This simple whole roast chicken recipe will become your new staple. The dry brine technique results in flavorful meat and a crispy skin, and it’s SO, SO easy!

Cooked, whole roast chicken pieces in a glass dish with lemon and rosemary

Years ago, I discovered the key to getting a flavorful and moist roast turkey: the dry brine technique. It is so easy, it seems like something’s got to be missing. But everyone who’s tried it absolutely loves it.

I’ve been using the dry brine technique on roast turkey for years (to amazing results), so I don’t know why it took me so long to test it out on chicken. I finally got around to trying it on a whole roasted chicken, and it works every bit as well.

You get the same juicy, flavorful meat and crispy skin you expect from your favorite rotisserie chicken, and you can do it right in your own kitchen.

Browned roasted chicken legs

This technique / recipe is truly foolproof.

You only need two ingredients (chicken and salt), and the timing doesn’t have to be perfect.

Sometimes I’ve started the dry brine in the morning and cooked the chicken at night, and other times I’ve only left the salt on for an hour or two. Either way, it results in a delicious and flavorful roasted chicken.

Chicken covered in kosher salt to start the dry-brining process

Dry brined chicken after 24 hours

If you like, you can add some herbs or aromatics, but it is also good on its own. Because you’re not adding many other ingredients, it’s a great way to cook chicken that you plan to use in other recipes, or in sandwiches, soups, and salads.

Whole roasted dry brined chicken

Dry Brined Chicken: Frequently Asked Questions:

Will it get too salty?

If you use the correct amount of salt per weight of chicken, and distribute the salt evenly, the chicken should not be too salty. Just be sure that the chicken that you use is not already pre-brined or pre-seasoned in any way.

Do I need to rinse the dry brine before cooking?

No. In addition, leaving the meat un-rinsed results in a crispier skin.

What type of salt should I use?

Morton’s kosher salt is most readily available in the supermarket; however I prefer Diamond Kosher salt because it is less salty. If you do use Morton’s, use slightly less than the recipe calls for.

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Servings: 4

Dry Brine Roast Chicken

This simple dry brine technique results in juicy and flavorful chicken with a crispy skin.

Ingredients

  • 1 4 lb whole chicken
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt*, see notes
  • 1 tsp herbs, optional

Instructions

Dry Brine Instructions

  • Place the chicken in a baking dish and sprinkle with salt.
    Set uncovered in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Cooking Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400.
    Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting or baking pan. 
  • Roast for approximately 1 hour, or until internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees in its meatiest part. 
  • Let rest for 15 minutes before carving and serving.

Notes

When brining the chicken, you want to use approximately 1 tbsp of salt for every 4 lbs of chicken. If you have an 8 lb chicken, use 2 tbsp. If you've got a 6 lb chicken, use 1.5 tbsp.
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