Half of what I like about roast chicken is the aroma while the bird is cooking, and after the bird has cooked, and when I go to bed and its scent is still lingering in the air.
Aaah, can you smell it?
Of course you can’t, silly me!
But you know what I’m talking about?
What makes a good roast chicken is that it’s roasted on the bone and that it has its skin intact! Don't mean to sound bossy, I'm just very convinced that this is the way to go.
I know that so many are lured into buying boneless, skinless chicken breasts because they’re quick and easy to cook, but they don’t take to roasting well, not to mention that they’re expensive. Boneless, skinless chicken is great for the grill, or for sautéing. Actually it’s also great for stuffed chicken, but that’s because there’s normally some kind of fat in the stuffing that helps to keep the chicken moist in the oven.
Any hoo, about that roast chicken.
Cooking the chicken on the bone helps to retain moisture, and also imparts flavor; after all soup stock is made with the bones. And cooking with the skin on also gives the chicken juiciness and flavor as well as the skin being really great for holding seasonings on the chicken. Did I say anything about how crispy the skin gets, cuz it gets good and crispy?
I like to take advantage of that skin, and place some nice herbs or flavoring under the skin so that the flavors melt into the chicken and every bite is a burst of flavor for the mouth. Oh yes, I use this method often
If you don't want to eat the skin (which I know some of you don't), may I suggest roasting the chicken with the skin on, and then removing it when you’re ready to eat, but you’ll be missing out on the very best part of the chicken…just sayin’.
In this instance I used split chicken breasts (which means that it has the bones and the skin), but you may also use a whole chicken like I did in this recipe; thighs are more affordable and would also be mighty good. I used fresh summery herbs, but you may use any herbs that you like; in a pinch even dried herbs with do. To make life even easier you could add some potatoes and/or root veggies to the bottom of the pan and they’ll absorb some of that chicken flavor.
Here’s what you do.
This is what makes the chicken taste good; garlic, dill, chives and tarragon.
I like to make smiley faces with my food whenever possible!
These are the herbs I had on hand but you can use whatever you like, the key is that the herbs are fresh.
|Finely chop the garlic and herbs and add them to a small bowl with some olive oil; give it a stir.|
|Place your hand between the skin and the flesh of the chicken to make a place for the herb mixture to go; being careful not to pull the skin completely away.|
Now place 1/4 of the mixture under the skin.
Repeat with the remaining chicken.
This helps to flavor the chicken more so than if the herbs were just placed on the skin.
|Replace the skin, and season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.|
Roast in a pre-heated 400 degree oven.
These are Costco chickens, so they're very large, they roast for 40 minutes, and a small chicken breast may only take 30 minutes.
|See that crispy skin and how it holds the herbs on the chicken so nicely...just lovely.|
HERB ROASTED CHICKEN
4 Split chicken breasts (bone-in, skin-on)
1 clove Garlic
1 Tbsp. Fresh dill fronds, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. Tarragon, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. Chives, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper
1. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. On a cutting board, work the garlic into a paste by smushing it with the side of a knife. Add that to a small bowl with the herbs and the olive oil.
3. Place the chicken breasts on to a sheet pan or a shallow baking dish. Part the skin from the flesh by working your hand in between the two without pulling the skin completely off. You’re just looking to make a pocket for the flavorings. Again, use your hand to place one fourth of the herb mixture under the skin, onto the flesh, and then season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
4. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, depending upon the size of the chicken breasts, to an internal temperature of 165 to 170 degrees.