Herb Roast Chicken with Pan Sauce

Prep Time
Cook Time
1h 10m
Ready In

"According to the USDA, washing chicken is not necessary. If the bird is contaminated, dangerous bacteria are not going to be affected by cold tap water. Washing the chicken actually increases the chance of cross-contamination; water that has touched raw chicken and splashed into the sink can potentially contaminate other food. This recipe relies on a classic French preparation: stuffing the bird with aromatics, roasting it to perfection, and using the pan juices plus added shallots, wine, and stock to make a light sauce. There’s not a lot to cloud the plate or palate or mask a mistake. I will often order chicken, seemingly the most boring dish on the menu, when trying a new restaurant. Simple roast chicken is the test of a good cook. Adapted from Chef Virginia Willis' cookbook, "Bon Appetit, Y'all: Recipes and Stories from Three Generations of Southern Cooking"."

Original recipe yields 5 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (664.9 g)
  • Calories 646.5
  • Total Fat - 24.2 g
  • Saturated Fat - 10.1 g
  • Cholesterol - 1264.6 mg
  • Sodium - 2347.6 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 12.1 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 3.1 g
  • Sugars - 5 g
  • Protein - 90.8 g
  • Calcium - 109.5 mg
  • Iron - 13.4 mg
  • Vitamin C - 49.3 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.2 mg

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Step 2

To prepare the chicken, trim the excess fat from inside of the chicken cavity.

Step 3

Season the cavity with the herbes de Provence, bay leaves, salt, and pepper.

Step 4

Squeeze lemon juice into the cavity and then insert the used lemon quarters.

Step 5

Rub butter over the skin and season with salt and pepper.

Step 6

Tie the ends of the drumsticks together with kitchen twine, and set the chicken in a roasting pan, on a rack if you have one.

Step 7

Roast the chicken for 15 minutes, then decrease the heat to 350°F.

Step 8

Roast for an additional 15 minutes, then add the carrot and onion to the pan.

Step 9

Continue roasting, basting occasionally, until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a knife, an additional 30 to 45 minutes.

Step 10

Remove the chicken to a cutting board and tent loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Step 11

Using a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables to a warm platter and tent loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Step 12

To make the sauce, remove all but several tablespoons of the fat from the roasting pan and place the pan over medium heat.

Step 13

Add the shallots and saute, stirring frequently, until softened, about 2 minutes.

Step 14

Add the wine and cook until it is reduced by half, 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 15

Add the chicken stock and increase the heat to high, scraping the skillet with a wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits.

Step 16

Cook until the sauce is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes more.

Step 17

Carve the chicken and pour any accumulated chicken juices from the cutting board into the roasting pan.

Step 18

Decrease the heat to medium, and whisk in the butter.

Step 19

Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.

Step 20

Serve the chicken with the sauce on the side.

Tips & Variations

No special items needed.



Delicious chicken and very juicy. I added the carrot and onion as directed, but just for the flavor in the drippings. I did not serve them as I had other vegies. I am going to add them to the soup pot with the leftover chicken today. I also sprinkled some herbs de provence on the outside of the chicken before roasting. The gravy was wonderful. Thanks for a great Sunday dinner.

review by:
(23 Sep 2013)

Derf "RIP" Forever in our Kitchen

Very nice chicken, cooked to a turn and nice and moist, the carrots and onions were not as good as i thought they would be, the carrots were a wee bit too crunchy, but the gravy was lovely, thanks.Nice lemon flavour thoroughout. thanks for post, nice sunday dinner.

(26 Mar 2012)