In this recipe a compound butter—softened butter combined with herbs, lemon zest and garlic—adds flavor to a roast chicken for a one-dish meal that’s elegant enough for a Sunday supper with friends. Consider roasting two chickens while you’re at it. It’s not much more work, and the leftovers can be the basis of several meals later this week.
Herbed Roast Chicken with Lemon, Garlic and Spring Onions
- 1 chicken, about 4 lb. (2 kg)
- 2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 2 lemons, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh chives
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon
- 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, plus 1 garlic head, halved crosswise
- 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) butter, at room temperature
- 1 bunch spring onions, halved lengthwise if large
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
1. Preheat an oven to 450°F (220°C).
2. Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Season the chicken inside and out with the salt and pepper and place half of the lemon slices inside the chicken cavity. Tuck the wing tips behind the back and tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
3. In a small bowl, stir together the chives, thyme, oregano, parsley, tarragon, lemon zest and chopped garlic. Add the butter and stir until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
4. Starting at the cavity, slip your fingers underneath the chicken skin and loosen it all over, being careful not to tear it and reaching as far as possible into the thigh area. Using your fingers, rub the butter mixture under the skin, distributing it as evenly as possible.
5. Place the chicken, breast side up, in large round cocotte or Dutch oven and add the remaining lemon slices, garlic head and spring onions to the pot and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast the chicken until the skin is well browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone, registers 170°F (77°C), 50 to 60 minutes.
6. Transfer the chicken to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Carve the chicken and serve immediately with the lemon slices, garlic and spring onions alongside. Serves 4.
Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen