Sunday Night Roast Chicken with Herb Butter

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From Laurie David’s book, The Family Dinner, this roast chicken is a great dish for creating cozy family moments around the table.

This roast chicken comes from Laurie David’s cookbook, The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time.  The book is so much more than just a collection of interesting recipes — though there are many by co-author Kirstin Uhrenholdt — it’s an inspirational guide to making dinnertime a special ritual in your home.

 

Familydinnercover
David, best known as the producer of An Inconvenient Truth and ex-wife of Seinfeld creator Larry David, understands that dinnertime is not always easy: life is busy, kids are antsy or texting, husbands are distracted, and a meal that takes two hours to prepare is inhaled in less than ten minutes.

To help, she offers lots of recipes and fun ideas like theme nights, table games and conversation starters to make dinner fun and encourage families to linger at the table. She also shares traditions and candid stories from her own parenting journey—from babies to teenagers to divorce—and shows how the simple ritual of dinner kept everyone connected and together through it all. I’m a big fan of hers (and her ex) and loved how the book felt like chatting over coffee at her kitchen table.

If you take only a few ideas from the book, I think you’ll find it worthwhile. For me, the “aha moment” was the chapter on gratitude. I realized that dinner is not just about the food—you need rituals to set the tone. Taking a moment to appreciate the meal and people around us helps us disconnect from our busy lives and ease into quality family time. And it doesn’t have to be religious. David offers pages of suggestions, from prayers to quotations to funny childhood poems (my kids liked the old camp blessing, “Rub a Dub Dub, Thanks for the Grub, Yea God!”)—mix it up, come up with your own, whatever works for you.

To be honest, I loved the message of this book so much that I didn’t even care about the recipes, but I tried and few and, to my delight, they were delicious. I felt this one for Sunday Night Roast Chicken really captured the essence of the book, which is about creating cozy moments for your family around the dinner table. Try serving it with my Parmesan Smashed Potatoes and Roasted Carrots with Thyme. Enjoy!

You can purchase The Family Dinner Book here, or check out the website.

Note: I’ve taken some liberties in adapting this recipe. The original version calls for a whole chicken, but I prefer a cut-up chicken instead because it’s much easier to serve. I’ve also made some minor changes to the ingredients and method, but the finished product is pretty much the same. If your grocery store carries a “Poultry Blend” herb mixture, buy that–it contains all the herbs you’ll need.

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Sunday Night Roast Chicken with Herb Butter

From Laurie David’s book, The Family Dinner, this roast chicken is a great dish for creating cozy family moments around the table.

Servings: 4

Ingredients

For the Herb Butter

  • 5 3-inch sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 3-inch sprig fresh rosemary
  • 5 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the Chicken

  • 6 shallots, peeled and halved
  • 1 whole head garlic, clean, unpeeled and cut in half horizontally
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 chicken, 4 – 4 ½ pounds, cut into pieces (or 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts)
  • Herb butter (above)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the Sauce

  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Make the herb butter: Pull herbs from the stems and chop finely. Combine the chopped herbs, shallots, lemon zest, honey and butter in small bowl and blend well. Set aside.
  3. Place the shallots and garlic in a roasting pan and toss with the olive oil (it's okay if the garlic breaks apart a bit). Pat the chicken VERY dry with paper towels (this will help the skin to crisp) and place in the roasting pan; do not crowd. Use a soup spoon to rub the herb butter all over the chicken and under the skin too (if you don't eat the skin, rub a lot of it underneath!). Sprinkle the kosher salt evenly all over the chicken and season with fresh pepper to your liking. Place the chicken in the oven and roast for 35-40 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown. Turn the heat down to 375 degrees; continue to roast for 15-20 minutes more, or until done. Chicken should be done in less than an hour; do not overcook.
  4. Transfer the chicken and the shallots to serving platter to rest and cover with foil. Discard the garlic. Pour off all the fat, leaving the brown baked-on bits in the bottom of the roasting pan. Add the chicken broth and place on the stove over high heat; bring to a boil and whisk in Dijon mustard. Using whisk or wooden spoon, stir up and combine the brown bits with the broth and continue to cook until the liquid is reduced by half, 5-8 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter. Pour the sauce into a gravy boat and serve alongside chicken. (If you want to get fancy, you can strain the gravy but I never bother.)

