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Roast Chicken with a Garlic Herbed Butter


Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken

S. Wongkaew

The Sunday roast chicken conjures up images of traditional family gatherings.

In this particular recipe, I roasted a whole free-range chicken in a garlic herbed butter. I mixed the butter with garlic, fresh thyme, rosemary, parsley and lemon zest.

I don't normally make stuffing, however I do sometimes add several lemon quarters and some fresh thyme to the cavity. This gives the meat a lovely citrusy aroma.

This recipe serves 4.


  • 1.5 pound organic free-range chicken
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp of fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp of fresh rosemary leave, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp of parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 Tbsp of grated lemon zest
  • 3 tsp of sea salt
  • 1.5 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lemons
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Special equipment: Kitchen string & rack to place over the baking pan (optional)
  • 1 sweet potato, cut into chunks
  • 1 bulb of garlic, wrapped in foil
  • 8 small potatoes, quartered
  • 1 onion, cut in half
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Serves 4


  1. Preheat the oven to 450F.
  2. In a bowl, soften the butter with a fork and add the chopped thyme, garlic, rosemary, parsley, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Rinse the chicken inside and out with cool water. Pat dry and remove any fat from the cavity opening. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt into the cavity.
  4. Starting at the cavity of the bird, gently slide a finger under the skin of the chicken to loosen it, being careful not to poke any holes. Slide about a teaspoon of butter mixture under skin onto the breasts and the drumsticks with your fingers.
  5. Cut one lemon into quarters and place in the cavity with the thyme sprigs. Tie the legs together and tuck the wings under the body.
  6. Place the chicken onto a rack that fits over the baking pan. Finally, sprinkle the remaining salt, pepper and a little olive oil over the chicken and massage well.
  7. Meanwhile, mix the potatoes and sweet potatoes in olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Place them in a baking tin, ensuring that the skin of the potatoes is facing down (this makes the potatoes more crispy). Cut the onion into quarters and place in the tin along with the garlic bulb.
  8. Turn the oven down to 350F and place the chicken over it's pan on the middle oven rack. Now place the vegetables on the rack below and roast for 45 minutes. You can test the chicken by taking it out and cutting into the breast. The juices should run clear.
  9. Remove the chicken from the oven and cover it loosely in foil and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, squeeze juice from the extra lemon and mix it in with the remaining butter. This can be spooned over the chicken upon serving.

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