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Dry Brined Chicken

Learn the secrets to making the perfect roast chicken each and every time.
A whole chicken with rosemary and lemons on a blue and white plate

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Learn the secrets to making the perfect Dry Brined Chicken each and every time. This is hands down the best roasted chicken you will ever make. 

paleo roast chicken on a white plate with herbs and lemon

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If you have tried to roast a chicken before and were disappointed with the results, this is the recipe for you. You’re going to freaking rock this chicken.

Bawk, Rockin’, Meats <—- little known Chemical Brothers song.

And since you can’t just serve roasted chicken by itself, go ahead and whip up a batch of Instant Pot Asparagus Risotto, Sage Sausage Stuffing, Easy Carrot Mash, Air Fryer Asparagus, Blistered Shishito Peppers, Air Fryer Butternut Squash, or Baked Cauliflower Patties.

What Is Dry Brining?

Dry brining is a super-easy method for ensuring the juiciest chicken/turkey ever. You use salt to draw out the moisture in the meat. At first glance, that seems like a guaranteed way to serve dry chicken, but stay with me here!

You allow the salt to sit on the chicken for at least 12 hours. It initially will pull the moisture up to the surface of the chicken…but then something magical happens.

That moisture then mixes with the salt and goes back down into the meat. You’re essentially marinating this bird in a continuous cycle of awesome food science. 

process shots for making paleo roasted chickenLiquid basting process shots for making paleo roasted chicken

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes For Perfect Paleo Roast Chicken

  • This recipe is based on the Very Classic Dry Brine Roast Turkey recipe from Bon Appetit which makes the best turkey you have ever truly had. I’ve adapted it to our tastes and for making a much smaller bird.
  • Feel free to nestle some potatoes, carrot chunks, or other veg in the roasting pan while the chicken is cooking. This makes it an awesome one-pot meal! Even better, add some pressure cooker caramelized onions for amazing flavor.
  • I know 2 tbsp of kosher salt sounds like a lot, but it will all be rinsed off prior to cooking.a paleo roasted chicken being carved

What to Do With Leftover Chicken

If you want to be a total meal prep boss, cook two chickens at once. Not only will it give you extra food for the main meal, but you’ll have loads of extra cooked chicken for other recipes like:

whole30 roast chicken on a blue and white square plate


One serving has 3 WW Freestyle SmartPoints.

A whole chicken with rosemary and lemons on a blue and white plate
Print Recipe
5 from 7 ratings

Dry Brined Chicken

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Brine Time12 hrs
Total Time13 hrs 25 mins
Learn the secrets to making the perfect roast chicken each and every time.


  • 1 whole chicken {4-5 lbs}
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt {I use Diamond}
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic {chopped}
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme {optional}
  • 1 sprig fresh sage {optional}



  • Remove all parts that may be in the cavity of your chicken.
  • Rub the whole chicken down with the kosher salt.
  • Place in a bowl or roasting pan and loosely tent with foil. Place in the fridge for at least 12 hours, or up to two days.
  • One hour prior to cooking, remove the chicken from the fridge and carefully rinse all the salt from the body. Let sit at room temperature for 50 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place rack in lower third of the oven.
  • Place chicken on a baking rack in a dutch oven or roasting pan. Tuck some fresh rosemary around the legs.
  • Bake for 35 minutes.
  • While the chicken is roasting, mix butter, herbs, and garlic in a small saucepan. Heat on low until melted.
  • After 35 minutes, reduce oven temp to 350 degrees.
  • Pour the butter and herb mixture over the chicken and place back in the oven. Baste in 10 minutes.
  • Continue to cook the chicken until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees in the fattest part of the thigh keeping the tip off of the bone (~30-45 more minutes).
  • Allow the chicken to rest on the counter 10 minutes before carving.


Feel free to nestle some potatoes, carrot chunks, or other veg in the roasting pan while the chicken is cooking.
If your oven tends to run hot and the top of the chicken is getting too crispy, loosely tent a piece of foil over the top in the final stages of cooking.
Nutrition Facts
Dry Brined Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 371 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Fat 27g42%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 126mg42%
Sodium 150mg7%
Potassium 287mg8%
Carbohydrates 0g0%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 0g0%
Protein 28g56%
Vitamin A 465IU9%
Vitamin C 3.1mg4%
Calcium 22mg2%
Iron 1.5mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.



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26 comments on “Dry Brined Chicken”

  1. This sounds awesome. Nothing more disappointing than going to all the trouble of making a whole bird and having it taste bland. Couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. One question please, do you salt the inside of the cavity when you brine or just rub salt all over the outside? Again, thx for the post5 stars

  2. I am new to your site and I LOVE it! Your recipes are great. Your writing is witty and even makes me laugh out  loud. And here’s a secret – I rarely “jump to recipe” and haven’t even considered unsubscribing. Keep ‘em coming, you make Whole30 so easy to keep up with!

    • Aww, thanks, Debra! I make sure the recipes don’t have “fluff” in there. Just the facts and tips and tricks. But it doesn’t mean they have to be boring. 😉

  3. I made this chicken for dinner’s soooo good!  5 stars