Pair with

Nutrition Information

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  • Calories: 1,237
  • Fat: 85 g
  • Saturated fat: 28 g
  • Carbohydrates: 27 g
  • Sugar: 10 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 91 g1
  • Sodium: 1,376 mg
  • Cholesterol: 371 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Hi Jenn,

    We made this last year for Christmas and plan to make it for Thanksgiving this year. The sauce is absolutely excellent, but I’ve got a request to make it a little thicker this year, almost like a gravy. Would you suggest adding a little cornstarch to the chicken broth to achieve this, or start with a roux?

    • — Valerie K. on November 8, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Valerie, to thicken the sauce, I’d combine 2 tablespoons of softened butter with 2 tablespoons of flour and instead of just adding butter when making the sauce, I’d add half of the butter/flour mixture and stir it until the sauce starts to thicken. Add the remaining half of the mixture if you still want it thicker.

      • — Jenn on November 10, 2020
      • Reply
  • My husband said the was the best roast chicken he ever had. It was a little too salty though, probably because I got Morton’s Kosher salt, which was the only one at my store at the time. I used to have David’s and that always worked well. I think Diamond Crystal is the salt of choice and will look to buy. But a great dish and recipe! I made with the excellent smashed parmesan potatoes and steamed carrots. Thank you!

    • — Janet on November 1, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jennifer,
    I made this chicken tonight and it was delicious. I did find that 450 for 35 minutes was a bit too long in my oven and most of the shallots were burned to a crisp! But the chicken was still wonderful and is a new favourite, next to your Peruvian chicken. Thank you so much!

    • — Caroline on October 4, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Caroline,
      Wish I read your review before I cooked the chicken. I left it for 35 mins at 450 and the skin was almost black. So for the second part I covered with foil to keep it from cooking the skin any more. Still the chicken still came out great (except for the skin) and the gravy was to die for!

      • — Henri on October 30, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jennifer

    I made the herb butter chicken tonight exactly as per recipe but roast as a whole chicken. The chicken turned out perfectly and was the best roasted chicken dinner. The family loved it! Thank you for this awesome recipe!

    • — Helen on August 3, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi there,
    1.Seemed the herb butter does not coat exterior on skin evenly? Any pointers or tricks ?
    2. What would be the equivalent in ‘dry herbs’ to substitute for the fresh amounts in this recipe?—

    • — JooJoo on July 2, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi JooJoo, I find a large spoon works well for me but if you have a pastry brush, that would work nicely too. And regarding the herbs, I would estimate that you’d need about 1-1/4 tsp. of dried thyme, a generous 1/4 tsp. of both dried rosemary and sage. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on July 4, 2020
      • Reply
      • How about if I want to use McCormick Gourmet “Italian seasoning” which is a mix of the dry herbs in this recipe plus basil, Oregano and Marjoram? How much should I use ?–thank u.

        • — JooJoo on July 5, 2020
        • Reply
        • I’ve never used that so hard to say for sure, but I’d guess you’d need about 1-3/4 teaspoons. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

          • — Jenn on July 5, 2020
          • Reply
  • Tender, juicy, full of flavor! Another new family favorite!

