Champion chicken

16 Mar

I have been dying to roast a whole chicken ever since I saw separate posts from two of my favorite bloggers, Jessica at How Sweet It Is and Amy of the recently unveiled Bookworm Wife. Christopher and I sat down to plan meals the other day, and we decided this week would be the week we ate roasted chicken, fresh from the oven. I had no intentions of following their recipes but rather just sort of winging it and seeing how it turned out.

Here’s the recipe:

1 whole roasting chicken (I used a 5-pound bird.)

2 lemons

1 package poultry-blend herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage and marjoram) (I found a small package in the produce section.)

4 tablespoons butter, softened



Preheat oven to 400 degrees.


Unwrap the chicken over the sink, remove any innards (I didn’t find any inside my bird.) and rinse thoroughly, inside and out, with cool water.


Pat dry—as dry as you can get it—with paper towels and set aside. Be careful not to set the bird in a place where you easily could cross-contaminate other food; I set mine in the roasting pan for the moment.


Sprinkle or grind salt and pepper all over the chicken.

Mince a bit of the herbs—about a quarter of the bunch—and mix into softened butter. Set aside.



Halve the lemons and stuff them along with the remaining whole herbs into the cavity of the chicken.


Place the chicken breast-side up in a roasting pan, preferably a pan with a small rack set inside it to allow heat to circulate all around the bird.

IMG_8112 (This is about halfway through the roasting process.)

IMG_8116 (This is near the end of the roasting process.)

Roast for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until juices run clear and a thermometer reads 165 degrees.

(The wrap on the chicken recommended roasting it in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes per pound, which in my case would have been about 2 1/2 hours. I jacked up the oven not only to ensure we would have crispy skin, at least on the breast side of the bird, but also to decrease the roasting time. It worked! My chicken was done in about 1 hour and 40 minutes.)


Remove pan from oven and tent with aluminum foil. Let chicken rest about 5 minutes, then carve off desired pieces.


I was so impressed with how simple, albeit slightly time consuming, this process was—and I was equally impressed with how moist and tender the chicken was! I think the lemon juice emanating from the inside of the bird and the butter coating the outside of the bird helped not only create flavor but also maintain moisture. I highly recommend making this some weekend night.

What daunting recipe have you been dying to try?


4 Responses to “Champion chicken”

  1. Amy March 17, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    Right on, lady! I too loved how our chicken turned out…though I’m sure I’ll still hit up the grocery store for a rotisserie chicken when I’m in a pinch. Still, I’m glad to have learned how to do it! 🙂

    • kaylabee18 March 21, 2011 at 11:52 am #

      It’s a good thing to have in your back pocket…er…recipe book?

  2. Julia March 18, 2011 at 12:45 am #

    Rock star! That chicken looks really nicely done!
    I love how you said you didn’t find any innards inside the chicken, it made me laugh out loud. Maybe I’m easily amused?

    • kaylabee18 March 21, 2011 at 11:51 am #

      Thanks, babe! Maybe… But I wasn’t joking. I found nothing inside my chicken!

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