I’m not the biggest fan of plain chicken breast, but roasted whole on the bone, well seasoned with salt and a herb butter is irresistible. I recommend using the smallest chicken you can find as they tend to be more tender and juicy.
Salting the chicken at least a few hours before roasting, preferable overnight, helps to season deep in the flesh, and make for a juicier bird. If you don’t have the time to preseason the chicken, don’t worry, it will still be delicious. I use 1 teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of chicken.
- One 3 – 4 lb, or as small as you can find, whole organic chicken
- Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon per lb
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 3 tablespoons herb butter
Herb Butter Ingredients
- 1 tablespoon chopped shallot
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, pulled from stems and chopped
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons room temp grass-fed butter
To make the herb butter. Place a small pan over low heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil with the garlic and the shallots and cook for a minute or two until they become fragrant, you do not want them to color. Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly. In a medium sized bowl, mix the herbs, lemon zest and the garlic shallot mixture until it well mixed.
Rinse the chicken inside and out with water, then dry completely with paper towels. Make sure the chicken is well dried so that it roasts, rather than steaming in the oven. This will ensure a well browned skin.
Season the chicken liberally, with the salt and pepper, being sure to lightly season the cavity. If you have the time, let it rest in the fridge for at least a few hrs or at most overnight. You are basically creating a dry brine and will produce a more flavorful chicken. If you don’t have the time for this, no worries, it will still be delicious.
Slide your fingers under the skin of each breast making two little pockets, then using the same technique loosen the skin on the outside of the thighs. As best you can, push the herb butter into each of the pockets made.
When you are ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 475.
Heat a 10 in skillet over medium heat. Put the chicken breast side up in the pan and place on the middle rack of the oven. After about 30 minutes turn the chicken over carefully with a pair of tongs (preheating the pan should keep the chicken from sticking). Roast for another 15-20 minutes depending on the size of the chicken. Then flip back over, breast side up, and finish roasting for another 5-10 to re-crisp the skin and finish the cooking. The total cooking time should be between 50 minutes to 1 hr.
Remove the chicken from the pan and set on a plate and let it rest for 5 -10 minutes. Remove the excess fat from the pan, and place back over medium-low heat. Add a few tablespoons of water to the pan and using a wooden spoon scrape up all the brown bits left in the pan. Pour any of juices that have collected under the resting bird and the lemon juice to the pan. Cook for another minute or so.
Cut the chicken into pieces and pour the pan sauce over the chicken.