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Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter


  • 3.5-4 pound chicken
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • One lemon, halved
  • 2 tablespoons chopped herbs (thyme, sage, rosemary, or whatever you have)
  • Fennel tops, chopped coarsely
  • 5-6 new potatoes, cut into quarters

Pat the chicken dry and place in roasting dish. Season the cavity and outside with 1.5 tablespoons salt. At this point, if you can let the chicken sit in the fridge overnight to absorb the salt, that’s great. If not, just leave out for 45 minutes to 1 hour, allowing the chicken to come to room temperature. (This step is crucial to getting the bird cooked through.) Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450º. In a small bowl, mix the butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and herbs – I like to mush it in my hands and then apply directly to the chicken. Make pockets under the breast skins and deposit some but-ter there. Rub the rest over the breasts and legs. Stuff the cavity with halved lemon and fennel tops. Truss the chicken with kitchen twine, tucking in the wings and tying the legs together. Cook for 50 minutes to an hour, until the thigh registers 165º on a meat thermometer, and juices run clear. If the chicken browns quickly before it is done, tent with foil to prevent burning. Meanwhile, toss potatoes with olive oil and salt. Roast on a sheet pan on a rack under chicken for 25-30 minutes, turning the potatoes every 10 minutes to achieve a golden brown all over. Allow chicken to rest 15 minutes before carving. Serve with roasted potatoes, maybe some greens, and drizzle everything with those flavorful pan drippings.

Submitted by Molly Kincaid, Photography by Shelby Thompson