Herb Roasted Chicken

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There are many reasons why I enjoy cooking, one of them being the feeling of accomplishment after making a wonderful meal.  Many people my age eat out a lot, with the common complaint that cooking at home is just too time consuming.  However, what many do not realize is the beauty of taking quality ingredients and creating magic with your hands.  Though yes, cooking can definitely be time consuming there are also many recipes that are simple to make with minimal cleanup.  This Herb Roasted Chicken is the perfect example — you marinate it for an hour  in a brine and throw it in the oven for another hour.  The reason I love this dish so much is that you can use this chicken with anything — pair it with some vegetables (I chose carrots), or use the left overs for sandwiches, salads and even soups!


Ingredients for Herb Roasted Chicken:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coarse black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups ice water
  • 1 chicken, about 3 lbs, neck and giblets removed
  • 3 tablespoons butter


For the brine, combine the water, salt, sugar, half of the dried herbs and bay leaves into a large saucepan.  Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar.  Reduce to heat to low and simmer for 10 min so the flavors of the herbs can be drawn out. Pour the brine into a deep set large bowl and cool it down with your ice water.  Set aside.

Clean the chicken by rinsing out the cavity and outer skin and place on a clean surface.  Be sure not to contaminate any vegetables or other ingredients, because no one is a fan of salmonella!  Place the chicken in the brine,  make sure it is completely immersed in the brine.  Cover and allow to marinate for at least an hour and up to 6 hours.


Preheat the oven to 375F.

Remove the chicken from the brine and place on a clean surface.  Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel as shown.  Separate the skin from the flesh, you can do this by carefully inserting your fingers underneath the skin and gently pull up to create a space or pocket.  Take the butter and rub it underneath the skin and flesh — this will make your chicken moist and tender while accentuating the flavor of the herbs in the meat.  Coat the skin with te remaining herbs and place in a roasting pan, if more herbs are needed just add more.


Bake the chicken for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, basting the chicken half way through and again during the last 10 minutes.  To test the doneness of your chicken, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast, it should read 165F.  If you do not own a thermometer, cut into the chicken and if it releases pink juices it is undercooked.  Your chicken is done when the juices are a clear yellow.

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Transfer the chicken to a carving board and allow it to rest for 10-20 minutes.  This allows the juices to settle into the meat so it does not end up running out all over the board.  To serve, begin carving the legs –it is easiest to cut at the joints.  Remove the wings and then the legs and thighs the same way.  To carve each breast, start at the breabone and cut downward and parallel to the rib cage.  Then make a deep horizontal cut right above the thigh and wing joints.  You can choose to serve the breasts whole or cut them into thin slices.

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I hope everyone gives this recipe a shot, like I said it used minimal ingredients and theres not much to clean up either! You can save cooking time by cleaning as you go, so at the end you do not feel like you’ve made a mess at all :) Remember, always keep your work space clean, it makes cooking a lot easier.

Like I said before, you can use these leftovers in various ways — chop up any leftovers and make a chicken salad, or even shred up the chicken and put it on a bed of field greens.  I like to keep the carcass and make a wonderful chicken stock out of it for sauces and soups, either way the options are limitless!


  1. Posted 11 Nov ’09 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    totally agree with you that we can always choose good quality ingredients when we cook ourselves. Lovely to know you cook at lot at home. That’s a lovely dish you prepared. I would love a big piece of your roasted chicken. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Posted 11 Nov ’09 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Yes! That is one of the huge pluses of cooking for yourself, you know that you are always using fresh quality ingredients where as restaurants many times it can be skeptical… Thank you for your kind words as always :)

  3. Posted 11 Nov ’09 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Your chicken looks delicious. I would have never thought of using fennel on a roast chicken, very clever!! Beautiful photos.

    • Posted 12 Nov ’09 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Coleen! I love the taste of fennel, at my old work they would roast their ducks with fennel so I thought I’d try it on chicken :)

  4. Posted 11 Nov ’09 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    This looks great! I am going to put that in my ‘try’ basket for sure. I agree though, some time and effort and your meal can be more than worthy of a trip out to a fancy place, the wait in line, the wait at the table, and then the money you shell out. Too much time ..what???!

