Herb-Roasted Chicken


October 16, 2022

Roasting chicken doesn’t have to be difficult. This herb-roasted chicken is easy to make yet fancy enough to serve to guests!

How do you pick a chicken for roasting?

Look for antibiotic and hormone-free. I also used about a 5 ¼ pound chicken for this recipe. This is pretty hefty. This isn’t the size of the rotisserie chickens you’ll see at the grocery store.

You may find chickens specifically labeled “roaster”, but in my case, it wasn’t. Generally these roaster birds are bigger, therefore older birds so they have more muscle, flavor, and fat. And as you may already know, fat is flavor and moisture, making it favorable for roasting.

What type of chicken is best for roasting?

Start with fresh chicken. A supermarket that is busy means they replenish their stock frequently. Check for the expiration date. 

It might cost you $10 or $14 but it will be a feast.

What is the difference between a whole chicken and a roasting chicken?

Description. By definition, a roaster chicken is slightly older than a fryer or broiler chicken, but it is still the same breed of chicken. A roaster has a slightly thicker layer of fat, which keeps the bird moist as it roasts and allows it to develop a nice, crispy skin when cooked at high heat in the oven.

How long should a whole chicken sit out before roasting?

30 minutes is more than plenty.

Never roast chicken cold; it will take longer to cook. Before you put the chicken in the oven, give it time to come to room temperature. 30 to 45 minutes will do the trick.

Is it better to roast or bake a whole chicken?

Roasting is cooking at a higher temperature than baking. I roasted mine at 400°F. Sometimes others roast at 425 but people complain that it gets too dark. To remedy this, you would have to cover with foil.

I’d rather cook it longer at a lower temperature, so I can walk away from it and not have to monitor it too much.

Roasting is better if you’re cooking food that is solid—like a piece of meat or vegetable. If you’re cooking something that only solidifies after you’ve cooked it: like cake, quiche or casseroles, the way to go is baking.

What should I serve with roast chicken?

There are several delicious sides that go really well with a good roast chicken. Also, think about cooking along with the seasons and take advantage of nature’s bounty. Here are some great options:

  1. Carrots and green beans 
  2. Potatoes and parsnips
  3. Garlic mushrooms.
  4. Roasted cauliflower
  5. Potatoes au gratin or scalloped potatoes
  6. Broccoli and asparagus
  7. Brussels sprouts and squash
  8. Garlic mashed cauliflower

How long should you rest a roast chicken?

Chicken needs to rest after cooking in the same way as beef, lamb and pork, to allow the juices to settle back into the meat. Cover your chicken with foil and set aside for 30 minutes.

What wine goes well with chicken?

As a general rule, white meat such as chicken or turkey breast pairs well with white wines like Sauvignon Blanc while dark meat like duck and other game go well with medium-bodied red wines such as Pinot Noir.

But if you ask me, you can throw those rules out the door and drink what tastes good to you. Don’t even worry about it. No one’s watching. No one’s judging.

How long should you rest a roast chicken?

Chicken needs to rest after cooking in the same way as beef, lamb and pork, to allow the juices to settle back into the meat. Cover your chicken with foil and set aside for 10-15 minutes.

Herb-Roasted chicken

How do you make herb-roasted chicken?

First, you’ll set the oven at 400°F. You’ll zest a lemon, then cut it into quarters. Combine this zest with butter, parsley, dill, and salt which becomes your butter mixture. (If you prefer other herbs, you can use what you have. Rosemary, thyme, tarragon, or sage all work fine as well as orange or lime zest.)

Rub this under the skin of the chicken, all over! The thighs, the legs, under the wings. All over! I also season inside the cavity. You can put in the parsley stems, the leftover citrus, and garlic. 

You can tie the legs together (so that the chicken cooks evenly and you end up with a nice-looking chicken that’s tucked in…as opposed to spread out). I did, however, tuck the wing tips beneath the body. 

Now place this primed chicken on a baking sheet.

