This is how to make a dutch oven whole chicken! It’s super easy and flavorful using this method. Tender oven baked whole chicken inside a cast iron pot is the only way to go for me now! You’ll never go back after you’ve tried this and other dutch oven recipes.
I am new to using a dutch oven but LOVE it already! The first thing I tried was this dutch oven whole chicken. It turned out tender and moist with literally no effort from me (other than prepping it). Just one of the easy dutch oven recipes my family loves. (originally published 11/17, affiliate links present)
Using fresh vegetables I had at home I stuffed the cavity full to absorb the juices while it was cooking, and those came out really flavorful as well.
You may never cook it another way ever again after this…….
If you’re new to using this enclosed cast iron pot, let me share a little information:
Dutch oven chicken
- Cast iron dutch oven <—-I have this 7 quart model
- Whole chicken
- Vegetables (I used celery, onion, and carrots)
- Seasoned salt – this is our favorite
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- 4-5 potatoes to use as a stand, and eat when it’s done
The drippings underneath will answer the question of what is chicken broth truly when made homemade. Don’t throw that out! Create a bit of a cornstarch slurry to thicken it into a wonderful gravy.
I don’t really measure when it comes to adding herbs on a chicken, but approximated 1 tbsp of each in the recipe below. If you use garlic powder with everything for flavor then by all means include that.
In the past Lawry’s seasoned salt was my go to. If I am lazy I will still use that but now I tend to mix my own up. I am sure you have your favorites so go with it….
- This is what my dutch oven roasted chicken looked like once I prepped it with all the herbs and spices.
I generally just sprinkle each one on until the whole thing is covered to enhance the flavor of the chicken skin.
This will permeate the chicken itself a bit while it is cooking too. It’s great with vegetables as well.
How do I keep a whole chicken from drying out in the oven?
Keep it covered. That is what is great about this cast iron pot. It creates great steam inside until it is tender as ever. Then just at the end you will remove the lid to brown the top. That isn’t necessary either but I recommend that extra step.
What vegetables can I add into the pot?
- Halved russet potatoes – like we did and used them as trivets underneath
- Stuffed with carrots, celery and onions are great to add flavor naturally
- White wine is fabulous but I guess you could use broth instead
- I wouldn’t add rice, just cook that separately
Once prepped place the chicken breast side up into your pot.
Instead of using a trivet I like to use medium sized potatoes as a stand to keep the chicken off the bottom so it doesn’t get soggy skin. This makes the potatoes flavorful as they are in the drippings. They might be your favorite part actually! This will be the best cooked chicken dinner you’ll ever have.
Chicken in a dutch oven is not only a cheap meal but healthy too. It’s gluten free, keto friendly, and packed with protein.
What is the best thing to cook in a dutch oven?
Beyond this one you see here we have a few other favorites to suggest to you such as;
- The best dutch oven stew is here. If you want to make veggies separately, try these air fryer carrots.
- Sweet dutch oven peach cobbler is delish.
- You could easily make our 5 ingredient chili in this pot over a campfire or in your oven.
You can even bake bread in a Dutch Oven! A great side dish for any dinner really. My girls like to help with this one.
Note – Cook time will depend on how large your bird is. Always use a meat thermometer to check internal temperature inside middle of breast before eating. It should be at least 165 degrees to be safe.
Time needed: 3 hours.
Dutch Oven Whole Chicken
Rinse your chicken. Take items, if any, out of cavity and discard.
Poke your potatoes and put them in the bottom of your dutch oven in the middle so your chicken can sit upon them and not fall over.
- Add vegetables
Rinse vegetables: Take top layer of onion off and cut in fourths.
Put 1/2 of onion inside chicken cavity as well as a few pcs of carrots and celery cut into large chunks so they don’t overcook.
- Add the chicken
Put chicken in middle of pot with breast side facing up. Put remaining veggies on the outside of your chicken inside the pot itself.
Rub olive oil on chicken skin, and season skin with seasonings of your choice (I use Lawry’s, oregano, garlic powder, etc).
Put your lid on and put in a preheated oven at 300 degrees for approximately 3 hours. Check after 2.5 hrs to see if chicken is at a safe 170 degrees using a meat thermometer and putting it inside the breast area.
You don’t want to overcook it, and 3 hrs is perfect for our oven but each one differs slightly so just check.
- Brown chicken skin
Then remove your lid and cook with lid off for 15 – 20 minutes to brown the skin.
As always you will want to let the meat rest when you take it out. From 15 minutes to 30 minutes is good. Then when you slice it the meat will remain super tender. Slicing early will dry it out.
Dutch oven cooking at it’s finest I tell you.
- If you’ve only tried chicken in a slow cooker before this is a nice change!
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Dutch Oven Whole Chicken
- Rinse your chicken. Take items, if any, out of cavity and discard.
- Poke your potatoes and put them in the bottom of your dutch oven in the middle so your chicken can sit upon them and not fall over.
- Rinse vegetables, take top layer of onion off and cut in fourths.
- Put 2 pcs of onion inside chicken cavity as well as carrots and celery in large chunks so they don't overcook.
- Put remaining veggies on the outside of your chicken inside the dutch oven. Rub olive oil on top of meat, set inside on top of potatoes with the breast side facing up. Season outside of chicken skin with seasonings of your choice (I use Lawry's, oregano, garlic powder, etc).
- Put your lid on and put in a preheated oven at 300 degrees for approximately 3 hours
- Check after 2.5 hrs to see if chicken is at a safe 170 degrees using a meat thermometer and putting it inside the breast area.
- You don’t want to overcook it, and 3 hrs is perfect for our oven but each one differs slightly so just check.
- Then remove your lid and cook with lid off for 15 minutes to brown the skin.