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Self-basting roast chicken recipe

Self-basting roast chicken recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Chicken
  • Cuts of chicken
  • Whole chicken
  • Whole roast chicken

Basil and garlic butter is stuffed under the skin of a chicken. Why not try this easy roast chicken for your next Sunday lunch?

21 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 1 (1.5kg) whole chicken
  • 30g fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • extra butter, softened as needed

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:1hr10min ›Extra time:10min resting › Ready in:1hr40min

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Mix together the butter, garlic and basil. Set aside.
  2. Lift skin from around neck area of chicken, use fingers to get under skin (don't break skin). Push seasoned butter under skin around tops of legs and over the breast area as far as possible
  3. Pat skin into place and rub with extra butter on the outside of the chicken.
  4. Place chicken on a rack or non-stick tin. Roast in the preheated oven for 70 to 80 minutes or until the juices run clear. The temperature in the thickest part of the chicken should read 74 degrees C.
  5. Remove from the oven, cover loosely with foil and let sit for 10 minutes before carving.

Watch how!

Watch our video to see how to make a perfectly roasted chicken every time. Watch now!

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(0)

Reviews in English (0)

Roast Chicken With Tomatoes

I love chicken, and I reeeeeally love it with ripe farmers’ market tomatoes, but I always used to cook the latter down to create a braise-y situation until I came upon this method. This take is faster, fresher, and even more delicious—there’s just something about the chicken juice dripping down and mingling with those chunks of tangy, just-sweet-enough tomatoes. I can’t believe that I’ve lived without this recipe for so long now I’ll be cooking it on repeat to make up for lost time.—Andy Baraghani

This recipe is part of Short Is Sweet, our collection of summer dishes that deliver a whole lot of deliciousness in 30 minutes or less.

All products featured on Bon Appétit are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through the retail links below, we earn an affiliate commission.


I made this recipe because I'm trying all 53 Roast Chickens from the 53 Roast Chickens Recipe Round up. It was difficult, very messy and not satisfying at all to cook. The result was fine but not worth the effort, and there are many other better and tastier roast chicken recipes on Epicurious, such as the delicious Peruvian Style Roast Chicken with Green Sauce. Don't waste your time with this one.

I made this for my family for Sunday dinner. It was DELICIOUS. I can't understand why people who haven't made the dish are talking about it in a negative way. Yes, the recipe calls for a lot of butter. I love butter! If you want healthy, eat a salad. Making the recipe as directed will then allow you to make the substitutions that you prefer. We loved the moist meat and cripsy skin. Definitely a new Sunday favorite.

I read so many reviews that hadn't made it, so I wanted to make it and post my experience. I make about 25 roasted chicken a year--it is my go to Sunday dinner and I try different variations--like Jamie Oliver's chicken in milk, or a moroccan spiced one, but my normal one is super basic salt and pepper stuffed with half a lemon, some garlic and some herbs. Very good. OK--so that is my standard. For this recipe, I used only one stick of butter and mushed it with other ingredients in the ziplock bag to save myself cleaning an extra bowl and didn't use any on the outside either. I used a more coarse breadcrumb from a fresh whole wheat levain loaf instead of the challah bread and roasted it over some potatoes and carrots at 350 for 2 1/2 hours since I had to go out for a bit. The result was a very moist chicken that got a lot of flavor from that butter breadcrumb mix. I would half the amount of salt in it, but that that breadcrumb/thyme butter really upped the flavor profile quite a bit self basting the chicken under the skin, keeping it so moist at the same time. This chicken was like the fancy roasted chicken you would get at a high end restaurant. Wonderful tasting and a nice change from the standard roasted chicken. Yes, it is decadent tasting, every now and then a lovely treat is a nice break.

Why reserve your high horse health judgements for this poor chicken? If you need to dis "unhealthy" recipes, start in the dessert section.