    • — Lisa Cronin on May 16, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hello,
    I’d very much like to make this chicken for our Sunday diner this Sunday. Can you answer a Q for me? The recipe says to pat the chicken pieces very dry and place in the roasting pan with the garlic. It then says to rub the herb butter on/under the skin. Do I brown the chicken pieces and THEN take them out of the pan and rub on the butter or do I first rub on the butter and THEN place the pieces into the roasting pan? Thanks in advance for any guidance.
    Greg

    • — Greg on May 7, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Greg, Once you put the chicken in the roasting pan, you rub the herb butter onto the chicken (and under the skin) before you put it in the oven. Hope that clarifies and that you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 7, 2020
      • Reply
  • Are the carbs here somewhere and I am missing that? This was amazing with the carrots too.

    • — Ines Malardino on May 6, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Ines, I just added the nutritional info. Each serving has 27 grams of carbs. Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

      • — Jenn on May 8, 2020
      • Reply
      • I’m trying to figure out why the carbs are so high. This looks like it should be Keto friendly. Chicken, butter, herbs are all very low in carbs. I’m confused but I was hoping to make this recipe for YK next week (just quadruple the recipe for my crew).

        P.s. I made your kugel recipe today and it was a huge hit! ❤️

        • — Lulu on September 18, 2020
        • Reply
        • Glad you enjoyed the kugel! Regarding the carbs in this recipe, because I’m not a nutritionist, I use an online tool to calculate the nutritional information for the blog. When I plugged in the ingredients for this recipe, those were the results. I agree that the carbs sound a bit high, but I just double-checked it and am getting the same numbers. Hope you enjoy if you make it!

          • — Jenn on September 19, 2020
          • Reply
  • Jenn, thank you for all the delicious recipes. I have yet to make anything from your site or cookbook that wasn’t good. I have a question about roasting chicken. About two weeks ago I made your Peruvian chicken with great results. We enjoyed a tender and juicy bird with beautifully crisp skin. That recipe directs us to first roast the chicken at 425°F for 20 minutes, then turn the heat down to 375°F and continue roasting for 1 hour and 10 minutes more. This is 90 minutes of cooking time total for a 4-pound bird. In contrast, this recipe directs us to roast for 35-40 minutes at 450°F, turn the heat down to 375°F, and continue roasting for 15-20 minutes more. This is 60 minutes total, also for a 4-pound bird (the same size as the Peruvian chicken recipe). From the reviews for this recipe, it looks like this 60-minute time is working well for everyone, but I’m curious about the time difference between the two recipes. It’s a 50% difference, which surprised me. My guess is that this is because it roasts for twice as long at a high temperature in comparison with the Peruvian chicken, and therefore takes less time to finish. But does it have anything to do with the type of fat used? This one is butter-based while the Peruvian chicken’s is olive oil-based. Since the Peruvian chicken went so well for me I’ve been thinking about just using those same roasting directions for this recipe. I’m curious to hear what you think, given the significant time difference between the two recipes. Thanks!

    • — Anne on April 18, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Anne, I’m so glad you like the recipes! The reason for the difference in baking time and temperature here is because the Peruvian chicken is baked as a whole chicken whereas this recipe has chicken pieces. If you do want to use a whole chicken here, just use the time and temperature guidance from the Peruvian chicken. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on April 21, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi, I love all your recipes. How would you make this one kosher? Can’t combine meat and milk products. TIA

    • — Lauren Mayer on March 26, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Lauren, I suspect a non-dairy butter or margarine would work here. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 26, 2020
      • Reply
  • This is THE BEST chicken recipe EVER. Love it with roasted sweet potatoes and asparagus or risotto. Seriously yum. Make it!

    • — Samantha Chambers on January 16, 2020
    • Reply
  • This was delicious. I used 4 chicken breasts with skin on and bone in. I didn’t have fresh herbs so used Italian mix of dried herbs in the butter.

    • — Andrea on December 14, 2019
    • Reply
  • Can I use 2 whole shallots and red onion? also can I use (minced) garlic in jar instead full garlic head

    • — Michelle on November 24, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Michelle, I think you can get away with the shallots and red onion, but minced garlic won’t work here. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on November 25, 2019
      • Reply
  • Do you think the butter would be good for a turkey?

