I love the opportunity to use my oven! And now that I think of it...I don't use it nearly as often as I should. What's easier than throwing a piece of meat in the oven for an hour or two to let it roast? Plus, I always feel better about dinner when I get to use my oven. It makes it seem like I slaved over dinner when it's served...well, and it makes the kitchen smell incredible!
The other day I couldn't decide what to make for dinner. I had a whole chicken, and I wasn't sure how I wanted to cook it. I was busy thinking about Sydney's school project. I had to make dinner and help her finish her animal project by dinnertime. That's when it hit me! Throw the chicken in the oven, and forget it. So that's what I did.
I used the recipe for Herb Butter Roasted Chicken because I've never made herb butter before. My friend, Adam, always talks about putting herb butter on his corn-on-the-cob, but I've never ventured to try making it. Now that I have, there's no going back! I can see using it on meat, bread, and even corn-on-the-cob.
To get started, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. While the oven's heating, prep your parsley and garlic by giving them a fine chop. Although you really only need one clove of garlic, I used two...I LOVE garlic!
Next, using a mortar and pestle, crush the rosemary. By crushing it, you're releasing its incredible aeromatics while also making it easier to eat. My husband, Jeremy, always complains when I use dry rosemary because it's not the easiest herb to eat in its whole form. We usually end up picking it out of our food...Now I know the secret. Crush it first!
If you don't have a mortar and pestle, you can use a bowl and the handle of your knife. You could even place it in a plastic baggie and beat it with a rolling pin or the flat side of a meat tenderizer.
Now that your herbs are ready, you can prepare the herb butter. In a small bowl, mix together the softened butter, parsley, garlic, rosemary, and salt and pepper. To soften the butter, I took it out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking time. If you forget, you could also chop it up into small pieces, and it'll be soft within 5 minutes.
Next, get the chicken ready for roasting by rinsing it under cool water. I also dried it with paper towels to help make it easier to apply the herb butter later.
When I roast chicken, I like to be sure it's as flavorful as possible. To help with this, I like to apply seasoning both on top and underneath the chicken skin. To do this, all you need to do is create "pockets" under the skin by gently pulling the skin from the meat.
Next, apply the herb butter all over the chicken. I used my hands because they were already full of chicken juice, but you can use a spatula if you prefer. I started by applying herb butter underneath as much of the skin as possible (focusing mainly on the breast). Then I used the remaining butter to coat the outside of the chicken.
You'll notice I haven't secured the chicken's legs or wings with twine yet. This is because it's easier to get the seasoning/herb butter into all of the little nooks and crannies before doing so.
Now that the bird is completely slathered with herb butter, you can secure the chicken's legs and wings. This will help keep as much juice in the chicken as possible while it roasts in the oven. If you don't have twine, you could also use rubber bands (real ones not the fabric ones). I know it sounds weird, but it really works. I didn't have twine, and I wasn't about to run to Kroger just for that, so I used what I had.
With three little girls in the house, I always have rubber bands! Depending on their size, you can probably use one band to tie the legs together. Then fold the wings under the breast.
Put the roasting pan into the oven for about 1.5 to 2 hours, and roast the chicken until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. It also wouldn't hurt to baste it every thirty minutes or so. It's not mandatory, but I've always had good results by doing so.
When you think the chicken's ready, check the internal temperature at the inner thigh, since it takes the longest time to cook through. Once the desired temperature is reached, take it out of the oven, and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes. Like with other meats, you need to give the juices in the chicken a few minutes to redistribute in the meat before cutting it. If you don't, you may end up with dry chicken!
I served this for dinner with a baked potato and a salad. What a great meal! Plus, I didn't have to worry about checking on it every five minutes. Dinner was served, and we finished Sydney's project on time.
I can't wait to make this herb butter again, and when sweet corn is in season, I can see making some for our summer cookouts. I'm sure Adam will bring the corn-on-the-cob!
Why wait for a summer cook out? Try Herb Butter Roasted Chicken soon and remember to rate and review this recipe.
On Monday Becky's making cornbread. Cornbread with Chicken...sounds good to me!
Julie is paid to write for the Land O'Lakes Recipe Buzz® Blog.