Savory Rubbed Roast Chicken

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Bake: 2 hours + standing


12 servings

Updated: Jun. 30, 2023
In general, procedures for roasting meat apply to poultry, too. For this dry chicken rub recipe, a blend of paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and cayenne go on the skin and inside the cavity for a bright, spicy roast chicken. —Margaret Cole, Imperial, Missouri


  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 roasting chicken (6 to 7 pounds)
  • 1 large onion, cut into wedges


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, mix the first eight ingredients.
  2. Pat chicken dry and place on a rack in a roasting pan, breast side up. Rub seasoning mixture over the outside and inside of chicken. Place onion inside cavity. Tuck wings under chicken; tie drumsticks together.
  3. Roast 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reads 170°-175°. (Cover loosely with foil if chicken browns too quickly.) Remove chicken from oven; tent with foil. Let stand 15 minutes before carving.

Savory Rubbed Roast Chicken Tips

How long should dry rub sit on chicken?

Chicken can be cooked immediately after applying the dry rub. But to maximize flavor, refrigerate after applying the rub for at least one hour and up to 12 hours before cooking. (Any longer and the salt in the rub can cause a mushy texture.) By the way, this is the difference between dry rubs and marinades.

Which is better—dry rub or marinade?

Dry rubs and marinades work their magic in different ways. A dry rub will amp up the flavor of the chicken’s surface while a marinade will break down the fibers in the whole chicken for added tenderness. Serve your meal with sides that complement the roast chicken’s flavor, like watercress salad and roasted potatoes.

Should you wash raw chicken?

It is no longer recommended to wash or rinse raw poultry as juices can splatter on surrounding surfaces and spread bacteria. Instead, pat poultry dry with paper towels before preparing.

Research contributed by Catherine Ward, Taste of Home Prep Kitchen Manager

Nutrition Facts

4 ounces cooked chicken: 272 calories, 16g fat (4g saturated fat), 90mg cholesterol, 284mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 1g fiber), 29g protein.