    I’ve had the chicken before and the flavors were amazing! I’m trying to cook what I know this thanksgiving since this is my first time I’ll be making a whole turkey … please help!

    • — P on November 22, 2019
    • Reply
    • I do think it’d be delicious!

      • — Jenn on November 25, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I’m looking forward to making this chicken recipe. I bought chicken breasts w/bone in and thighs with bone in. The breasts are really big as they are these days. How do I make sure the thighs don’t dry out waiting for the breasts to cook….or will they still cook evenly together?
    Thanks so much!

    • — Rose on May 29, 2019
    • Reply
    • I think they’ll cook in about the same amount of time, Rose — but, if you’re concerned, you can always take the thighs out of the oven a little early if they look done. Hope you enjoy it!

      • — Jenn on May 30, 2019
      • Reply
  • Could you please tell me the dried herb equivalents as its hard to get fresh herbs where I live. Thanks.

    • — Lesley on May 5, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Lesley, I’d use 1 teaspoon each of the herbs. I would also finely chop the dried rosemary, as it tends to be very hard.

      • — Jenn on May 6, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn- I made this chicken and the flavor was amazing, however, the chicken was a bit dry. I think I overcooked it. I’d like to make it again. I usually boil chicken before I bake it so that it’s tender. Can I boil the chicken first and then bake it with the herb butter? If so, what do you recommend as the baking time and temperature?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Hannah, Sorry you found this a bit dry. I wouldn’t recommend boiling the chicken before putting it in the oven – I’m sorry! My guess is that it was slightly overcooked when you made it this time around; if it would be helpful, you could use a digital leave-in meat thermometer and remove the chicken from the oven when it reaches 165-degrees F.

    • Hi! I was just wondering if we have to cover the roasting pan and/or if it makes a difference to cover it with the roasting pan’s lid?

      • — Mrs. Marwaha on September 25, 2019
      • Reply
      • No, it’s not necessary to cover the roasting pan — keeping it uncovered lets the skin on the chicken become a beautiful golden color and crisps it up nicely too. Hope you enjoy!

        • — Jenn on September 25, 2019
        • Reply
  • Jen,
    I made this chicken for Rosh Hashanah and loved it. A perfect meal with the roasted carrots (can we talk about how good those were) and the Parmesan mashed potatoes (yum!) as you suggested.
    It was just two of us for dinner so I made this with two bone in chicken breast’s. I cut the butter in half, but for the most part used the same amount of herbs. I have fresh rosemary and thyme in my garden, so was happy to use those. The chicken was moist (yay!) and flavorful. I am trying to cut calories so put most of the butter under the skin as per your directions, and did not eat the skin at dinner. Even without, the chicken was still delicious and moist. I’ve baked a whole chicken before and it always seems to be dry. This recipe was not dry and is definitely a keeper. Thanks for a great recipe and meal suggestion with the roasted carrots and mashed potatoes.
    Vivian

  • Hi Jenn
    Can I use this recipe for Cornish hens. Thanks

    • Sure, Liz. 🙂

  • Hi Jennifer, As soon as I put my chicken in the oven, butter started burning and smoked up the whole house! I had to take it out and finish it on a stove top. Any ideas on what went wrong? Thanks!

    • Hi Alisa, sorry to hear you had a problem with this. Did you place the chicken on a rack that was centered in the oven? The immediate smoking makes me think that the chicken was too close to the heating element.

  • Thanks for yet another delicious recipe! Make this last night for Rosh Hashanah, great way to kick off the New Year!

  • I make several of your recipes a week and made this for the first time tonight. It was fantastic! My husband loved it and he is picky…sigh…I even messed up the herb butter and couldn’t find sage. It was still delicious. My husband used the garlic from the pan to spread on a baguette. I didn’t even bother to make the gravy, but I will next tine. Served it with your make ahead mashed potatoes and thyme carrots.

