Spicy Honey Whole Roasted Chicken

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Now, If you follow my friend Mel, you’ve probably seen the rock salt roasted chicken she raves about.  I’ve honestly never had much luck with oven-roasted whole chickens so I was excited to give her unique method a try.  Then I noticed her Honey BBQ version and when I saw it was rubbed in a seasoning mix and glazed with honey, I knew exactly what I was going to do.

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One our most beloved recipes around here is this Spicy Honey Chicken (if you don’t like spicy, don’t be turned away, I actually make it with zero heat.)

They’re spice-rubbed chicken thighs, grilled to perfection and then drenched in the most amazing honey-apple-cider-vinegar glaze.  I decided to marry these two recipes together and it proved to be a good decision.

Roasted Honey Glazed Chicken

So the interesting thing about this method is that your chicken roasts on top of a pile of rock salt.

Roasted Honey Glazed Chicken

I don’t know all the science-y answers as to why this works, but I do know that salt does magical things to meats; it’s why we brine so many cuts of meats in a salt water solution before cooking, and why when you let a steak sit salted, at room temperature before grilling, it turns out a million times better.  And no, none of these things make your food actually taste overly salted.  So for this recipe you’ll want an entire box of rock salt, often labeled “Ice Cream Salt”.  You can find it near all the other salt at the grocery store, often on the bottom shelf.  The entire box cost me $1.27 so it’s not expensive.

Roasted Honey Glazed Chicken

You’ll spread it out in a 9×13 pan and your chicken will sit right on top of it.  I stuffed a lemon, and parsley and garlic inside the bird and then rubbed my chicken down with our Smoked Bacon Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  This is such a perfect use for that oil; it adds the perfect smoky, meaty flavor.

Bacon Olive Oil

Then I sprinkled on our Spicy Honey Spice Mix of  garlic, chili powder, onion powder, coriander, kosher salt, cumin, and chipotle chili powder (if you don’t want any heat, go light on the chipotle or leave it out all together.)

Best Roasted Chicken Recipe

You’ll roast the chicken on one side for half the time, then flip it over and finish roasting.  My Dad always did this with our Thanksgiving turkey, with the idea that roasting breast-side down at first causes the juices to accumulate in that part, and flipping them over at the end creates a nicely browned, but super juicy breast section.

Best Roasted Chicken Recipe

When it comes out all done, you’ll cover it in that sweet and savory glaze.  When it combines with the spice mix it’s absolute perfection.

Best Roasted Chicken Recipe

This was definitely one of the best roast chickens I’ve ever made.  Seasoning and honey glaze aside, I’ll definitely roast regular chicken like this again; it’s the closest I’ve gotten to a good Costco roast chicken quality- which is yes, my gold standard haha.  The meat was tender and juicy and everything was evenly cooked.  Try to slice carefully to keep some of that skin on and then definitely pour leftover juices and glaze over the chopped up meat.

The Best Honey Glazed Roasted Chicken Recipe




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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. I know I really need to get an instant read thermometer, but for a slacker like me who doesn’t have one, how long would you estimate I need to cook the chicken after I flip it?

    1. Honestly I’m not sure how you cook a whole chicken without a thermometer! It’s one of those things you just can’t tell, so I’m not sure what to tell ya. You’d probably have to go by sight- maybe another 30 minutes?

  2. SOOOOO excited to try this! We have the spicy honey chicken thighs at least monthly! I’m assuming this would also be good for the spicy honey chicken salad? Thanks Sara!

  3. I made this last night with bone-in, skin-on breasts. It was perfect! Whole chickens aren’t my favorite meat to cook, but the breasts alone came out perfectly tender. I cooked them skin-side up for about 45 minutes since they were huge. The spicy honey thighs are one of our family favorites, but this didn’t taste exactly the same–great flavor, but not overwhelming.

  4. May I ask how you go about flipping the chicken over halfway through? I know they’re pretty small and shouldn’t be too unwieldy, but other than stabbing it with two forks I can’t quite figure how to lift a boiling hot chicken.

    I’ve never attempted to roast a chicken because I’ve read such mixed reports (and the Costco ones are so delicious and inexpensive), but this one intrigues me. I may finally take a swing at it!

    1. Haha, good question! I use a strong metal spatula in one hand and a good strong set of tongs in the other. I insert one side of the tons in the center of the bird and basically lift it up using the tongs, using the strong spatula in my other hand underneath it to help.

    2. I have silicone oven gloves (as in a hole for each finger–so they aren’t mits) from Amazon. I just picked up my chicken with my gloved hands and flipped it over. I wish I would have figured that out years ago!!

  5. Looks delicious! I’ve noticed that I can’t pin any of your recipes from my iPhone 6. There is no pin button that shows up on the page or any of the pics. I always have to go to my computer to do it. Any ideas why? Just wondering if others are having problems too.

  6. Can this be done with bone in skin on chicken breasts? My family is very picky and with only eat those!