Roast Chicken with Herb Butter


1 whole roasting chicken, about 3 pounds
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon minced herbs, such as thyme, parsley and tarragon
1 carrot, diced
1 onion, diced
1 rib celery, diced
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup water, chicken stock or broth
Salt, freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Have ready a roasting pan with a rack to set the chicken on.

2. Combine the butter and herbs in a small bowl. Using your fingers or a small wooden spoon, separate the skin of the chicken from the meat across the breast and over each leg. Be careful not to poke holes in the skin. Use your hands to evenly spread the butter/herb mixture under the skin.

3. Place the chicken in the roasting pan on the rack. Place 1/4 of each of the vegetables into the cavity of the chicken. Tie the legs together securely and tuck the wings under the body.

4. Place the chicken in the oven and roast 10 minutes, breast side up. Turn the chicken on one side, baste with accumulated juices and sprinkle with salt and pepper. If the juices begin to smoke, add 1/4 cup of water to the pan. Bake 10 minutes more. Turn the chicken on its other side, baste, and season with salt and pepper. Bake 10 minutes.

5. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and add the remaining vegetables to the bottom of the pan. Bake 10 additional minutes on each side, basting after each turn. Turn the chicken breast side up and finish baking, about 20 minutes. The chicken is done when the juices in the thigh run clear.

6. Transfer chicken to a warm platter. Allow the chicken to sit tented with foil for 10 to 15 minutes before carving so the juices can retreat back into the flesh.

7. For sauce, remove the fat from the pan juices. Place the roasting pan over a large burner. With the heat on medium high, pour the wine into the pan and scrape up any brown bits. Add the water and heat to a boil. Boil 1 minute to reduce, season with salt and pepper and pass with the chicken.

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