  • Absolutely Amazing, did not change a thing, and my pickier little guy loved it!
    I definitely recommend this recipe.

    • — Ashley E. Menwer
    • Reply
  • Made this for Christmas Eve dinner. The flavor was great but I was disappointed that the chicken turned out a bit rubbery and I wanted your comment on what I did wrong. Here is what I did:
    – followed recipe using 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. The pan was a bit crowded with breasts snuggled next to each other.
    – for the initial roasting at 425 also had pan of carrots in oven for the Curried Carrot recipe.
    – I roasted for 35 min at 425 and then 15 min at 375. When I pulled out the temp of thickest part was 175 degrees.
    – chicken rested for 15 min before serving.
    Looking forward to your thoughts.

    • Correction to my question…..initial roasting temp was 450 degrees, not 425 degrees.

    • Hi Janice, Glad you enjoyed the chicken but sorry it turned out a bit rubbery. It doesn’t sound like you did anything wrong with the cooking process, but I’m surprised they reached 175 that quickly. Were they particularly small chicken breasts? The ideal temperature for chicken is 165, so it sounds like they were a bit overcooked.

  • Hye there! Any substitute for dijon mustard? Can normal mustard sauce do?

    • I don’t recommend normal mustard, Natasha – sorry! I’d just leave the Dijon out if you don’t have it. Hope that helps!

  • This was delish and filled the house with a wonderful aroma. My family came from all corners asking, “when’s dinner?”. I had to omit the garlic due to an allergy, so I added extra shallots and a quartered onion. We will definitely make it again.

  • Delicious. I used bone in breast and two quarter legs. As usual, a great recipe and made the entire house smell awesome. I paired with roasted garnet yams and your beet and goat cheese salad. Can’t wait for leftovers tomorrow- maybe all the ingredients on a bed of brown rice or quinoa. (Chicken, goat cheese, salad dressing, beets and yams.)

  • My kids are learning how to cook so this is the first roast chicken recipe my 16 year old attempted (while I peeled and chopped the root veggies we roasted along side the chicken). The chicken we roasted was appx. 10 lbs, so it took nearly 60 min in our convection oven. My son followed the directions as written. There is enough chicken left to make chicken soup. I’m talking two adults and two teenagers. We all went back for seconds. My son’s comment after first bite: “I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but this is *amazing*”. Given the amount of food we put away tonight, we all concur. We skipped making gravy and included the drippings in with the leftovers as it simmers for tomorrow’s lunch. I can only imagine how good the chicken soup we have tomorrow will taste.

    Thank you, Jenn!

  • HI Jenn, I love your recipes and have tried many. My only issue if there is one, is cooking any chicken skin period. I understand it adds flavor and keeps meat moist underneath and all but I can’t get myself around it. Is there anything us non chicken skin eaters can do to still make a good Sunday night roasted chicken?

    • Hi Luanne, Glad you like the recipes! I would prepare the chicken with the skin on (as it holds in moisture when roasting) and remove the skin before serving. When applying the herb butter, rub a lot of it underneath the skin so you get lots of that flavor.

  • Hi Jenn,

    I came across your website by accident and I am so glad I did. Everything I have made from your site has come out wonderfully! Thanks for sharing your expertise!
    I’m curious on the Sunday Night Roast Chicken…The picture shows what I believe to be lemons and apples mixed in with the chicken. Is that correct and did you roast them in the pan with the chicken? Thanks again for posting your wonderful recipes! Jennifer

    • Hi Jennifer, glad you’re enjoying the recipes! I actually just added those already roasted lemons and apples into the picture because I thought they looked nice; they’re not actually part of the recipe!

  • IN beginning for the sauce it calls for broth. At the end it calls for stock, which is better?

    • Hi Judy, Thanks for catching that. Either is fine but I use broth.