Please dont be a fool, and make this horrible chicken. 3 sticks of butter. I'll never again open up epicurious recipe again. I had to rated it. I had no choice to say 1. My rate is 00000000000000

Ok - I made the recipe - but I made it with edits (just COULD NOT bring myself to use 3 sticks of butter). I used 1 stick of butter, half of the breadcrumbs, orange zest instead of lemon, and tarragon instead of thyme (family prefers tarragon with poultry). I used the same mixture that I put under the skin as I used on top (there was plenty for both using only one stick). Cooking time had to be increased to about an hour and 20 minutes for a normal size chicken (really not sure of the weight). The chicken was moist and had a nice flavor. The family really liked it. With the breadcrumb mixture, it was almost like having chicken and stuffing in one bite). I would make it again.

I haven't made this yet but what is not to like. Everything tastes better with butter. Doesn't sound much different than the concept of stuffing in a bird. Use the amount of butter you can handle if you have a problem with the recipe. People that eat everything based on fat content and calories need to get a life they can enjoy. There is no immortality.

It's not just inappropriate, it's unfair to judge a recipe you haven't bothered to make based on your interpretation of its healthfulness.

Wow. did anybody actually cook this? I see people thinking that other are fools, nuts, and uncaring of their health, but nobody seemed to have made the recipe. But they rated it or other people's stupidity is. Guess it's too much to ask for a straightforward review of a recipe AFTER making the dish. Can't see the point of a review section if you haven't actually made the dish. Rating one for lack of making it and one for behaviour. Sorry to speak out but use facebook if you feel the need to call people names. I just want to see an honest review.

I am just reading this recipe and thinking YUM. Then read the few reviews and knew, without a doubt, that I needed to make it! Why would anyone comment about the fat content when it's obviously not something that fits their diet. Me?On occasion, I love decadent:) and look forward to giving it a try.

Ignore the "pre"views from fools who don't understand the recipe and judge without trying to make it. This recipe is quite good for northern french style roadted chicked. Rich and succulent with most of the fat AND butter melting out in the roasting pan which you can chose to eat if you want.. Match it up with a Burgundy or similar white wine and it's pretty awesome. It needs a longer roasting time however and less butter is required with a normally sized bird.

For those of you complaining, it's a roast chicken, not a vegetarian salad. If you don't like it, don't make it. And if you haven't tried it, then you've got no business downgrading it.

It IS called Buttery Roast Chicken and sub-titled "super-decadent". It's hardly going to be mistaken for a low-fat, heart healthy dish, is it? That said, I'll probably give it a try one of these days, and cut down on the butter a bit. I'll rate it because I have to, since I haven't actually made it, but anything with that much butter has to be good, doesn't it?

I read the recipe and then I read the one review. I have to agree with the reviewer. One portion of this has 1569 calories. And the sodium count is 2100mg. Definitely not a recipe for someone who is concerned about their health.

You have got to be kidding. 3 sticks of butter. as if there isn't already enough fat in today's chickens. And bread to add to the calorie count. Anyone who even considers making this chicken, is nuts!

Cooking Time for Roasted Chicken

In an interview with, Lisa Richards, CNC, nutritionist and creator of the Candida Diet, discusses how to use an electric roaster. She also answered some frequently asked questions.

When cooking in an electric roaster it's important to know how long to fully cook an item to avoid the growth of pathogens, says Richards. "When preparing poultry, chicken specifically, you'll want to cook the chicken long enough for all parts to reach at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 seconds." Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken.

This amount of cooking time varies with the weight of the chicken. "For example, a 3-pound chicken will need to be roasted at 375 degrees for approximately 75 minutes, while a 5-pound bird might need up to 2 hours," she notes.

A chicken breast needs much less time to cook than a whole chicken, as it's smaller and weighs less. "If cooking the chicken breast at 375 degrees, it should take approximately 25 minutes to cook it to the required temperature," Richard states.

You may roast two chickens at the same time, so long as your roaster is large enough. "Cook both to an internal temperature of 165 degrees, which will generally take around 20-25 minutes for each pound of chicken," she advises.


