always use a round one with good results. A Dutch Oven is a versatile pot that you can use for other recipes likes soups, stews and more.

You will also need a Meat Thermometer and Kitchen Twine. You can go without kitchen twine in a pinch but it helps to secure the bird.

How to Make Whole Roasted Chicken in Dutch Oven

This entire dutch oven whole chicken recipe requires only 15 minutes of prep so most of the work is hands off oven time. The chicken roasts in the oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

  1. Let the chicken rest at room temperature while preparing the potatoes – First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, then lightly coat the bottom of a large Dutch oven with olive oil. Add the potatoes and toss them a bit to coat them with the oil, then set the pot aside.
  2. Stuff the cavity – Pat the inside and outside of the chicken dry, then stuff the cavity with the onion, celery, carrot, lemon, garlic and parsley. Add any remaining vegetables that don’t fit in the cavity to the dutch oven.
  3. Set the chicken in the Dutch Oven – Tie the legs together with kitchen twine and tuck the wings under the bird. Place the chicken, breast side up, in the Dutch oven.
  4. Season the chicken – Rub olive oil over the whole chicken, being sure to get some between the skin and the meat. Season evenly with the salt, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, pepper and paprika, then cover with a lid.
  1. Roast the chicken – Roast the chicken in the oven for 30 minutes, then take the pot out of the oven. Carefully remove the lid and pour the broth into the pot. Cover and return the chicken to the oven, roasting for another 30 minutes.
  2. Increase the oven temperature – Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and remove the lid. (You can baste the chicken at this point if you want to, but it’s not necessary.) Roast this way for 10 to 15 minutes, until the internal temperature of the chicken reads 165 degrees to 170 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant read thermometer.
  3. Let the chicken rest before serving – Remove the pot from the oven and place the chicken on a cutting board, tenting it with foil and allowing it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving and serving with potatoes.

If you don’t have a Dutch Oven…

You can prepare this recipe in a large roasting pan or casserole dish. However, you likely won’t be able to cover the chicken since a roasting pan doesn’t have a lid. Follow the same instructions but cook without a lid. If the chicken starts to burn or browns too quickly, cover the chicken with aluminum foil.

We don’t recommend making this chicken in a slow cooker since it will not yield crispy golden skin.


Tips to make the BEST Dutch Oven Chicken

  • Stuff the cavity: Add fresh flavors to the cavity including the onion, celery, carrots, lemon, garlic and parsley. This helps to ensure the best flavor from the inside out.
  • Season the outside of the chicken well: Don’t be afraid to use your hands to rub the olive oil all over the chicken. Separate the skin from the top of the breast and spread some olive oil or butter underneath the skin, being careful not to tear the skin. Then, season the bird all over with the spices. This helps to lock in moisture and create that nice golden brown crispy skin.
  • Roast low, then high: Roast the chicken at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for the majority of the cook time ~ 1 hour. Then, increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and remove the lid. Roast chicken uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes at the higher temperature to get the skin nice and crispy.
  • Check for doneness: The dutch oven whole chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Stick the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast, without touching a bone. Smaller chickens with roast faster so always check for doneness with a meat thermometer.
  • Let the chicken rest before serving: This helps to ensure that the juices redistribute back through the chicken. If you don’t let the chicken rest, the juices will flood out of a cut chicken. The juices are what helps keep the chicken juicy and flavorful so you don’t want that to happen.

What to Serve with Roasted Whole Chicken

This whole roasted chicken with potatoes works great as a meal on it’s own. But, if you’re looking to elevate the meal you can serve it with a few of our favorite side dishes.

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