  • Is there anyway I can use only thighs? My family is not big on white meat…

    • Sure Shannon, just make sure to get the bone-in variety. Hope you enjoy!

  • Amazing!

    • — Christine Laney
    • Reply
  • Do I place the chicken right on top of the shallots and garlic?

    • Yep– hope you enjoy!

  • If I spatchcock the chicken is it the same temp and roasting time?

    • Hi Tori, if you spatchcock the chicken, you probably will only need to cook it for 35-40 minutes (but use an instant-read thermometer make sure the temperature of the meat has reached 165°F before removing from the oven). Enjoy!

  • Hi – LOVE all your recipes. Quick question on the herb butter – when putting on chicken. You said to use soup spoon to rub all over chicken……. is the butter melted or keep it “paste like” consistency?

    • Hi Randi, It should be paste-like. Enjoy!

  • My husband loved the chicken. It was moist and flavorful!

  • I made this chicken dish last night and it was delicious. Tender and very flavorful.
    Will definitely be made again!

    Thanks for all the beautiful and delicious recipes !

  • I can’t have dairy. Can I sub olive oil for the butter?

    • Steph, could you use non-dairy butter or margarine?

  • I made this a few weeks ago and it was divine! I used dairy free butter under the skin and it worked just as well, so moist! The bird looked beautiful too, perfect crackly golden skin. My husband approved!

  • I’ve used this recipe before and I loved it! Thank you for all you do. Publish a book already!

    I was thinking I could maybe use this recipe on my thanksgiving turkey? I bought a bone in 5.4 lb turkey breast. (There’s only two of us.) will the cook time and butter work? And is it safe to butter the night before?

    • Thanks, Tori! Hoping to have good news about a book to share soon 🙂 I think this recipe would work really well with a turkey breast. Cook time will be about the same but keep an eye on it; hard to say for certain. And yes, fine to butter the night before.

      • Delicious!! Food coma! Thank you so much ? We had a lot of left over turkey so I’ll be using your quesadilla recipe tonight! Thanks again!

  • Hi Jenn,
    Made this for dinner tonight using half a roaster chicken but with full amounts of everything else. It turned out delicious and so moist and tender! Served with a side of mashed potatoes, rice, and roasted broccoli. Thank you for an awesome recipe!

  • Hi Jenn-
    I’ve had great success with many of your recipes and plan to try this next. If I substitute dried poultry seasoning as you mentioned, what amount do I use?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Sharon, Sorry for the confusion — I meant the poultry fresh herb blend, not dried.

  • Can this be prepped the night before & kept in the fridge before popping in the oven when company arrives?

    • Absolutely 🙂

  • RE the Sunday night Roast Chicken:
    1. Does the chicken get covered with a lid/foil in the oven while roasting?

    2. Is the roasting temp/time for regular or “convection” roasting

    Thanks!

    • Hi Karen, No lid and the temp/time is for regular roasting.

  • Jenn
    enjoy your site and recipes, in this recipe what is the point of an entire head of garlic.
    It’s not inside the chicken just in the open pan, will it add any flavor at all to the roasting chicken, wouldn’t it be better inside the bird.

    • Hi Jim, Glad you are enjoying the recipes. Good question. The garlic simply flavors the juices in the pan. You could definitely put it inside the bird, if you use the whole bird rather than chicken pieces.

  • Will this recipe work on turkey?

    • Sure, but you’ll need to adjust the cooking time.

  • Your recipes are amazing! I would like to try this one but I don’t have fresh sage. How much would I need if I use ground sage?

    • Hi Peachy, I’d use about a half teaspoon. Hope you enjoy it!

  • I’m so excited about this recipe! If making it using a full chicken, should I cook it the same way– at the same temp and approximately the same time increments?

    Thanks for sharing such wonderful recipes! I love your blog.

