Make This for Dinner ASAP: Roast Chicken with Herb Butter Sauce

Did I have you at butter sauce?

This is simply delicious…Sean and I had to stop ourselves from fighting over who got to lick the pan.

In other, more appetizing words, you should make this as soon as you can. Below, I provide instructions for cheaters (me) and over-achievers (maybe you?).

Roast Chicken with Herb Butter Sauce


  • 4-8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter (depending on size of chicken)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh (or dried) rosemary, thyme, parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 whole (3‐to 4‐pound) chicken, trimmed of excess fat, then rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
  • (For cheaters only: 1 whole pre-roasted chicken)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, plus a little more if needed
  • (For over-achievers only: Minced fresh herbs for garnish)


1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

2. Using a fork, mash the butter together with the herbs, salt, and pepper.

3. Loosen the skin of the chicken wherever you can, and spread some of this mixture between skin and meat, in the chicken cavity, and on top of the breast of the bird. Sprinkle the outside of the bird with more salt and pepper.

4. Put the remaining butter in a casserole or roasting pan and place the pan in the oven. When the butter has melted and its foam subsided, add the wine. Place the chicken, breast side down, on a rack in the pan.

Here is where this becomes ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ cooking. For over achievers, please continue on to step 5. For cheaters (using a pre-roasted bird) please skip ahead to step 11.

5. After the chicken has roasted for about 20 minutes, spoon some of the butter mixture over it, then turn the bird breast side up. (If, at any point, the pan juices are beginning to stick to the pan, add a little more liquid.)

6. Baste again, then again after 7 or 8 minutes; at this point the breast should be beginning to brown (if it hasn’t, roast a few more minutes).

7. Turn the heat down to 325°F, baste again, and roast until an instant‐read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 160° to 165°F. Total roasting time will be under 1 hour.

8. Before removing the chicken from the pan, tip the pan to let the juices from the bird’s cavity flow into the pan (if they are red, cook another 5 minutes).

9. Remove the bird to a platter and let it rest for about 5 minutes before carving.

10. Garnish with minced herbs and serve with the pan juices. Enjoy!

11. For those with a pre-roasted bird: Roast chicken for 15-20 minutes until heated through. Remove from oven and dig in!

Recipe adapted from 'How to Cook Everything'
Photo Credit


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