Moist Herb Roasted Chicken

By Erika on September 21st, 2012 / / No Comments

This chicken is truly moist and so flavorful. I end up making this recipe about once a week and it never disappoints. We make chicken sandwiches and chicken pot pie with the leftovers, and I make stock out of the bones so a roasted chicken goes a long way. If you have an extra day ahead, you can always brine your chicken for even more of a moist and flavorful bird.

Moist Herb Roasted Chicken

Moist Herb Roasted Chicken


  • 1 whole roaster chicken 5-6 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (sage, rosemary and thyme), plus extra herb springs to put inside chicken when roasting
  • 3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (do not use salt if your chicken is brined)
  • 1/2 white onion

Pan sauce (optional):

  • drippings from the chicken
  • 1/2- 1 cup wine
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Rinse chicken and pat dry. set aside. Mix butter with the herbs and salt. Gently create a small pocket in both sides of the breasts between the skin and the meat, being careful not to tear the skin. Using your hands or a small wooden spoon (see pictures below), push a little less than half the butter mixture underneath the skin of each breast and push through to coat underneath on each side. Spread the remaining herb butter over the the top of the skin. Season the inside cavity with salt and pepper and place the remaining herb sprigs and onion inside the chicken.
  3. Note: You may also do this on the under side of the chicken and roast upside down for the first 2 minutes if you want to really want your dark meat to be seasoned with the herb butter as well. The top of the bird will not look as nice when you turn it over, but the chicken will be quite flavorful and even moister.
  4. Truss the chicken. There are two methods. You may tie the legs with twine (see pictures below), or cut a small hole in skin near cavity to put the legs in. You must be very careful not to tear the skin. Try to tuck the wings under the legs, but I laws just end up letting them go. You can also clip the wings tip at the last joint, but I tend not not do that either. If you'd like a giblet pan sauce, place the chicken on top of the giblets in the center of the pan. I skip this step and just use the drippings from the chicken and my pan sauce is also delicious.
  5. Roast the chicken in the higher heat for 30 minutes, then open the oven for 30 seconds or more to release some heat and turn the temperature down to 350 degrees (this would be where you would turn your bird breast-side up if you chose the upside down method above) and cook for about another hour, or until a thermometer inserted in between the leg and breast area reaches 165 degrees. Pull out of the oven and let rest for at least 30 minutes. Do not overcook. The temperature will continue to rise as it sits.
  6. Take the roasting pan with all the juices and put on the stove burners over high heat, adding the onion that was inside the chicken. Stir in wine and scape the bottom of the pan with the wooden spoon to bring up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring the wine to a nice bubble and cook until it's reduced by about half. Remove the giblets if you used them and onion. Whisk in butter. Stir in the herbs, then season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve with the chicken.

Push the herb butter (careful not to tear skin!) in between the skin and the breast. Rub herb butter on the outside of the chicken as well.

Tie up the legs (you may also put small cuts in loose skin near cavity and push legs through to truss the chicken).


You can see the herb butter under and on top of skin, legs tied and chicken ready to go in the oven!

Moist chicken breast!

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