Herb Butter Whole Roasted Chicken

Whole roasted chicken sitting on top of roasted carrots and onions in a cast iron skillet.

Herb Butter Whole Roasted Chicken Recipe– Another back to basics recipe with this herb butter whole roasted chicken slathered in a herb butter mixture creating a crispy golden skin and juicy meat. Simple to make with only a few ingredients and full of flavor from the butter, thyme, rosemary, and sage. Perfect for dinner any night of the week.

For the longest time, I only stuck to cooking chicken breast but making a whole chicken is just as easy if not easier. I usually get multiple meals from this recipe and use the leftovers in my salad for lunch during the week. Gotta love it when you can cook once and stretch it into several meals.

Tips for Golden Crispy Skin

  • Pat dry the whole chicken with a paper towel or clean cloth kitchen towel. Do not miss this step. The goal is to remove the moisture and prevent steam in the oven to get a nice buttery golden crispy skin.
  • Slather the herbs and butter mixture on top and underneath the skin. Gently work the butter with your fingers underneath the skin and between the meat.
  • Don’t cover the chicken with foil when roasting in the oven.
  • The chicken is placed breast side up on top of the veggies in the cast iron skillet or any roasting pan to create space and evenly cooks. 

Ingredients for Herb Butter Roasted Chicken

  • whole chicken: recipe calls for a 4 pound bird.
  • dried herbs (thyme, rosemary, and sage): want to use fresh? The rule of thumb is to swap 1 teaspoon of dried herbs for 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs. 
  • butter: browning and flavor.
  • onion & carrots: for the side dish, potatoes would be another option.
  • garlic cloves: for flavor.
  • lemon: roasted inside of the chicken.
  • salt and pepper: for flavor.

That’s it and I bet you have most of these ingredients on hand.

How to Prep a Whole Chicken

  • Remove giblets from the inside of the chicken and any leftover feathers.
  • Rinse the inside and outside, and pat dry with paper towels or cloth kitchen towel. Don’t skip this step. This is needed to obtain crispy skin and to prevent moisture in the oven.
  • Season the inside and outside of the chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Mix the butter with the dried thyme, rosemary, and sage in a bowl. You may have to pop the butter in the microwave to soften, do not melt.
  • Make a few cuts with a knife on both sides of the breast, thighs, and drumsticks to loosen the skin.
  • Rub the butter mixture over the entire chicken and gently slide the butter mixture under the skin and between the meat. 
  • Add the chopped carrots, onions, and garlic cloves (leave the garlic skin on to prevent burning) to an iron cast pan or roasting pan.
  • Place the chicken breast side up on top of the veggies in the cast iron skillet. No need to season the veggies, as the drippings from the chicken will fall and caramelize them as they cook.
  • Stuff the inside of the chicken with the lemon cut in four. I love roasted lemons and squeeze the juice on top of the chicken when serving.

How Long to Roast a Whole Chicken?

  • Oven set to 425° F (220° C).
  • Roast for 55-60 minutes or until juices run clear and internal temperature reaches 165° F (74° C). Baste the chicken at 25 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, baste with the juices and let cool for 15 minutes. Cooling will allow the juices to distribute throughout so the chicken will retain its moisture for tender meat.

FAQs about this recipe

I see other recipes use twine for the legs.

Yes, most recipes call for twine, and in my experience, I opt for string-free and still get the same results.

Why do you leave the skin on the garlic?

Reduce the risk of burning. It’s best when you squeeze out the garlicky paste and smear it on your chicken. The roasted garlic is sweet and flavorful.

What do you do with the lemons?

I cut the lemon in halves and stuff in the cavity. The roasted lemons are so juicy and best when squeezed on your chicken when serving.

What to do with the carcass?

Don’t waste and make a bone broth to use for a later date. Here is a simple recipe.

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Whole roasted chicken sitting on top of roasted carrots and onions in a cast iron skillet.

Herb Butter Whole Roasted Chicken


  • Author: Melissa
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

Back to basics with this healthy whole roasted chicken slathered in a herb butter mixture creating a crispy golden skin. Simple to make with only a few ingredients and full of flavor from the butter, thyme, rosemary, and sage. Perfect for dinner any night of the week.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4-pound whole chicken, rinsed
  • 23 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 6 tablespoons butter 
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, chopped 1 inch
  • 46 garlic cloves (leave the skin on)
  • 1 lemon, cut in quarter
  • salt and pepper, for taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F (220° C).
  2. Chop carrots and onions, place in an iron cast pan or roasting pan along with the garlic cloves. Set to the side. No need to season the veggies, as the drippings from the chicken will fall and caramelize them as they cook.
  3. Remove giblets from the inside of the chicken and any leftover feathers.
  4. Rinse the inside and outside, and pat dry with paper towels or cloth kitchen towel. Don’t skip this step. This is needed to obtain crispy skin and to prevent moisture in the oven.
  5. Season the inside and outside of the chicken with salt and pepper.
  6. Mix the butter with the dried thyme, rosemary, and sage in a bowl. You may have to pop the butter in the microwave to soften, do not melt.
  7. Make a few cuts with a knife on both sides of the breast, thighs, and drumsticks to loosen the skin.
  8. Rub the butter mixture over the entire chicken and gently slide the butter mixture under the skin and between the meat. 
  9. Place the chicken breast side up on top of the veggies in the cast iron skillet
  10. Stuff the inside of the chicken with the lemon cut in four.
  11. Roast for 55-60 minutes or until juices run clear and internal temperature reaches 165° F (74° C). Baste the chicken at the 25-minute mark.
  12. Remove from oven, baste with the juices and let cool for 15 minutes.
  13. Serve with rice or quinoa, the roasted veggies, garlic clove, and a lemon wedge. Make sure to squeeze the garlic paste over the chicken and squeeze the juice from the roasted lemon on top. Delish!

 

 

 

 

Notes

  1. Some recipes call for twine, and in my experience, I opt for string-free and get the same results. 
  2. The skin of the garlic is left on to reduce the risk of burning. I then squeeze out the garlicky paste and smear it on the chicken before diving in to eat. 
  3. Don’t waste the carcass and make a bone broth to use for a later date. Here is a simple recipe.
  4. You can store the leftover chicken in an air-tight container for up to 4-5 days.
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 55
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Oven

Here are a few other favorite chicken recipes:

– Melissa

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Hi, I’m Melissa. I’m an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Food Blogger. Here you will find Simple >> Healthy >> Delicious recipes.

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2 Responses

  1. Trying this tongiht! Butchered the chicken yesterday, my first time! So I also have the heart and liver. If i place these in with the chicken will that give the whole meal an organ taste? because I’d rather not have that. If so, I’ll just cook them separately. I also have chicken feet that I plan on using with the broth afterwards.

    1. Hi there, no the flavor of the entire chicken will not taste like organ meat. Also, the giblets are safe to eat as long as they are cooked to the internal temp of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Let me know it how it goes.

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