  • 1 3- to 4-pound chicken
  • Salt
  • Black pepper, ground fresh from the mill
  • 2 rather small lemons

Wash the chicken thoroughly in cold water, both inside and out. Remove all the bits of fat hanging loose. Let the bird sit for about 10 minutes on a slightly tilted plate to let all the water drain out to it. Pat it thoroughly dry all over with cloth or paper towels.

Sprinkle a generous amount of salt and black pepper on the chicken, rubbing it with your fingers all over its body and into its cavity.

Wash the lemons in cold water and dry them with a towel. Soften each lemon by placing it on a counter and rolling it back and forth as you put firm downward pressure on it with the palm of your hand. Puncture the lemons in at least 20 places each, using a sturdy round toothpick, a trussing needle, a sharp-pointed fork, or similar implement.

Place both lemons in the bird&rsquos cavity. Close up the opening with toothpicks or with trussing needle and string. Close it well, but don&rsquot make an absolutely airtight job of it because the chicken may burst. Run kitchen string from one leg to the other, tying it at both knuckle ends. Leave the legs in their natural position without pulling them tight. If the skin is unbroken, the chicken will puff up as it cooks, and the string only serves to keep the thighs from spreading apart and splitting the skin.

Put the chicken into a roasting pan, breast facing down. Do not add cooking fat of any kind. This bird is self-basting, so you need not fear it will stick to the pan. Place it in the upper third of the preheated oven. After 30 minutes, turn the chicken over to have the breast face up. When turning it, try not to puncture the skin. If kept intact, the chicken will swell like a balloon, which makes for an arresting presentation at the table later. Do not worry too much about it, however, because even if it fails to swell, the flavor will not be affected.

Cook for another 30 to 35 minutes, then turn the oven thermostat up to 400F, and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Calculate between 20 and 25 minutes&rsquo total cooking time for each pound. There is no need to turn the chicken again.

Whether your bird has puffed up or not, bring it to the table whole and leave the lemons inside until it is carved and opened. The juices that run out are perfectly delicious. Be sure to spoon them over the chicken slices. The lemons will have shriveled up, but they still contain some juice do not squeeze them, they may squirt.

How to make the BEST roast chicken!

The best roast chicken has garlic herb butter under and on the skin, is stuffed with lemon and herbs, roasted until it’s crispy and deep golden on the outside, and juicy on the inside.

It’s really easy to prepare a whole chicken for roasting. The trick is to use an upside down dessert spoon to loosen the skin – the shape hugs the curves of the chicken and it doesn’t tear the skin.

Then simply spoon the garlic-herb-butter under the skin then spread it from the outside. OR hold it upright and drizzle in (see photos below) – whatever you find easier!

TIP: Use most of the butter under the skin, that’s where you get the most bang for your buck. Plus, garlic burns on the skin so you don’t want too much on the surface.

After the chicken is all buttered up, place it on a bed of garlic and onion. This serves two purposes:

Elevates the chicken off the base of the pan for more even cooking (otherwise the underside sits in the pan juices and will cook faster) and

Adds extra flavour into the pan juices used as the sauce for this recipe. OR used for gravy!

Skip the excess ingredients

There are as many tricks to making great roast chicken out there as there are roast chicken recipes—which is to say, a lot. Some want you to sprinkle cornstarch on the skin some call for softened butter under the skin, or even mayo some want you to dry the bird overnight in the fridge and on and on.

Keller's having none of it. He knows that all that's needed is a hot oven and a generous amount of salt. You'll notice that there are very few ingredients to this recipe: really just a chicken and some S&P, plus a little butter and mustard at the end to amp up the richness and flavor. (He concedes that you can add thyme, if you must.)

The night before, I stuffed a quartered lemon into the cavity and trussed the bird, gently wiggling the skin from the flesh to fill this pocket with fresh thyme and garlic.

I then amply coated the bird with salt and pepper, wrapped the whole thing in plastic, and let it sit in the fridge for 24 hours so the flavors could meld and penetrate the meat.

I took it out of the fridge about 20 minutes before it was time to roast it and preheated the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, the hottest temperate of all the recipes.

