Is there a better smell in a home than roasting chicken? The way the fat melts all over the skin, basting the meat with all its goodness… it permeates a room with tummy-rumbling aromas. Mmmm.
It’s taken many years to craft my quintessential roasted chicken recipe — it captures the simplicity of an easy-to-cook pleasure. Make this five-ingredient recipe your own by changing up the herbs as you like them — I like rosemary, parsley and thyme. It features very little hands-on time — weeknight dinner prep time even. Try it with any of these side dish recipes and a bottle of unoaked Chardonnay or subtle Pinot Noir.
The Perfect Herbed Roasted Chicken
3-4 pound whole chicken, innards pack inside removed
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh herbs or 2 teaspoons dried (thyme, rosemary, basil, parsley — whatever you have)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper or 8 grinds of a pepper mill
Large cast iron skillet
- Place cast iron skillet into the oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
- While oven heats up, combine herbs, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- On the chicken breast side, pull back the skin and slide your fingers between the meat and skin, creating a pocket. Spread the herb/olive oil mixture all over the meat and on top of the skin, rubbing even on the wings and thighs (see picture at right). If you used fresh herbs, place the stems inside the chicken cavity as well as the lemon, cut in half. Place the bird into the cast iron skillet.
- Roast chicken for 30 minutes at 500 degrees, then turn it down to 350 and roast for 45 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165 degrees in the thickest part.
- Enjoy the crispy skin and juicy meat with abandon.