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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.

Looking for a smaller version of this recipe that doesn’t require an oven? Check out our Air Fryer Cornish Hen recipe.

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. 

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:

process shots for making paleo roasted chicken
Liquid 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.
  • This recipe calls for fresh rosemary. If you have leftovers, check out my tutorial on How to Dry Rosemary.
paleo roast chicken on a white plate with herbs and lemon


One serving has 3 WW Freestyle SmartPoints.

A whole chicken with rosemary and lemons on a blue and white plate
Print Recipe
5 from 8 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 is equally weeknight dinner, and dinner party perfect! The salting and refrigerating for 12 hours is the hardest step. The leftovers (should you have any) are great next day for lunch to top a salad or to make a yummy sandwich! My entire family gave this a thumbs up!5 stars

  2. I am curious about the “dry brine”, because I now cook all my steaks that way( especially if it’s 1-2” thick! I usually rub them with a tablespoon or so of salt, leave them out at room temperature for 1-1 1/2 hours, then lightly rinse off, pat dry, then do a reverse sear- slow oven temp(220-250) , when your meat thermometer reads 10-15’ less than your done temp, take out @ put into a medium-high cast iron pan for 40 seconds to minute per side while spooning your butter or oil butter mix on your steak, after getting all sides I let rest for couple minutes to get even juicier! I find this is the best way to get a juicy steak that is cooked evenly & perfect every time! No GUESS work, especially on thicker cuts like rib eye or strip steak????

    • Sounds delicious Rick! We only grill steak but this method sounds amazing.

      Dry brining roasted chicken and turkey is totally the way to go and so much less messy than a bucket of brine.

  3. I made the perfect Roast Chicken about a week ago. I had bought the organic chicken (2) from Costco because I wanted to use all the chicken and make broth also. Fanny-tastic turnout…. I have been using the chicken all week in different recipes also. Still tastes fresh… Great post and thank you Sarah for sharing the recipe …. gonna keep on making it this way.

    Steph5 stars

  4. Sounds delicious! I always brine my pork chops but forget about brining chicken.

  5. Haha! Chemical Brothers. Many years ago, my husband tried to induce labor by blasting Chemical Brothers at my belly. He hope the low end rumblies do it’s thing and the kid would magically be born on Halloween. The kid duly ignored the request and did her own thing almost 2 weeks later.

    • Hee hee, I was wondering if anyone would pick up on that! You get a gold star.

      Was her due date on Halloween or was he just trying to be cute with a desired birthday?

  6. If I left this in the oven for 2 hours, do you think irreparable damage would be done? I’m looking for more “Sunday dinner” recipes I can put in the oven before leaving for church, and they’re all roasty and deliciuos when I get home. (Like my grandma’s roast beef!)

    • I think it would be ok. Perhaps a little dry, but ok. Our oven has a “cook time” function, where the oven turns off after the timer that you set goes off. If you have that option, it might work out.

  7. I made it tonight and it was great!!! I have the bones in a container to make my chicken broth tomorrow. We had a very small container of leftovers so that I can make some fried rice and a chicken pizza 🙂 Thanks for the great recipe!! I know that I am going to try it again soon.5 stars

  8. Like the first post, I make my chicken like this too, except for the smoked paprika part! Yum. Will try immediately!
    I have to say though, I snickered a little at your suggestion to save the leftovers for another meal AND soup! Leftovers????? Never heard of them!!
    Ah, the joys of growing children…..
    5 stars

  9. I have tried a ton of different recipes for roast chicken but it sounds like this is the one that I am making this week!! Thanks for the great idea 🙂 I am saving it right now!!!

  10. You’re not going to believe this. Besides the smoked paprika, this is exactly how I make a Roasted chicken. I also gring up a clove of garlic and smear it under the skin.5 stars