How to Roast the Perfect Chicken

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Forget the grocery store rotisserie. Theres nothing like the smell of roasted chicken at home on a cold winters day. What you may not know, though, is that you dont have to be Martha Stewart to pull it off. This is a simple recipe for the best roasted chicken of your life. It will make you look like a superhero.

The Perfect Roasted Chicken

Don’t let the whole bird intimidate you — roasting a chicken is about as simple and uninvolved as it gets. The best thing about this recipe is that good quality ingredients do the heavy lifting for you. Find an organic chicken, some nice salted butter, and fresh herbs, and you’re halfway there. Plus, we have a few expert tips on how to get a juicy, flavorful roast every time.


1 whole chicken
1 stick of salted butter, softened
2 lemons, quartered
Zest of one lemon
A bundle of herbs such as thyme, sage, and rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 lime, quartered
White vinegar
2 heads of garlic, the tops cut off
¼ cup of good quality extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp of harissa
2 tsp of garlic powder
2 tsp of onion powder
1 tsp of Italian seasoning
1 tsp of salt
2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
1 large shallot, quartered



Preheat your oven to 400 ºF. Cut off the top of one head of garlic and place it in a bed of foil. Drizzle some olive oil and salt directly on top of the garlic, and place on the top rack of your oven to roast for 30 minutes or until soft and golden. 

In the meantime, begin by washing your chicken. Place the chicken, lime, one lemon, and a pinch of coarse sea salt in a large bowl and cover with vinegar until mostly submerged. Let sit, swirling the mixture occasionally, for about 10–20 minutes. This will both clean your chicken and subtly enhance its flavor. 

Rinse your chicken with water and pat it completely dry. Once your head of garlic is roasted, prepare your seasoning mixtures. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon zest, harissa, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Next, in another small bowl, squeeze the cloves from the roasted head of garlic. Add the softened butter to the garlic and mix until well combined. To the butter mixture, add a few tablespoons of the olive oil mixture, and combine until you have a cohesive paste.  


Place your chicken in a large dutch oven or on a roasting pan with a rack. You can also place a handful of quartered potatoes and onions under the chicken for extra vegetable sides, but this is optional.

Using your hands, spread the butter mixture all over the chicken. You’ll want to gently separate the skin from the chicken, spreading the mixture under the skin for a fully coated, extra moist bird. Next, repeat the process with the olive oil mixture. Be sure to use the entirety of both pastes — there’s no such thing as too much flavor. 

Finally, stuff the inside of your chicken with the remaining lemon, shallot, head of garlic, rosemary, sage, thyme, and bay leaves. Place in your preheated oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, baste the chicken with the juices from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to 375 and continue to cook for another hour, basting every 20 minutes. Once golden and at a temperature of about 170–180 ºF, remove from the oven and tent with aluminum foil to let rest. After about 10 minutes of resting, remove the foil and carve to serve. 

We love pairing this with mashed potatoes, roasted carrots, and a punchy salad

Related Articles:

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