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18 easy roast chicken recipes for cozy fall nights

Mastering the perfect roast chicken dish is easier than you think.
Sunday Roast Chicken with Chickpeas and Couscous
Marcus Samuelsson's nourishing chicken dish is invigorated with earthy, warm spices like turmeric, cumin and cinnamon.Angie Mosier
/ Source: TODAY

Ina Garten loves it. Meghan Markle got engaged because of it. And most every chef has their own go-to recipe for it. That's because roast chicken is the perfect union of juicy meat, fresh herbs or spices and whatever glorious side or vegetable gets chosen to bathe in its jus.

Roast chicken is one of those timeless recipes that for many symbolizes warmth, comfort and home. Really, is there any better smell than a home filled with the scent of garlic clove, lemon or onion roasting slowly in the drippings?

To help sort through the many wonderful roast chicken recipes, whether you're baking it piece by piece or using the whole bird, TODAY Food rounded up some of its favorites.

We're feeling cozier already.

Whole chicken

Perfect Roast Chicken

Tarragon, white wine and a pan full of juicy roasted tomatoes are what land this recipe on the roast chicken list. It's includes tips for ensuring the chicken is flavorful (from the inside-out) and promises to impress everyone — in-laws included.

Marcus Samuelsson's nourishing chicken dish is invigorated with earthy, warm spices like turmeric, cumin and cinnamon. The dish honors his mentor Alberta Wright.

"When I think about Alberta's history — her fierceness combined with her incredible charm and grace, I am humbled by how much she accomplished, when she started with very little," he said.

If you have leftovers, this recipe can also be turned into two additional meals.

Whole Roasted Chicken

Whole Roasted Chicken

Amanda Freitag

For the folks who felt roasting the whole chicken was daunting, this simple yet satisfying recipe takes 10 minutes to prepare. Yes, 10 minutes! Then just give it an hour or so in the oven, and that seemingly lavish weeknight dinner will be on.

Herbed Roast Chicken

Elizabeth Chambers Hammer

This all-in-one dish requires only four ingredients, plus some salt and pepper and an assortment of whichever vegetables you prefer for the side. Its simplicity and versatile veggies make it easy to tailor it to what's in season, whether you want roast carrots and beets or wintry squash and parsnips.

"One of the best things about this chicken (besides its amazing taste), is how hands-off the process is. The thing that will make the most difference in the outcome of your dish is the chicken itself, so seek out the highest quality you can find. Once the chicken is in the oven, you can relax, have a glass of wine, and catch up with your family and friends," says Marc Murphy, who won over his wife's parents with the dish.

What's better than a beautiful roast chicken? Siri Daly's beautiful roast chicken covered in pancetta. For those who believe everything's better with bacon (its Italian counterpart included), this will become a return recipe.

Giada's Amalfi Lemon Chicken

Giada's Amalfi Lemon Chicken

Giada De Laurentiis

Lemon? Check. Crispy skin? The delicious smell of fresh herbs as the bird roasts? Easy enough to make on a weeknight? Check, check and check again. This recipe ticks all the boxes for Giada De Laurentiis, and I'm sure it will for you as well.

Spatchcocked Chicken and Chicken Pieces

This cooking method ensures the chicken stays crispy on the outside and super moist on the inside. The chicken itself is packed with fresh herbs, garlic and a little crushed red pepper for a delicate, well-balanced heat.

Crispy Spatchcocked Roast Chicken

The secret to this incredibly juicy chicken with amazingly crispy skin is that there is no secret! All it takes to make a delicious roast chicken is a handful of basic ingredients, a few easy techniques, time and a little patience.

Lemon, Harissa and Olive Spatchcock Chicken

The combination of the zesty lemons, sweet and smoky harissa, and earthy olive is so Mediterranean. The ingredients in this recipe are also wonderful with meaty fish, like hake or cod. The bulgur wheat is so refreshing and works perfectly alongside the chicken. And it only takes 15 minutes to prepare.

Chicken Salmoriglio

Chicken Salmoriglio

Chris Kimball

Chicken salmoriglio is a prime example of Sicilian cooking. With fresh herbs, lemon, honey, olive oil greens, and bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, it's uncomplicated and exceptional.

Each ingredient in this recipe adds a layer of flavor. The one-pot dish allows fresh ingredients to unite and produce a flavorful, comforting meal exciting enough for the holidays but also not too complicated for a weeknight meal.

In this recipe from Ching He Huang, baked chicken thighs get an incredible flavor boost from a sweet and savory marinade made with honey, hoisin, soy sauce, ginger, chili flakes and garlic. While the chicken cooks, make a pot of rice and prep the stir-fried kale. Or, for an even simpler meal, just roast your favorite veggies alongside the chicken.

Ratatouille Sheet Pan Chicken

Melissa Clark takes a simplified ratatouille-in-the-oven technique and adds a halved chicken to the pan. As the meat cooks, the glorious chicken fat coats and crisps the vegetables, imbuing them with flavor. And the chicken absorbs the heady character of onion, peppers, and herbs.

 Head of Garlic Chicken Thighs

A head of garlic, a shallot and olives transform a package of ho-hum chicken thighs into a dinner you'll put on repeat all season long. Heirloom garlic, though not as long-lasting as the commercial varieties at the grocery store, has a more intense flavor and cooks up sweeter.

This five-ingredient roast chicken recipe from Nancy Silverton is destined to be your new go-to dinner. "It’s not a fancy preparation, but if you’re in the mood for a super-moist, very flavorful, comforting chicken dish, it doesn’t get any better," says Silverton.

Chicken Legs "Osso Buco" with Gremolata

No need to buy pricey veal for osso buco: Chef Scott Conant makes his comforting one-pot version of the Italian dish with meaty chicken thighs and drumsticks.

For anyone who has a bone to pick with bone-in chicken, Joy Bauer's skinless, boneless roast chicken recipe is quick, low in fat, packed with protein and best of all, gets roasted all in one sheet pan with garlicky kale.

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