Juicy roasted chicken with fresh herbs

I try to be modest, but when we ate this beautiful bird, I couldn’t help
but exclaim that I *might* be the best chicken roaster in all the land.

If you’ve read my “Restaurant Style Chicken Enchiladas” post, you know that I’m a big fan of the grocery store rotisserie chicken. Delicious and easy! But sometimes, a girl wants to do it the hard way. And thus, my first foray into roasting chicken. Let me tell you, experimentation is gooood! After some recipe surfing and roasting recon, I concocted a delectable method to make juicy, tender chicken. Do not be intimidated by all of the steps. Once you get the bird in the oven, it’s smooth sailing. Prep: 15-ish minutes. Cooking: 90-ish minutes. Gravy/Presentation: 15-ish minutes.

NSFD ranking: *-** (depending on how lean your bird is and how much butter or olive oil you use)


  • 1 whole chicken
  • Olive oil
  • 20-25 cloves garlic, peeled (No, I’m not kidding.)
  • 1 lemon, sliced in half or thirds depending on the size of your bird
  • 1 large onion, thickly sliced
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme with a few sprigs reserved
  • A few sprigs fresh rosemary
  • Emeril’s Essence or other cajun seasoning
  • White wine or chicken broth
  • Salt/pepper
  • Kitchen string
Preheat oven to 450.
1. Rinse the bird, removing the giblets, excess fat and any remaining pin feathers. (You can keep the innards to make gravy but they creep me out so I toss ’em.)
2. Pat the bird dry with paper towels.
3. Salt and pepper the cavity.
4. Rub outside with olive oil (you can use butter, but I was pretending to be virtuous)
5. Slide your hand between the skin and the breast, loosening the skin. Rub with Essence, salt, pepper and whatever spices float your boat. Under the skin, they won’t burn.
6. Slide a few (or 7) garlic cloves under the skin. Trust me on this one.
7. Stuff the cavity with lemon halves, thyme, a couple sprigs rosemary and several cloves of garlic
8. Tie the legs so they are crossed over the cavity. Tuck the wings under the body, or if you have skewers, pin the wings down.
9. Generously salt and pepper the entire bird.
10. Prepare a roasting pan by spraying liberally with cooking spray. Arrange sliced onions on the bottom, drizzling with olive oil.
11. Place chicken on top of onions, and arrange 15-20 garlic cloves around the chicken. (I coated mine in olive oil and they didn’t burn.)
12. Roast at 450 for 20 minutes, and then reduce heat to 350.
13. In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together 3/4 to 1 cup white wine (or chicken broth) and a few tablespoons olive oil. When you reduce heat, pour over the bird.
14. Baste with juices every 20-25 minutes for about an hour.
15. Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 170 in the meatiest part of the breast and leg.
16. Remove chicken from oven, and set on a platter to rest while you make gravy. Cover with an aluminum foil tent to keep warm.


Check those garlic cloves!

17. Pour drippings (including all of the garlics!) into a saucepan and boil until the result is reduced by half or it is “saucy” enough for your liking. (You’ll want to make sure you drain the drippings from the cavity as well.) Add remaining thyme, and check the spices. Approximately 8 minutes.

18. Serve with roasted root veggies, asparagus and crusty French bread. (Then, while eating, bask in your culinary awesomeness.)

Roasted carrots, potatoes and parsnips with onions and garlic, naturally.



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