Roast Chicken

Polio Arrosto

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as a main course

Appears in

How to Cook Italian

How to Cook Italian

By Giuliano Hazan

Published 2005

  • About

Julia Child once said that being able to make a good roast chicken is the mark of an accomplished cook. Here is a recipe that will make it easy for you to do just that. Rosemary and garlic flavor this distinctively Italian roast chicken. Begin roasting with the breast down to keep the meat moister.


  • 1 chicken, about pounds
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium cloves garlic
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F on regular bake.
  2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Sprinkle some salt and pepper inside the cavity. Lightly crush and peel the garlic cloves and place them inside along with one of the rosemary sprigs. Close the cavity on both ends with toothpicks.
  3. Rub the olive oil over the skin of the chicken. Chop the remaining rosemary leaves and sprinkle it all over the chicken along with some salt and pepper. Put the chicken breast down in a roasting pan and place in the oven. Calculate approximately 25 minutes cooking time per pound (1½ hours for a 3½-pound chicken). After roasting for one third of the cooking time, turn the chicken so the breast is facing up. After the chicken has roasted for two thirds of the total cooking time, switch the oven setting to convection heat and raise the temperature to 400°. If your oven does not have convection heat, simply raise the temperature to 425°.
  4. To check if the chicken is done, pierce the flesh near the leg joint to see if the juices run clear. If they do not, roast for another 10 minutes and test again. Remove from the oven and let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before carving and serving.


Roast chicken will keep in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. Serve leftovers cold or reheat in the oven at 350° or in the microwave.