Toss the carrots (you can also use potatoes) with oil; and season with salt. Scatter them around the chicken and roast for 1 ½ hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. This is the part that takes the longest to cook, so when it’s done you know that the entire bird is ready to go. You can also check with a kitchen thermometer. When it reaches 160°F, your roast chicken is done. Take it out of the oven.

If you’re using the same roasting pan to serve, cover it with aluminum foil and let it rest for about 20 minutes.

Slice the chicken and serve it with the vegetables.

I added green beans (cooked separately) and served it with potato gratin on the side.

QUICK PRO TIP: For the most even results, let the chicken come to room temperature (about 20-25 minutes) before roasting. Once it’s out of the oven, don’t skip the resting time. Those crucial 20 minutes allow the natural juices to redistribute, resulting in the most tender and moist chicken.

How to serve roast chicken for a dinner party

When serving for a dinner party, you can marinate the chicken ahead (prep in the morning and keep in the fridge). Before you put it in the oven, leave it at room temperature for about 20-25 minutes.

This dish is so beautiful and impressive, you can serve it directly using the same pan or skillet. 

As the host, you should know when your guests are arriving, so you can plan accordingly when to stick the bird in the oven. 

For a five to six-pound bird,  it takes about an hour and a half.

If you want to save time and have less cleaning up after your party, plan to serve straight from your roasting pan or your skillet. That said, make sure you’re not using an aluminum roasting pan or a banged-up skillet. Use a presentable one so that you can serve straight from your oven to the dinner table.

Wrapping it up

Roast chicken is so good and so easy to make. It’s easy enough to make for a weeknight meal yet fancy enough for a feast when you have company over. Stick to this one basic recipe and jazz it up later. You can substitute with other favorite herbs and vegetables to cook with and serve on the side.

Try using paprika with roasted garlic, scallions with ginger and lime, or lemon and parsley.

Let’s get social

Are we friends on social media yet? Come follow along for more kitchen tips and inspiration. You can find me on Instagram @chef.rafael.gonzalez and on Facebook, Chef Rafael Gonzalez

If you tried this recipe feel free to tag me so I can see your culinary creation!

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Herb-roasted chicken

Herb-Roasted Chicken

  • Author: Rafael Gonzalez
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 90
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


Easy and delicious chicken roasted with flavorful herb butter



1 (5-6 pound) roasting chicken

1 lemon

1 bunch parsley

A few sprigs dill, chopped

1/4 stick of butter, at room temperature

Kosher salt

Fresh ground black pepper

1 head garlic, cut in half

4 carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks

Olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out and remove any excess fat. Pat the chicken dry.
  3. Zest the lemon into a bowl. Cut the zested lemon into quarters and set aside.
  4. Chop about half the parsley and add to the bowl with the lemon zest. Add the dill and butter, season with salt, and mash to combine.
  5. Using your fingers, rub the butter mixture underneath the chicken skin and inside the cavity.
  6. Generously season the inside and outside of the chicken with salt and pepper.
  7. Stuff the cavity with the remaining parsley, lemon quarters, and the garlic.
  8. Tie the legs together and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken, so the chicken cooks evenly and it looks tucked in when you serve and present. You don’t want the chicken to cook expanded and the wings spread out.
  9. Place the carrots in your roasting pan or skillet. Toss with salt, pepper, and olive oil.
  10. Spread carrots around the bottom of the pan and place the chicken on top.
  11. Roast the chicken for about 1 ½ hours or until the juices come out clear. You’ll know when you stick the thermometer in between the legs and thigh; the internal temperature should reach 160-160°F.
  12. Remove the chicken from the oven and cover with aluminum foil for 20 minutes to let the chicken rest and allow the juices to redistribute throughout the chicken. This step will ensure that your chicken stays moist and tender.
  13. Slice the chicken and serve with the vegetables and other sides you desire.

Keywords: roast chicken recipe, roast chicken with herb butter, one pan meal

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