Roast Chicken With Sauce

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Roast Chicken with Sauce is a perfect dinner idea for two, especially if you are entertaining. This chicken is juicy and moist, and the sauce is great. Its good to use breast meat because it’s a bit fatty. And I like to use skinless chicken thigh instead of breast just because it’s more flavorful.

7 Sauces to Upgrade Roast Chicken

It’s tough to improve on a perfect, crispy-skinned roast chicken, but adding a sauce can be an excellent upgrade.

Spice-Rubbed Roast Chicken with Two Sauces

It’s tough to improve on a perfect, crispy-skinned roast chicken, but adding a sauce can be an excellent upgrade.

Here, roast chicken recipes that feature terrific sauces.

Agrodolce.
This Italian sauce combines sugar and vinegar to create a blend of sweet and sour flavors. This version has golden raisins, red grapes and fennel.

Scallion-ginger sauce.
The combination of fresh-tasting scallions and fragrant ginger makes this sauce terrifically potent. Here, it garnishes tea-smoked birds.

Wasakaka sauce and piri piri.
This recipe features two sauces: Wasakaka is a garlicky Dominican chile sauce for fans of all things spicy; piri piri, an herb-and-oil sauce, gets a smoky finish from paprika.

Black mole.
Prepared mole paste is an easy base for a super-flavorful sauce.

Miso gravy.
Use this miso mixture first as a rub for the chicken, then reduce it with the drippings for a salty and herby gravy.

Garlic-ancho sauce.
Just five ingredients, including roasted garlic and a pleasantly bitter ancho chile, go into this incredibly rich (but butter-free) sauce.

Perfect Roast Chicken with Lemon Herb Pan Sauce

  • SERVES: 6
  • PREP TIME: 10 min
  • COOK TIME: 1 hr 25 min
  • CALORIES: 568
  • GLUTEN FREE
  • LOW-CARB
  • KID FRIENDLY
  • ONE POT
cast iron skillet with whole roasted chicken topped with butter and lemon pan sauce

This perfect roast chicken will soon become your family’s favorite weeknight dinner. It’s juicy and flavorful, with a bright and buttery lemon-and-herb pan sauce.

A Winner of a Chicken Dinner.

Dinner doesn’t get much more classic than roast chicken, and making it is really quite simple. But, the question that looms over this simple supper is how do you make the best roast chicken? And how do you make it as simple as possible, so that you can enjoy it over and over again for any occasion, with very little fuss? Well, our easy roast chicken with lemon and herb pan sauce answers these questions. It’s simple, delicious—it’s a platonic ideal roast chicken. End of story.

whole raw chicken in a cast iron skillet seasoned with salt and pepper

How Do You Make the Best Roast Chicken?

Roasting a whole chicken is not at all difficult to master, so don’t let it intimidate you.

The perfect roast chicken is as easy as:

  1. Buy a chicken—any size will do! If you’re not sure how much to buy, just ask the butcher for advice.
  2. Prepare your bird by removing any leftover bits in the cavity.
  3. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  4. Bake the chicken in a preheated oven. Roasting a whole chicken in the oven doesn’t take terribly long, but the cook time does depend on how large your bird is.
  5. Turn the chicken’s pan drippings into the most fabulous “gravy” by adding a few simple ingredients, including our favorite…BUTTER.
whole roasted chicken in a cast iron skillet

Roasting A Whole Chicken—Let’s Talk Temperature.

Many recipes suggest cooking your chicken in an oven that is set to 350°F to 375°F, and then increase the temperature at the end of the cooking to crisp up the skin. While that certainly works, we prefer to have the oven set to a hot temperature at the start so the chicken doesn’t become over cooked and dry. Here’s what we want you to do instead:

  • Begin by cooking your chicken in a 450° F oven for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, crank the heat down to 375° F.
  • After that, the remaining cook time depends on the size of your bird. The general rule is 15-20 mins per pound, but you can also check for doneness using an instant read meat thermometer.