While the oven was preheating, I lined a cast-iron skillet with a few slices of sourdough bread, and although I was slightly worried about the pieces burning, the recipe says this charring is supposed to happen.

I brushed the chicken with olive oil and placed it breast-side up on the bread before popping it in the oven for 30 minutes.

I was afraid my fire alarm would go off, as smoke quickly enveloped my kitchen due to the scorching hot oven. I ended up needing to blast my exhaust fan to its highest setting and open a few windows to let the air circulate.

When I took the bird out to flip it, the skillet was sputtering hot oil. I had to be really careful so as not to get burned and used sturdy tongs to rotate the meat before returning it to the oven for another 15 minutes.

The recipe states that the chicken is done when the juices run clear, but I still used my oven thermometer to ensure the meat was safe to eat.

Although I would've loved to carve up the bird at that moment and dig in, I wrapped the skillet in aluminum foil and let the meat rest for 30 minutes, per the instructions.

I was already a little disappointed when it was time to eat since the once crispy skin had now softened due to all the moisture being trapped by the foil. My only consolation was that the meat was still warm.

The bread looked unappealing and ready for the compost since most of it was burnt to charcoal lumps.

Brining Chicken (Optional)

Brining is one secret to really flavorful, juicy roast chicken. You can either wet-brine by soaking the chicken in a salt water solution, or dry-brine by rubbing the chicken with salt and optional seasonings. If your chicken is kosher, you&aposre in luck: it&aposs already brined.

How to wet-brine a non-kosher chicken:

  • Dissolve ½ cup kosher salt (or ¼ cup table salt) in two quarts of water. Immerse the chicken completely in the solution and place in the refrigerator.
  • You should let it soak for at least one hour, but no longer than five or six hours.
  • Pour off the brine, rinse the chicken under cold running water, and pat it dry with paper towels. For extra-crispy skin, return the bird to the refrigerator and let it air-dry for another hour, or overnight, before roasting.

How to dry-brine a non-kosher chicken:

  • Measure 1 tablespoon kosher salt (not table salt) for every 5 pounds of chicken. You can add dry spices or lemon zest if you&aposd like, but it&aposs the salt that will make the chicken juicy.
  • Sprinkle the salt inside and outside the chicken. At this point you can roast the chicken right away, or cover the chicken loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or up to 3 days. If you refrigerate for 3 days, uncover the chicken during the last 8 hours so the skin can air dry. This creates the crispiest skin.
  • No need to rinse the bird, simply pat dry as needed and proceed with the recipe of your choice. Just remember the chicken drippings will be salty, so taste them before adding any more seasoning to the pan sauce or gravy.

If you&aposre not brining, simply pat the chicken dry with paper towels to remove extra moisture and help the skin brown. For more on brining your bird, check out How to Brine Turkey.

How to make Baked BBQ Chicken in the oven

And here’s how to make it. See? Dump-and-bake!

OK OK, I simplified it slightly. It’s actually Dump -> Bake -> Baste -> Broil. The 3 minute broil is how we get the surface really nicely caramelised!

This oven baked BBQ Chicken is deliberately made with a barbecue sauce that is thinned out with water so:

it won’t dry out in the oven and

to create enough sauce so the chicken absorbs the flavour as it bakes. We bake the chicken upside for the first half, then flip it for the second half so both sides get the benefit of the flavour, This is why we don’t need a rub for this recipe.

And you are going to LOVE the barbecue sauce you end up with in the baking dish! All the juices from the chicken mixes in as you bake it, so you basically end up with a world-class barbecue sauce that’s got the benefit of the ultimate home-made chicken stock!


  1. Courtnay

    And how to periphrase it?

  2. Garan

    This is a common convention

  3. Amo

    thanks for the article ... added to the reader

  4. Wayte

    The question is interesting, I too will take part in discussion.

  5. Kilkree

    I don’t mind printing such a post, you’ll rarely find this on the internet, thanks!

  6. Samuzahn

    The stones are burning! :-D

  7. Faegis

    Agree, this idea is right about

  8. Granger

    oddly enough, but the analogue is?

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