    • — Chrystie Swiney
    • Reply
    • Hi Chrystie, It will take longer to cook. Here are instructions: Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position, and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil for easy clean-up. Spray a rack (preferably a v-shape) with non-stick cooking spray and place the chicken on top. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Roast for 20 minutes, until the skin is golden. Turn the heat down to 375 degrees, and continue to roast for about an hour and ten minutes more, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and thigh. (Keep an eye on it — if it’s browning too quickly, cover it loosely with foil.) Tent the chicken with foil and let rest for about 20 minutes. Tilt the chicken over the roasting pan to release the juices, then transfer to a cutting board. Carve the chicken and serve.

  • I made this ahead for the work week and popped it into the oven a few days later. FANTASTIC dish!! I made double the compound butter and stuck it into the freezer- I cannot wait to make this again!!!

  • I would like to make this recipe for guests and am wondering how it would be made in advance and then heated when guest arrive. Thank you. Marie

    • Hi Marie, You can make it ahead of time; the skin just won’t be as crispy. Also, be careful not to overcook it when you reheat it. Hope everyone enjoys it!

  • Is it possible to make this in advance and heat up for dinner?

    • Yes, just be sure not to overcook.

  • Thanks! Was a great favourite with the family. I added some whole local Cambodian pepper corns to the herb butter and served with parmesan mashed potatoes and carrots glazed in fresh lemon juice and palm sugar.

  • Hello,
    I want to try this recipe but I don’t eat dairy. What can I use to substitute for unsalted butter? Also, has anyone tried a substitution, and if so, how did it come out?
    Thanks!

    • Lard? Oil? Not Sure, Good Luck

  • I want to try this recipe for my family’s Sunday Dinner- but I have 4 growing boys (2 are teens) and a husband. Any tips on doubling the recipe?

    • Hi Tammy, It should double just fine. Hope your boys enjoy it 🙂

  • I made this last night for my book club – including the carrots and the smashed potatoes and it was spectacular. I did the 4 bone-in chicken breasts as suggested instead of the whole chicken – it was easy, looked beautiful and was delicious. One of my friends snatched the discarded garlic clove to take home with her. I think she would have taken off with the whole platter if I’d let her… Thank you so much for yet another amazing recipe – as someone who has no culinary instincts, I so blog and your spirit.

    • That should have read “I so appreciate your blog and your spirit.” 🙂

      • Thank you, Elizabeth!

  • So yummy! This was the first recipe from “Once Upon A Chef” that I ever tried. This appears on our table for Sunday dinner at least once a month. I use any leftovers to make a delicious soup. Thanks for sharing your talent!

  • This is so delicious! I used chicken breasts, had all the herbs available in my garden, and served it with roasted carrots with peas and mashed potatoes. Used the leftovers the next day to make a shepherd’s pie.

  • This was absolutely delicious. I ended up using a whole chicken (what I had on hand), so I stuffed the cavity with lemon, garlic, and some of the extra herbs. I also forgot shallots at the store, left out the dijon mustard in the gravy (I don’t care for it), and I had a little extra herb butter leftover so I used that in the gravy instead of plain butter. Thanks to everyone for the tip of making extra herb butter and freezing it. Herbs are not cheap, so this was a great idea. Even with the changes I made, it was still the best roasted chicken I have ever eaten, and my husband agreed. Will definitely make this again.

  • This was a very good recipe. I made it with all chicken thighs and drumsticks. My husband usually only likes what we call chicken fried chicken (that’s what our kids call fried chickn), but he even ate the leftovers of this!

  • This looks like the perfect Sunday dinner meal! Maybe for this Sunday 🙂

  • I made this last night. I have to say it was one of the best roasted chicken recipes I have had the pleasure of attempting. I look forward to sharing it with friends and family

    • — Victoria N O'Connor
    • Reply
  • We love this recipe, it makes a regular appearance at our dinner table

  • This is now a go to dinner for company – you can prepare it and put it in the oven and visit and know a delicious dinner will go on the table. My family has loved every recipe I have ever tried from this site and I have tried many. Thank you Jennifer.

