Simple Slow Roasted Pastured Chicken
One of the simplest pleasures I enjoy during the fall and winter months is pulling a slow roasted chicken out of the oven for dinner.

I remember years ago thinking that cooking a whole chicken was surely the hardest thing I could possibly do in the kitchen, but as it turns out I actually crave roasted chicken dinner night because it is so very simple. And while there usually ends up being a fight of sorts over dividing up the insanely delicious crispy skin, it really is a family favorite dinner, comforting and nourishing.

Simple Slow Roasted Pastured Chicken
I usually get a load of root veggies like carrots and potatoes right into the pan with the chicken and it really turns into a one pot meal requiring very little hands on time!

Simple Slow Roasted Pastured Chicken
I have found slow roasting to work particularly well with cooking a pastured chicken as they tend to be leaner. They can come out quite dry if you don’t cook them right. You won’t be disappointed with this method of slow roasting – the meat literally falls off the bone!

Simple Slow Roasted Pastured Chicken
It is so worth finding a trustworthy farmer that pastures their chickens to supply you with delicious, nourishing meat throughout the year. If you are unsure of where to start, head out to your farmer’s markets or your local WAPF chapter and ask around! The nutritional profile of animals that have been on pasture is far superior to that of conventional meat.

Simple Slow Roasted Pastured Chicken

Renee -
Slow roasted chicken gives you the best flavor and makes a simple meal really come alive.
4.89 from 9 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 45 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 whole pastured chicken mine are usually around 6 pounds
  • 2-3 carrots coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 celery stalks coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium onion coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups white wine bone broth, or water
  • Butter or coconut oil for the outside of the chicken
  • Sea salt pepper, and thyme to sprinkle the outside of the chicken


  • Wash out the chicken, pat dry, and tie up the legs with cooking twine.
  • Put the veggies in the bottom of your roasting pan along with the wine (or bone broth or water).
  • Put the chicken BREAST DOWN in the roasting pan and roast at 250 degrees with the lid ON for 3 hours.
  • After 3 hours, flip the chicken to BREAST UP, butter the skin, sprinkle with seasonings.
  • Roast another 45 minutes with HEAT UP to 350, and with lid OFF.
  • Let your chicken rest for a few minutes outside of the oven before cutting.
Keyword how to roast a whole chicken, roasted chicken recipe, slow roasted whole chickenm
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  • I usually serve our chicken with whatever veggies are in season along with the carrots from the roasting pan. In the fall we have a lot of roasted squash and creamed or buttered greens alongside – I just put the squash in the oven right along with the chicken for the last hour or so. In the winter I put quartered potatoes down into the pan with the carrots and use up my freezer stash of garden veggies. In the spring time we love having side salads or roasted asparagus!
  • Pour out the juices from the bottom of the pan into a sauce pan, bring to a simmer, and whisk in some white rice flour to make a gravy if you wish! Add sea salt and pepper to taste – it is so good!
  • I have 2 roasting pans of different sizes that I use depending on what I am putting in the pan. If I am just doing the chicken with the basic veggies from above I use my smaller roasting pan. If I am getting potatoes down into the pan I use my larger roasting pan.
  • Use any leftover chicken for any chicken dishes you love, salads, or wraps! I love using it in soup like chicken noodle or chicken stew, or in casseroles to make the meat stretch another dinner or 2.
  • Change up the seasonings to your families taste! All purpose season, rosemary, or even just simple salt and pepper all work great!

This post was shared at Fat Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, & Allergy Free Wednesday!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I wish there was a place in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where I could get pastured chickens, or meat of any kind that are not fed the conventional way. I have found someone who sells eggs, but doesn’t sell anything else. There are no co-ops close by that sell organic foods. I do find meats that say they are organically grown in the grocery store, but that still is not from local farmers.

    By the way your Simple Slow Roasted Pastured Chicken looks wonderful. When I was growing up this is the way we cooked and I have started cooking this way again. It looks wonderful.

    1. Hi Nellie πŸ™‚ Have you looked for a local WAPF chapter near you – up in the Tips section there is a link and you can look it up – they would be most helpful in helping you find a source. Also the Eat Wild site has state by state look ups on sourcing – here is Alabama :: Also the real milk site has a state by state look up on real milk but many of the raw milk farmers also provide meat of some kind – here is Alabama maybe there is something near you ::

  2. This looks perfect. Roasted chicken is one of those foods that is so simple and yet it tastes like the best food on earth. Wonderful instructions and photos to inspire, thanks!

