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How to Roast a Chicken in a Dutch Oven

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Your enameled dutch oven is the perfect vessel for roasting a whole chicken. The results of juicy, succulent and taste like it just came off the rotisserie.

Seasoned roast chicken in large enameled dutch oven with cooking juices in the bottom.

Whole roasted chicken is one of those meals that feels special, but is really super simple to make. This recipe uses a enameled cast iron dutch oven to help the chicken stay super juicy and delicious. 

Once you get the basic recipe down, you can change up the seasoning to get a variety of results.  This is a recipe you will keep coming back to year after year.

Ingredients including raw chicken, lemon juice, oil, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and thyme ready to be mixed together and rubbed on chicken.

There is just something about roasting a chicken.  It smells so good the whole time it cooks and it comes out looking like something special.

Luckily it is super easy to do. It takes just a few minutes to prep and then about an hour and fifteen minutes in the oven. It is very little effort, the hardest part is the wait!

Using a dutch oven as you cooking vessel, you can start cooking it with the lid on.  That keeps all of those wonderful juices inside and helps keep the bird moist.

For the last fifteen minutes or so, you cook it with the lid off.  That gives the skin a chance to get that golden brown color we all love.

This is a great base recipe to get you started.  You can play with the seasonings all you want.

I like to keep the chicken up off the bottom of the pot while it cooks.  That helps keep the bottom from getting soggy.

I use a silicone trivet for that, but a small wire rack works just as well.  If you don’t have one, it isn’t necessary.  The chicken will be delicious either way!

Use the drippings and the carcass to make a great chicken stock later.  It will make the best soup or base for so many recipes.

Roasted chicken resting on cutting board before getting carved.

Tips and Tricks for Making the Best Roast Chicken

  • Make sure the chicken is fully defrosted before you start.  If it’s not, be sure to add extra time to the lid on portion of cooking.
  • Be sure to remove the bag of giblets from the chicken before you start.  You can save toss those in when making stock later if you’d like.
  • If you have any aromatics like a small onion, half a lemon, or a rib or two of celery laying around, feel free to put them in the cavity of the chicken. 
  • Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.  If you need to hold the chicken for longer than that, just put the lid on the dutch oven and let it sit.  The dutch oven will retain the heat for quite a while keeping your chicken nice and warm.
Chicken pieces on cutting board after being carved, showing juicy well seasoned meat.

Great Variations to Try:

  • Make a whole meal at once! Toss some chunks of potato, carrots and onion in the bottom of the dutch oven and let them cook with the chicken.
  • Make indoor beer can chicken. Make sure you have a rack in your dutch oven to hold the chicken off the bottom, then pour a can of beer in the bottom of the pan. Rub the chicken with your favorite bbq rub and cook according to the directions.
  • For an Italian version, sub Italian seasoning for the paprika.
  • For citrus and thyme version, add extra lemon and plenty of fresh thyme. 

I’ve been on a little cast iron love fest lately.  I recently wrote a post on why I love my enameled cast iron dutch ovens.

I also gathered up a ton of recipes that are perfect for cooking in a dutch oven. This chicken would be a fabulous addition to that list!

Seasoned roast chicken in large enameled dutch oven with cooking juices in the bottom.

How to Roast a Chicken in a Dutch Oven

Servings: 6 Servings
Author: Carlee
Your enameled dutch oven is the perfect vessel for roasting a whole chicken. The results of juicy, succulent and taste like it just came off the rotisserie.
4.88 from 8 ratings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes


  • 1 whole roaster chicken 5-6 pounds
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil


  • Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  • Put the chicken in the Dutch oven on a small rack if possible.
    1 whole roaster chicken
  • In a small bowl, mix together the spices.
    1 teaspoon sea salt, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, ¼ teaspoon dried thyme, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • Add the oil and lemon juice and stir to combine. Rub that mixture all over the outside of the chicken.
    2 Tablespoons lemon juice, 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Put the cover on the Dutch oven and place it in the oven for 1 hour.
  • Remove the lid and put the chicken back in the oven for about 15 more minutes. Use a meat thermometer to confirm the chicken has an internal temperature of 165℉. The juices should run clear and the legs and wings should be able to easily be pulled away from the chicken.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 76kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 4gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 365mgFiber: 1g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating


Monday 11th of November 2019

I love when we use our dutch oven - maybe because that usually means that my husband is doing the cooking!!! This roast dutch oven chicken sounds delightful.


Saturday 23rd of November 2019

Ha! I hear you. It makes such a moist chicken for sure.