Using a herb butter under the skin of poultry has been something I always thought I would not do.  Too greasy, too much butter.  But you know what?  I am a convert.  This was so so delicious.  And talk about tender!  It was very easy to remove the excess fat from the pan - all I really had left was the yummy caramelized chicken drippings which made a fabulous gravy.  So if you have been hesitant to make a roast chicken with herb butter - I urge you to give it a try.  I may well do this all the time now it was that good!
Herb butter:
2-3 Tblsp. butter
1 Tblsp. finely minced fresh Sage
1 Tbslp. finely minced Fresh Italian Flat Leaf Parsley
2 very finely minced garlic cloves
zest of one lemon
salt and pepper
For the Chicken:
3 1/2 lb. organic chicken
1/2 a lemon (I just used the half I had left from the grated lemon zest, and the juice removed)
handful of Fresh Italian Flat Leaf Parsley
5 Fresh Sage leaves
salt and pepper
Veggie rack:
1 carrot
1/2 a sliced onion
1 celery stalk
In a small bowl, mix the butter, garlic, herbs, lemon zest and salt and pepper.

Rinse and pat dry the chicken.  Lift the skin on the chicken breasts and thighs, using your finger as a guide to gently pull up the skin.  I just used my hands to pat in the butter underneath the skin of the chicken.  Then press on top of the skin to evenly distribute under the skin.  Season the cavity with salt and pepper, and add in the fresh herbs and 1/2  a lemon.

Slice the carrot, celery and onion into thin lengths, laying down in the bottom of your baking dish.  Place the chicken on top of the vegetable rack, and lightly drizzle olive oil over the chicken to coat.
Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for about 2 hours, or until an instant read thermometer reads 170-175  degrees.
Place the roasted chicken on a platter, lightly covered in tin foil to rest - about 15 minutes.  Remove the excess grease from the bottom of the pan.  I mash the cooked vegetables in the pan, straining out any big bits.  For the gravy I just used a good splash of white wine, chicken stock salt and pepper to taste, and one large fresh sage leaf.  Bring to a simmer for about 5-8 minutes.  Remove the sage leaf, and thicken with a cornstarch slurry. - So delicious!

Ina Gawne


  1. I'm sitting up in bed, laptop on my lap (where else?!), Yoshi is on my feet - under the blankets - and I am drooling!!
    I made tarragon butter over the summer and froze it in logs - it would be perfect for this chicken 🙂

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June 3, 2011