Last night I made an easy herb roasted chicken that was perfect for a winter dinner. The weather is cold and it is that time of year when we are looking for something delicious and comforting. Roast chicken is the answer to that craving. This is a juicy, moist, and flavorful chicken recipe that is absolutely easy to prepare. Pair it with oven roasted sweet potatoes and sautéed asparagus and you have a spectacular dinner. It truly is special enough for company, but you won’t want to wait to make this.
When the weather starts to cool off, I get the bug to turn on my oven and make comfort food. There is no dish more comforting than a really good roasted chicken. I know everyone immediately thinks of chicken soup, when you mention “comforting food”, but for me it is an oven roasted chicken. What is great about this is that if you have leftovers you can use the chicken to make the soup. I doubt you will have leftovers though! My husband ate half of the chicken himself last night! One of the great things about roasting a whole chicken is that everyone gets what they like best. John and Matthew, love the legs and wings and I like the breast. So this works out great for us!
Not as Hard as it sounds
Spatchcocking the chicken allows it to cook faster because you are exposing more of the surface of the chicken to the heat. Spatchcocking means that you remove the backbone and flatten the chicken. It isn’t difficult to do yourself, but if you are not comfortable doing this you can ask your butcher to do it for you.
I made a fresh herb butter and rubbed it under the skin and all over the outside of the chicken. This ensures the seasonings get right on the meat, not just the skin, and imparts the flavors all over the bird. I had fresh thyme, parsley and sage on hand and combined them with garlic, making a very fragrant and savory rub. The butter helps the skin brown and get crispy as the chicken roasts.
How to Spatchcock a chicken:
- Remove the gizzards and the neck from the cavity of the chicken.
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
- Place the chicken breast side down on a cutting board.
- Using a sharp knife or good kitchen shears, cut along either side of the backbone. Remove the backbone and discard it.
- Turn the chicken over so that it is breast side up. Score the breast bone with a knife. Press down on the breast of the chicken with both hands and flatten it out.
How to make Herb rub:
- Finely chop the thyme, parsley, and sage and combine in a small bowl.
- You can use any fresh herbs that you have on hand. Rosemary, oregano or basil are delicious as well.
- Crush the garlic using a garlic press and add to the herbs.
- Add the softened butter to the herbs and mix well.
- Another option is to use olive oil in place of the butter.
Applying the rub:
- Carefully lift the skin from the breast and legs of the chicken. Salt and pepper the chicken all over including under the skin. R
- Rub a tbsp. of the herbed butter under the skin.
- Rub the remainder of the butter all over the top of the skin and the underside of the chicken.
- Place the chicken breast side up on a roasting rack.
- Pin the wings under the breast.
- Place in the center of an oven preheated to 425°
- Allow the chicken to roast until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 165° and the juice between the thigh and breast runs clear (about 45 minutes).
- Remove the chicken from the oven and tent with foil.
- Allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
Easy Herb Roasted Chicken
- 3.5 – 4 lb. Chicken whole, spatchcocked, rib bone removed and flattened
- ¼ cup Butter softened
- 1 tbsp. Sage fresh, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. Thyme fresh, removed from stem, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. Parsley fresh, finely chopped
- 3 cloves Garlic crushed in a garlic press or finely diced
- Black pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 425°.
- Prepare the chicken by removing the backbone. To remove the backbone, lay the chicken on a cutting board, breast side down. Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears cut along either side of the backbone and remove it. Then score down the center of the rib cage. Place your hands on either side of the rib cage and press down flattening the chicken.
- Liberally salt and pepper the chicken on all sides. Carefully lift the skin on the breast and thighs so that you do not completely remove it. Salt and pepper under the skin as well.
- Combine the chopped herbs, garlic and butter in a small bowl and mix well.
- Rub the herbed butter under the skin and all over the entire chicken.
- Place the chicken skin side up on a rack in a roasting pan and tuck the wing tips under the rib cage.
- Roast the chicken for 40-45 minutes or until a thermometer placed in the thickest part of the breast registers 165°
- Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.