  3. Hi,

    What size pan do you use when roasting the chicken alone? When clicking the link for “smaller” and “larger” pans, both go to the 18″ roasting pan. I’ll be making this recipe over the weekend. Thank you πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Katherine! Oh I’m so sorry it did that – it looks like it defaults to that 18 inch one no matter which one I click – thank you for saying something! I use the 15 inch one if I am just doing the chicken and the basics. Hope that helps – enjoy your dinner this weekend πŸ™‚

  4. The pictures look gorgeous and the process is quite simple. Could you explain how you flip the chicken in the roasting pan? I have visions of grease splatter all over. Thanks

    1. Hi Stephanie! That is a great question! I use a long pair of tongs and get inside the cavity and just sort of “roll” it over. It isn’t always perfect πŸ˜‰ I have used a wooden spoon inside the cavity to lift it up before and just a fork or something on the outside to help it turn. Hope that helps!

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  6. While I really love the way a whole roasted chicken looks when served, and your photos look so enticing to me, I like to cut my chicken down the middle in order to crisp the entire skin. It is referred to as “butterfly” chicken. Do you think your breast up and breast down method will achieve the same result? I believe you saw my recent photograph of the “butterfly” chicken method that I posted. Instead of making gravy with white rice flour, I highly recommend kudzu root! I am not sure if I may link to an article I’ve found about the benefits of kudzu root. If you have an interest, let me know and I will. I learned about kudzu root from Jessica Prentice, who wrote “Full Moon Feast” and whom I have taken a number of cooking classes from when I lived in San Francisco. She is one of the worker/owners of Three Stone Hearth, a community supported kitchen.

    1. Hi Sandrine! Yes we love a butterflied chicken! Yum – the skin is a hot item here! Ha! I actually use arrowroot for thickening our gravy a lot too, which I believe is a flour you recommend as well. Sometimes the rice flour is a bit more budget friendly for my family. I do like kudzu root as well!

      1. I did forget to answer your question about the breast up/down method – the skin on the top will only get browned and crispy so this method would not get the entire chicken skin browned.

  7. Beautiful pictures Renee! We roast a pastured chicken once a week, and use the bones for broth and then hopefully have leftovers for lunch the following day. I say hopefully as with my husband and a growing teenage boy in the house it is often the case most of the meat is consumed from our first meal. One of my favorite things to do with leftover chicken besides making soup is to make homemade chicken salad with my mayonnaise recipe. It’s really delicious over lettuce and other vegetables, and with a homemade dressing either olive oil-based or something with cultured dairy such as yogurt or buttermilk.

    We have not tried butterflying a chicken yet, that’s on my list!

    1. Thank you Raine! I can only imagine you go through most of the chicken in one sitting with a growing boy! To be honest now that Caitlyn is table side eating the same stuff we are we definitely go through most of a chicken now! I can’t imagine how the teenage years will be!

  8. 4 stars
    I am a very experienced cook but figuring out how to cook pastured meats (as opposed to conventional) has been sorta hit-n-miss. I think this method irons out some of the problems I have been having. Particularly, turning over the chicken and turning up the heat for the last bit.

    I will be trying this with a turkey breast I am cooking for Christmas day. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

    1. 5 stars
      Yes I understand! One of the most basic things to remember when cooking a farm-raised animals is that sitting in a factory farm building and eating grain all day results in a very fatty (in an unhealthy way) animal. Being allowed to move around works the muscles, making them tougher; and not being fed grain at all (which is a completely man-made practice) makes the animal lean. This means you’re going to have to change over your cooking methods over to lower and slower. Almost everything chefs learn in cooking school becomes obsolete when they start to cooking pastured animals.

  9. I made this last night in my Pamp chef red stone roaster. This was sooo good. I made it late, so i could not eat it right away. I put it in the fridge until after work. The broth had gelled up beautifully around this delicious chicken. I pulled out the bones and removed all the meat. So good! Then I put All the scraps in the crockpot and have it cooking to make bone broth, on low 24 hours right? . I am thinking the wine helped extract all the gel off the bones. I did add the gel and veggies back to the crockpot too. Thank you for a great success on my first cooking journey with a whole chicken and making bone broth. ! I have made many turkeys and never knew what to do with all those bones soup jus seemed silly with out understanding the benefits of the broth… Got it. Now will collect discarded chicken bones and make broth! Thanks…

  10. Hi Renee,

    I have a pasture-raised chicken I got yesterday and want to roast it today. My chicken in only 3.5 pounds. The chicken in your recipe is about 6 pounds. I never slow-roasted a whole chicken before so I am bit nervous and don’t want to mess it up as I spent $17.50 on this chicken! I even purchased the roaster from Amazon that you recommended.

    My question is….would the roasting time change (reduce) based on the size of the chicken? Please advise.

    Thanks in advance! πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Swarna! Yes you can probably back off on the cook time just a little – maybe just a couple hours breast down – and then you will still want about the 40ish minutes breast up so it gets nice and crispy πŸ™‚

  11. Hi Renee,

    Thanks for the response! I reduced the bake time to 2.25 hours at 250 degrees and followed the recipe accordingly for the remaining steps. It turned out great. Meat was so soft and falling apart! And yes, the skin was so yummy. We enjoyed it. This is one my weekly menu atleast once for the rest of the fall & winter.

