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Herb Garlic Roasted Chicken

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1 (3 to 5 pound) roasting chicken
1 lemon, washed
6 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons minced flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup softened butter
1 cup chicken stock

Herb Garlic Roasted Chicken

There's nothing like a tender and juicy roast chicken for an easy and delicious dinner any night of the week.

  • Serves 4
  • Easy

About This Recipe

There’s nothing like a roast chicken. These classic and simple recipes are easy to make, and nothing makes your home smell better. Plus, roasted chicken makes a great entree and will probably leave you with enough leftovers so you can make a great chicken sandwich or two the next day, like Chicken Bacon Sandwiches. My favorite recipe for this bird is Herb Garlic Roasted Chicken.

Look for a 3 to 5 pound roasting chicken in the supermarket. You don’t want one that’s too big or the meat may be tough no matter how perfectly it’s cooked. You don’t have to truss the chicken unless you want to. If you do, just tie the legs together and loop the string around the body. Tie it tightly, then roast it.

All roasted meats are better if they are allowed to sit after they come out of the oven. Just cover the bird with foil and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. This is a great time to finish off the other dishes that will be part of your dinner. Consider Cheesy Broccoli Carrot Bake or  My Mom’s Potato Salad. or the always classic Scalloped Potatoes.

You don’t have to be a fancy carver to serve a roasted chicken either. Just start by cutting down the center of the bird, then cut horizontally above the wings to remove the breast. Slice it. Then cut off the drumsticks and the thighs and wings. Arrange everything on a platter and dig in.

Tips for the best Herb Garlic Roasted Chicken:

  • Always test the chicken with a reliable meat thermometer before you take it out of the oven. All poultry should reach a temperature of 165°F for food safety reasons.
  • Really, let the bird rest before you carve it. You will be much happier with the results.
  • Roast the chicken uncovered.
  • Rub the chicken all over with butter before you roast it even if you aren’t adding the garlic and herbs.

Why this recipe works:

  • Garlic and herbs are natural partners for tender and juicy chicken.
  • The lemon adds a touch of freshness and brings out the flavor of the bird.

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Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove the giblets and any fat from the chicken cavity. Do NOT rinse the chicken; that will only spray bacteria around your kitchen. Pat it dry if you must do something. Put the chicken into a shallow baking dish large enough to hold it easily.


Roll the lemon on the counter with the palm of your hand, then prick it thoroughly with a fork. Cut the lemon in half. Put one half into the chicken, then squeeze the juice of the other.


Peel the garlic. Mash the garlic with the salt in a small bowl until a paste forms. Rub half of this paste inside the chicken. Add the butter and herbs to the rest of the garlic paste. Loosen the chicken skin and rub half of this mixture under the skin; smooth the skin back over the bird and hold with toothpicks.


Rub the remaining garlic/herb/butter mixture on the outside of the chicken. Truss if desired. Pour the lemon juice over the chicken. Pour the chicken broth into the bottom of the baking dish.


Roast the chicken for 65 to 80 minutes, basting halfway through cooking time with the juices in the pan. Test the bird with the thermometer at the 60 minute point. Put the thermometer probe into the thigh, and make sure you don't touch bone or the reading will be inaccurate. When the chicken is done the drumstick should move easily and the juices will run clear, although those doneness tests are not as accurate as the thermometer.


Cover the chicken with foil and let rest for 10 to 15 minute before carving. Serve with the strained pan juices.


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 54 books (53 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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