Rustic Roasted Chicken

By the way, that weird lump in the chicken is actually a clove of garlic.

Growing up, this was always one of my favorite dinners. My dad’s been cooking this chicken as long as I can remember, and it resonates with homey warmth. This is some of my all-time favorite comfort food that just begs to be eaten by a group enjoying each others’ company. It tastes far more impressive than the effort involved, so definitely make this for your next “cook to impress” moment.


One whole fryer
3-4 sprigs rosemary
3-4 sprigs oregano
6-8 sage leaves
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 T butter, room temperature

A fryer is actually just a smaller, younger chicken, and it produces a wonderfully juicy, tender roast chicken. Preheat your oven to 350°F and place your fryer in a roasting pan. Put the garlic cloves under the skin, one one either thigh next to the leg, and one between the breasts. Stuff the cavity with 2 sprigs of rosemary, 2 sprigs of oregano, and 4-5 sage leaves.

My dad usually includes thyme instead of oregano, but the oregano at the store looked great, so I substituted, but the proportions are the same. With a pastry brush, brush the butter over the skin, reserving any leftover for brushing throughout baking. It’ll help the skin turn a beautiful golden brown.

Now place the remaining herbs around the chicken, and bake for about an hour and a half, or until done. Make sure you baste the chicken with either butter or released juices about ever half hour to keep the chicken moist.

My dad can tell a chicken’s done-ness by looking at it (or jiggling the leg bone), but I still need a thermometer. Whatever your method, make sure the chicken’s fully cooked.

Serve with mashed potatoes and pan gravy (the method is the same as making gravy for fried chicken) and your veggie of choice (we had roasted asparagus).

Also, sorry about the lack of pictures–I got carried away and forgot to photograph a bunch of the steps.

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