    Bone broth getting simmered with the bones from the roast chicken πŸ™‚

    Have a great day:)

  12. This sounds great. I am going to try this. Do you put the chicke on the bottom of the pan or on a grate? Thanks

  13. Hi Renee,
    I am so glad to find your site! I have found a source for pastured chicken but they are usually less then 5 lbs. and I find them to be tougher then the chickens the stores so slow cooking seems like a perfect answer. Since they are smaller then your 6 lb. birds how long would you cook a bird less then 5 lbs?

    1. Hi Mary Ann! Yep sometimes I have those little 5 pounders – when I have those I do cook in the beginning a little shorter – maybe 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Keep the 45 minutes when you flip the same so the skin gets nice and crispy πŸ™‚

      1. Hi again Renee! I’ve made this recipe quite a few times now and we’ve really been enjoying it! Just a few questions. I ended up using my crock-pot insert with an oven proof lid. It works alright but I can’t quite stuff as many vegetables underneath as I would like. If I used a glass baking dish how would I cover it? Would it work to leave it uncovered? Also, our pastured chicken seller tends to have bigger birds lately, about 7 pounds. In the past, mine have turned out a little dry. Do you think I could roast a 7 pounder with these same times and temps and still have it cooked through? My biggest goal is to avoid dry meat because my littles eat it much better if its softer and easier to chew. Thanks in advance!

        1. Hi Amanda! The chicken really does need to be covered, so I’m not sure how you could do that using a glass baking dish. I use this simple roasting pan with lid (, which you should be able to find just about anywhere! The 7 pounder might need an extra 15-20 minutes of time on the breast down part of the cooking πŸ™‚

  14. 5 stars

    Thank you for posting this great recipe. I had a few issues with it and was hoping you could provide some tips to adjust my cooking time. The birds I am getting (local, pasture-raised and amazing) are just shy of 5 pounds. I put it in for 3 hours at 250, with water and veggies in a large roasting pan (quite a bit larger than the bird, it can fit a turkey). It does not have a lid so I covered it with foil. I took it out and brushed it with melted butter and sprinked the seasonings. The recipe does not specify what to do with the garlic, so I just mixed in some minced garlic with the butter. I put it back in at 350 uncovered for 40 minutes. When I took the bird out it was a bit overdone (180 F) but not dried out, savory and delicious.

    The birds I get have a hearty skin and it did not crisp up very well like you have in your pictures. But because the bird was already at 180 I did not want to nuke it under the broiler. The veggies below were also a little underdone and watery, but that was easily fixed by adding some olive oil and cooking them for another 15 minutes at 400 while I let the chicken rest and carved. I then drained the liquid which turned into a phenomenal gravy and roasted the veggies for another 10 minutes or so at 400 to give them some carmelization.

    What could I adjust in the recipe to get the skin crispier but not overdo it with a smaller bird? Maybe a higher temp and shorter time uncovered, or factor in broiler time? Should I be using coconut oil instead of butter?


    1. Hi JD! Thank you for the great description – it helps me know how to help you. I would definitely go lower time – just 2 hours should be fine covered and then crisp the skin up with the temp higher for about 45 minutes. I prefer the taste of butter or olive oil over coconut oil so I would do that πŸ™‚

  15. Good morning Renee,

    Wondering about the lid for the roasting pan, mine didn’t come with one so how could I get around that? Also, my chicken is 7.86lbs would you increase time? How much?

    Thanks can’t wait to try this.

  16. I’m just wondering how this is 6 hours 40 min? Do we cook an additional 3 at 350? Or is it only 3 hours and 45 min total after prep?

  17. Thank you! We just raised and butchered 80 Freedom Ranger chickens on pasture. I roasted a couple at 425Β° for a shorter time period and the meat was still a bit tough and had a bit more β€˜bite’ to it than I wanted. I was happy to find your method specifically for pastured poultry. They’re in the oven now and the meat is falling off the bone. Thank you!!

  18. In the recipe title it says it will take 6 hours and 40 minutes, but in details it says to roast breast down for 3 hour and then flip it to breast up and roast another 45 minutes . This doesn’t add up to 6 hours and 40 minutes . Please advise. I am roasting two pasture raised chicken tomorrow, TIA

    1. Hi Lone! I am so glad you caught that – this is a very old recipe, and years ago I did a recipe card plug-in change where some of my older recipes didn’t translate the hours correctly. This is one I didn’t catch! Thanks – I have changed it!

  19. I tried this with my pasture raised chicken and it was fantastic! This is my go to recipe all the time! I am wondering if I can do the same procedure with a pasture raised turkey?
    I have one in my freezer begging to be cooked. I’m so afraid of tough rubbery turkey, however. I know these are not like conventional store bought turkeys. Your input?
    Thank you for your blog and recipes!