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Roast Chicken


1 (3-pound) whole chicken
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 or 4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 lemon, quartered lengthwise
1 small package poultry-blend fresh herbs (parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme)
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 375° F. Rinse the chicken well under cold running water inside and out. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.

Season the inside of the chicken with ¼ teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Stuff the garlic, lemon, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme into the large cavity of the chicken. Fold the wings under the neck and tie the legs together with white kitchen string. Set the chicken on a rack in a small roasting pan. Season all over the outside with the remaining salt and pepper and the cayenne. Turn the chicken upside-down (back up).

Roast the chicken upside-down 25 minutes. Turn it right-side up and roast 25 minutes longer. Raise the oven temperature to 425° F and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until the skin is brown and crisp and the juices run clear when a thigh is pricked near the bone.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.