French Roasted Chicken

I don’t know what took me so long to roast a whole chicken.  I will definitely admit that I had a fear of attempting it, but I don’t know why.  All I can say is that it turned out to be SO easy and I wish I’d added it to my repertoire long ago.

My girlfriend (and a fellow blogger!) was over for our Tuesday night cooking/Glee get-together and I decided it was time to attempt a roast chicken, once and for all.  I knew exactly what recipe I wanted to try, my French (and Canadian!) idol, Laura Calder.  I watch her show religiously on Food Network and seriously love every recipe I’ve ever made of hers.  She featured this roast chicken recipe and made it look so easy, I knew I had to try it.

This chicken is an indulgence, but it is worth it.  The technique of rotating the chicken & basting it as it cooks creates an incredibly moist chicken but also allows it to have a beautifully golden-crisp skin, which in my opinion, is essential. The juices that run-off the chicken, combined with the flavoured butter, creates an incredible au-jus, that you drizzle over the chicken at the end.

The herbs and lemon add a beautiful yet delicate flavour to the chicken, but feel free to play around with the herbs to your liking.

This is a perfect Sunday dinner star, or would be a great main-dish feature for your Easter dinner.  It’s a crowd pleaser, so simple to prepare and quite impressive when it’s placed on the table.  It also makes delicious leftovers for sandwiches!


French Roasted Chicken

Yield:  1 Roasted Chicken
Prep Time:  5 minutes
Cooking Time:  1hr and 10 minutes


  • 1 whole roasting chicken (about 3-4lbs)
  • 1 medium lemon, cut in half
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig tarragon
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 lb butter, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • S&P
  • Kitchen Twine
  • Cast-Iron Skillet


Pre-heat to 400°F/200°C.

When you are just about ready to place your chicken in the skillet, place your cast-iron skillet in the oven for 5 minutes to pre-heat it.

Tie the sprig of rosemary, thyme and tarragon with a small piece of kitchen twine.

Pat the chicken thoroughly with paper towels, ensuring the skin is dry.

Stuff the chicken with the herbs, garlic cloves and lemon-halves and truss it with kitchen twine.  (Laura has a great video that shows you how to truss it perfectly & verbalizes this recipe – Click Here!)

Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper.

Remove the pan from the oven and place the chicken on one its left-leg.  Top with the cubed butter and place in the oven.

Roast the chicken on left-leg for 15 minutes

Flip the chicken to its right-leg, baste with the juices and roast for 15 minutes.

Flip the chicken to its back, baste with juices and roast for 15 minutes.

Finally, flip the chicken to an upright position (its stomach), baste with juices and roast for a final 25 minutes, or until chicken juices run clear.

Remove the chicken from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.  Remove the kitchen-twine, lemons, herbs and garlic from the cavity of the bird before serving.

While chicken is resting, place skillet on stove-top over medium heat.  Bring the juices in the pan to a boil, add the 1-cup of chicken stock and whisk to incorporate.  Drizzle over-top the chicken immediately before serving, or serve on the side and allow your friends/family to add the jus themselves.


Recipe Adapted Slightly from Laura Calder



Filed under French, Mains

3 responses to “French Roasted Chicken

  1. I love cooking whole chickens! They are so economical and the leftovers go so well is soup. Your chicken looks excellent.

  2. Joanne

    I most definitely will be trying this recipe in the summer. I am excited!

  3. young mare

    This is beautiful!

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