Main course recipe: The perfect herbed roasted chicken

(Last Updated On: 10/20/2014)

Herbed Roasted ChickenIs 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
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper or 8 grinds of a pepper mill

Pre-Roasted Chicken

Pre-cooked chicken


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine herbs, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  3. 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. Rest the bird on a roasting pan equipped with a drip pan. Pour two cups of water into the bottom of the pan (this is important — prevents the fat drippings in the bottom of the pan from burning).
  4. Roast for 70-80 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165 degrees in the thickest part.
  5. Enjoy the crispy skin and juicy meat with abandon.

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