    • Posted 11 Nov ’09 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      HAHA that is great, I completely agree — people always think it’s easier to eat out but I think the time spent is about the same. Also, I find cooking at home much more rewarding and not to mention a lot cleaner… I don’t think people realize how dirty restaurants can be! btw, pleasure to meet you :)

    • Posted 11 Nov ’09 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      Nevermind that when we cook something simple, yet amazing, we get to eat all that praise up! Why pay for food and then give all the credit to someone else? Still, I can’t wait to try this, it’s the perfect healthy dinner for my family. Flavorful, healthy, quick…-sigh- I am in love.

  5. Posted 11 Nov ’09 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    WOW! Looks good and delicious.

  6. Posted 11 Nov ’09 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    I agree with you, eating out takes more time than making home cooked meals. I like cooking for my family and enjoying it at the comfort of our home..you don’t need to spend a lot to have great food plus you have control on the quality and serving size of the food you’re eating .. nothing beats that :)

    Btw, I love your post, so thorough, you explored it all from prep to carving and using leftovers..your roasted chicken looks so delicious I’ve never tried brining my chicken before roasting it..thanks so much for a great tip :)

    • Posted 12 Nov ’09 at 2:30 am | Permalink

      Thanks Olive! It definitely is cost efficient for sure and you are definitely correct about having a wonderful meal with your loved ones in the comfort of your own home ^_^ .

  7. Posted 12 Nov ’09 at 1:59 am | Permalink


    while my easy is today’s dinner of slapping ingredients on a prebaked pizza crust, your’s involves peeling back chicken skin and puttin “stuff’ in it.

    i think my goal is to make one of your dishes soon. just… do it.

    • Posted 12 Nov ’09 at 2:24 am | Permalink

      You have to start somewhere! I like the attitude, I think you should just jump in and give it a shot — what’s the worst that can possibly happen?? I think you will surprise yourself :)

  8. Posted 12 Nov ’09 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    We love a good roasted chicken here, and I’ve been hoping for a recipe or two to try. This one sounds great; thanks!

    • Posted 12 Nov ’09 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Alyssa I hope you guys enjoy it :)

  9. Posted 12 Nov ’09 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    omg! have been looking for a new recipe for chicken… and this is just what i’ve been needing! thanks for commenting on my blog. and thanks for posting this perfect explanation for the perfect chicken!

    • Posted 12 Nov ’09 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Lindsay I am so happy I was able to help you in your quest for a new chicken recipe :) ! I hope it is easy to follow.

      and your blog is awesome so I’ll be commenting frequently hahaha

  10. Posted 13 Nov ’09 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    What a great idea! Soaking chicken with herbal bath. I’m sure the chicken tastes wonderful and it looks great too. You really cook like a professional lol!

  11. Posted 14 Nov ’09 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    An all-time favorite dish, roast chicken. Totally agree with you that they’re so versatile. I always hope that whenever I roast chicken, there will be leftovers so I can do something with them and I love using the leftover bones for chicken stock. I’ll try with your Thai flavors. And the brining makes a huge difference. I do agree that a lot of people your age eat out in restaurants or even fancy ones. But sometimes I still prefer to eat at home. I don’t know why. The only difference I want to happen is I hope that someone would cook me a delicious meal, for a change. :)

    • Posted 14 Nov ’09 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      If only we didn’t live in opposite sides of the world, then we could reward each other with our wonderful cooking! Hopefully I’ll be able to convince people my age to cook more at home — a lot of times in my opinion, restaurants are overrated.

  12. Posted 14 Nov ’09 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    I like your idea of brining then smearing with the herbed butter. Your chicken must come out so juicy, I’ll have to try it.

    Thanks for the inspiring recipe.

    • Posted 16 Nov ’09 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Thanks for your kind words Brad! It is definitely super juicy — my fiance always complains about always having dry chicken when other people have made it but he adores this recipe. I hope you enjoy it :)

One Trackback

  1. By Thanksgiving Feast Part 2 « on 24 Nov ’09 at 3:05 pm

    [...] the main dish, the Herb Roasted Turkey!!! But thankfully I just did it the same way as when I make herb roasted chicken and it turned out fantastic –  very moist and tender, and there were no leftovers at the [...]

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