Roast chicken is just one of those cozy comfort foods we keep going back to time and time again. This recipe from Martha Stewart is flavored with tarragon, thyme, lemon, garlic, and onion, drawing on the simplicity of these flavors to create a dish that immediately fills your home with the most mouthwatering scent ever. Crispy golden brown on the outside, tender on the inside, and topped off with a buttery gravy (easily made with what's left on the baking dish!), you'll want to bring this recipe out every week. Keep reading for the full recipe and process photos!
- 1 6-pound roasting chicken
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 medium onions, sliced crosswise, 1/2-inch thick
3 large garlic cloves, crushed, plus 2 cloves, thinly sliced
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh tarragon
1 cup homemade or canned low-sodium chicken stock
- Let the chicken and one tablespoon of butter stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Remove and discard the plastic pop-up timer from the chicken if there is one.
- Remove the giblets and excess fat from the chicken cavity, rinsing the chicken inside and out under cold running water. Drythe chicken thoroughly with paper towels.
- Tuck the wing tips under the body. Sprinkle the cavity of the chicken liberally with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Using the palm of your hand, roll the lemon back and forth while pressing down. Pierce the entire surface of the lemon with a fork.
- Insert crushed garlic, thyme, and lemon into chicken's cavity.
- Gently loosen the skin from both sides of the breast, being careful to not tear the skin; place sliced garlic and tarragon under skin.
- Place chicken, breast-side up, on the bed of onion slices. Bring the legs forward, cross them, and tie them together using about 18 inches of kitchen twine.
- Spread softened butter over entire surface of chicken and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
- Place in the oven and roast until skin is a deep golden-brown color and the juices run clear when pierced, about an hour and a half. Insert an instant-read thermometer into the breast, which will read 180 degrees when done, and then the deepest part of the thigh, which will read 190 degrees. Be careful to not touch any bones with the thermometer, which will give you a false reading.
- Remove the chicken from oven and transfer to a cutting board with a well. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes so the juices will settle.
- Meanwhile, pour the pan drippings into a shallow bowl or a fat separator, leaving the onions in the pan. Using a large spoon or fat separator, skim off and discard as much fat as possible. Pour the remaining drippings and any juices that have collected under the chicken back into the roasting pan.
- Place the pan on the stove over medium-high heat and cook for about one minute. Add chicken stock, increasing the heat to high, and using a wooden spoon, scrape up the brown bits; cook, stirring, until the liquid is reduced by half, about four minutes.
- Strain gravy into a small bowl, pressing down on onions to extract any remaining liquid. Discard onions and stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter until melted and incorporated.
- Untie the legs and remove and discard the lemon, garlic, and herbs from the cavity of the chicken and underneath the skin on the breast.
- Carve the chicken on the same cutting board using a sharp knife and a large fork. To remove the legs, pull one away from the body; use the knife to find the joint that connects the leg to the body and sever it. Cut the thigh away from the drumstick at the second joint. To remove the breasts, cut straight down between the breasts, following the contour of the rib cage, until you hit the wishbone. Cut through the joint where it meets the breastbone.
- Arrange the pieces on a serving platter and serve immediately with gravy.
- Main Dishes
- Serves 4 people
- Prep Time
- 1 hour 30 minutes
- Cook Time
- 1 hour 30 minutes
- Total Time
- 2 hours, 59 minutes, 59 seconds