When the internal temperature reaches 165° F and the juices run clear, your chicken is ready. Rest the chicken for 10 minutes before slicing into it to keep all those delicious juices sealed inside. This method results in a chicken that’s perfectly juicy on the inside, with deliciously crispy skin on the outside.

whole roast chicken in a skillet with a carving knife

How to Make the Perfect Pan Sauce from Roast Chicken Drippings:

This recipe for perfect roast chicken with a lemon and herb pan sauce is so easy to make. For the “gravy” you’ll want to these simple ingredients on hand:

  • A dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Fresh or dried thyme and parsley
  • Plenty of fresh garlic
  • Lemon
  • Butter (and a lot of it)

Pan Sauce 101

Making a pan sauce is really pretty easy to do, and a wonderful way to keep those delicious pan drippings from going to waste. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Remove the cooked chicken from the roasting pan.
  2. Carefully tip the pan and skim off the fat from the drippings.
  3. Put the pan over medium heat, pour a little wine into the pan and deglaze the pan—in other words, scrape all of the flavorful dripping bits from the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the herbs and garlic and bring the wine-garlic-herb mixture to a simmer.
  5. When the mixture is fragrant, turn off the heat and whisk in the cold butter. This will create a luscious and creamy butter pan sauce to accompany your chicken- which is our favorite way to serve it.

The Best Roast Chicken with Garlic and Herb Pan Sauce

AUTHOR NOTES

I may have mentioned once or twice that my daughter likes chicken. Okay, it goes beyond like–it’s more of a deep-seated obsession. (She asks for it at pretty much every meal.) Clara particularly enjoys eating it off the bone, cave-baby style. It’s become quite the challenge to see how many different ways I can prepare chicken, but once a week I roast a bird for the whole family–we get several meals out of it, and because we’re devoted parents, we let Clara have both drumsticks.

Sometimes it feels like there are as many roast chicken recipes out there as there are snowflakes; and no matter how great your favorite is, it’s nice to switch it up every now and then. I tend to fiercely embrace a particular technique, then get bored after about six months and move onto the next. It’s a little like serial dating.

Thanks to Kim Foster’s side-splittingly funny new book, Sharp Knives, Boiling Oil: My Year of Dangerous Cooking with Four-Year-Olds, I’ve discovered a method that just may convince me to settle down. Aside from the technique itself, which is simple and great, I love Kim’s intro to the recipe: she describes her family’s weekly roast chicken ritual, which involves hacking up the cooked bird and serving it “in brutally unkempt bites and chunks on a big board,” then encouraging everyone use their fingers to dredge the chicken chunks in a delicious pan sauce before devouring them. In her words, “it’s a joyful, crispy, hot mess.”

“I want a family chicken ritual like that!” I thought when I read it.

Kim’s roasting technique is inspired by Thomas Keller’s roast chicken (blistering heat, lots of olive oil and salt, and that’s pretty much it) and yields an incredibly juicy, tender bird with impossibly crisp skin. But her garlic and herb pan sauce is what really makes this recipe for me. Even if you’re convinced your way of making roast chicken is the only way, I strongly urge you to try Kim’s. You won’t regret it.

  • Test Kitchen-Approved
  • PREP TIME15 minutes
  • COOK TIME1 hour
  • SERVES4
Ingredients send grocery list
  • 3 to 4 pound chicken, preferably organic or free-range, brought to room temperature
  • 1 pinch Kosher salt (and pepper if you’d like)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • large sprigs of thyme
  • garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1/4 cup white wine
Directions
  1. Heat the oven to 480° F. Pat the chicken dry inside and out (if you want an extra crispy skin, leave the raw chicken in the fridge uncovered overnight after you’ve patted it dry and then bring it to room temperature).
  2. Put the chicken on a board or a large platter and generously season the inside of the bird with salt and pepper if you’re using it. Drizzle a little olive oil in the cavity as well.
  3. Drizzle the rest of the oil over the chicken, and rub it all over so that it’s evenly coated. Salt the chicken well all over, making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies.
  4. Transfer the chicken to an enameled cast iron pan or a heavy roasting pan just big enough to hold it and put it in the oven. Don’t open the door for at least 45 minutes, when you can start to test it for doneness. (The chicken is cooked when you pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a sharp knife, and the juices run clear.) Let the chicken rest on a carving board while you make the pan sauce.
  5. To make the sauce, put the roasting pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the butter to the drippings in the pan, and once it melts add the thyme and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for about a minute.
  6. Add the wine to the pan and scrape up all the brown bits with a wooden spoon, stirring them into the sauce. Let the wine cook down for one to two minutes.
  7. Add a cup of boiling water, stir well, and let the sauce reduce for about 5 minutes. Taste and add more salt if necessary (if you’ve salted your chicken enough, this probably won’t be necessary).
  8. Cut the chicken into pieces and serve with the warm pan sauce in a bowl nearby for dipping.

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