Crispy Roast Chicken

Crispy Roast Chicken
Staff Writer
Crispy Roast Chicken
France Ruffenach

Crispy Roast Chicken

One of the first and best (and most primal) things I learned to do in the kitchen was to roast a chicken. In high school, it was also one of the few experiences that my sister, Nicole, and I could share without a fight.

We’d push a few pats of butter under a chicken’s skin, stuff a bunch of fresh herbs in the cavity, and roast it in a hot oven until golden brown, by which time the smell drove us crazy. We’d devour it standing up, burning our fingers and tongues as we pulled at the hot, crackling skin, eating it right down to the nubbins.

Click here to see 101 Ways to Cook Chicken

Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients


  • 1 2- to 4 1/2-pound chicken
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 small bunch fresh herb sprigs (such as thyme, basil, parsley, or any combination)
  • Kosher salt, to taste


Set the chicken in a 12-inch (or larger) cast-iron frying pan or a 5-quart (or larger) Dutch oven. Using your fingers, gently work 1 tablespoon of the butter under the breast skin, pushing the butter in as far as you can reach to the front of the breast and down the sides into the thighs. (Try not to tear the skin.) Rub the remaining butter all over the breast and leg skin on the outside. Put the bouquet of herbs in the body cavity and season the chicken all over with the salt.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Set the chicken on the countertop for 30 minutes or so to take the chill off before cooking. Put the chicken in the oven and roast for 30 minutes before either inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of a thigh or cutting into a thigh with a paring knife. The thermometer should register 170 degrees. (If using a knife, look for clear, not red or pink, juices running from the spot where you pierced the meat and opaque, barely pink flesh at the bone.)

If the chicken isn’t done, roast for 5 or 10 minutes longer and check it again. When the chicken is done, remove it from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before you carve and serve.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
Carbohydrate, by difference
Calcium, Ca
Sodium, Na

Roast Chicken Shopping Tip

When working with chicken, buy a separate cutting board, preferably a dishwasher-safe, plastic one, to avoid spreading bacteria onto raw produce.

Roast Chicken Cooking Tip

When browning meat, resist the urge to move the meat – you must allow a flavorful crust to form over high heat. Once it has formed, the meat should slide freely with the shake of a pan.

Roast Chicken Wine Pairing

Pinot noir, gamay, merlot, zinfandel, carménère, pinotage, or grenache with grilled, roasted, or other simply cooked chicken; chardonnay, pinot gris/grigio, pinot blanc, or chenin blanc with chicken in cream or light tomato sauce or with chicken crêpes or croquettes; sauvignon blanc or sémillon with fried chicken; viognier with spiced chicken dishes.