Juiciest Thanksgiving Roasted Whole Smart Chicken

Follow this recipe and you will have the best tasting chicken on the planet. However, you must use Smart Chicken; that's the key ingredient that makes a world of difference.

1 (3 1/2 to 4 pound) whole Smart Chicken

1/4 cup warm melted butter

3 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 Tablespoon seasoning salt (you can use less)

2 teaspoons garlic or onion powder, your choice

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 Tablespoons cold butter, divided

1 small onion, quartered

1 large celery rib, coarsely chopped


1-2 whole lemons

2 (10 ounce) cans reduced-sodium chicken broth

  • Wash Smart Chicken well with cold water inside and out. Pat dry using paper towels. In a bowl mix together 1/4 cup melted butter with vegetable oil, then rub all over the outside of the Smart Chicken. Season Smart Chicken inside and outside with seasoned salt and black pepper. Sprinkle garlic or onion powder on outside of Smart Chicken.
  • Place the Smart Chicken into a glass dish; cover Smart Chicken tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  • When ready to roast, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Stuff onion quarters, chopped celery and/or a whole lemon or two and 2 tablespoons cold cubed butter into the cavity of the Smart chicken. Tie legs together with butcher's twine or heavy cotton string.
  • Place the Smart Chicken on a rack in a roasting pan. (For an even juicier breast meat, place breast side down on rack). Pour the low-sodium chicken broth into bottom of the roasting pan (keeps drippings from burning and makes a good base for gravy). Tent loosely with heavy foil.
  • Roast for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, basting with juice/liquid from the bottom of the roasting pan. Uncover and roast for about 20 minutes more (uncovered) or until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F. You can increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F during the last 20 minutes to get a crisp coating. Be sure to turn the breast right side up.
  • Remove from oven and let rest (covered with foil) for about 20 minutes before carving. Serves 4 to 6.

Note: If using lemon, poke it full of holes with a fork. If using regular salt instead of seasoned salt, you don't have to refrigerate it overnight.