  • I made this last week for my family. It was delicious!

  • A year later this is still one of my favorite recipes! Thank you

  • I made this tonight along with the suggested sides. It was fantastic and received rave reviews. I used 4 bone-in chicken breasts.

  • I made this chicken for dinner last night; the flavor was fantastic! The skin was crisp and delicious, the meat was moist and juicy. We saved the roasted garlic and spread it on challah. As recommended by another reviewer, I made a large batch of herb butter and froze it in portions. I can’t wait to enjoy this recipe again!

  • Jennifer –

    The chicken was terrific! Everyone enjoyed it – it was juicy, flavorful and the sauce was great ). And, as you said, the reheated leftovers were great.

    I had the dish ready to go into the oven and it cooked during cocktails – when covered and resting while the sauce reduced, I put it (along with the completed smashed potatoes) in the warming oven set to “moist”. And when the sauce was done, I added that too. It was all probably there for 10 minutes while people were seated and we made kiddush. Everything was just right out of the drawer!

    Thanks again for your help and another great recipe!

  • Hi Susan,

    The roast chicken is definitely best served right out of the oven. Your instincts are right that the chicken would likely dry out. Also, the herbs and lemon zest get wonderfully crispy in the oven and that texture will get lost if it sits. If it helps, the sauce is actually really easy to make. Now that said, I will tell you that I’ve reheated leftovers in the oven with excellent results, so if you had to do it ahead of time I think it’s better to cook it then reheat it, rather than keep it warm for a long period of time but I’m not sure I’d risk that with company 🙂

    Hope that helps! Jenn

  • I’m planning to try your recent Sunday Night Chicken for a dinner party tomorrow and am considering how to handle preparation somewhat in advance utilizing my Miele warming oven. Do you think this is possible without compromising the look, taste and texture? Can the entire dish be done in advance (like 5 PM – 6 PM for 8 PM consumption?) and not have the chicken dry out? That is chicken kept covered (or maybe not??) and the reduced sauce both waiting in the warming oven?? Do you think it could be juicy after 90 minutes? I’d like to have the sauce reduced and the pan cleaned in advance – if possible. But – the chicken must be cooked to achieve this and I don’t want it to dry out or the herbs to look “olive” instead of green!

  • My husband is a huge fan of roast chicken. I have tried many other recipes but I have to say this was by far the best roast chicken ever. Thank you for sharing it.

  • So delicious!!! We love all your recipes!!! This was so good and I used some of the chicken to make soup. It was the best.

    • — Kim (your artist friend)
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  • Made the chicken last night–yum! Thanks for sharing!

  • I made the roasted chicken last weekend. It was delicious. (I actually made 4 times the recipe for the herb butter and froze it. Fresh herbs are really expensive where I live, so I figured I should try to get a few uses out of it.) I’ve been looking forward to an occasion to make the Rosemary nuts as well — we’re planning on hosting some people for the football game this Sunday – a perfect excuse. Thanks again for these posts. I really enjoy the way you tell the stories – especially with step by step pictures.

    • What a great idea! Herbs are very expensive here as well, so I think I’ll try your tip of making extra and freezing it.

  • Ordered the book and made the chicken. Delicious!

  • I enjoyed your post about Laurie David’s cookbook and family dinners. It is true – you spend so much time planning, shopping, cooking, and then cleaning up all in the name of the family dinner. When they woof down or complain about your food, it is a bummer. I get through it because I know that what goes on at the family table is more than filling hungry bellies. I cannot wait to read this book. Thanks for the tip!

  • SOunds like a wonderful cookbook! And I totally agree..kids learning to swim…YES!!!

  • It sounds like a lovely book – I’ve been seeing it around a lot lately. Mealtimes are our favorite parts of the day (and not just because we’re eating!). The chicken looks amazing. 🙂

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