1 large roasting chicken (approximately 9 pounds)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, sage, thyme and parsley or poultry blend) plus some additional stems of fresh herbs to place in chicken cavity
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic, finely minced
1/2 of a large onion, cut into quarter-inch vertical slices
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
2 celery stalks sliced (include celery leaves)
Rind of one lemon (just use a peeler to peel off pieces of outer rind)
Water as needed
Remove giblets from chicken cavity and save for another recipe or discard. Rinse the chicken with cold running water and pat completely dry with paper towels.
Place the softened butter in a medium bowl and add the fresh chopped herbs, salt, pepper and garlic and stir to combine.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Place most of the vegetables in the bottom of a roasting pan and place a flat rack over them. Reserve a few of the vegetables for the chicken cavity.
Set the chicken onto the rack and place the few reserved vegetables along with a few sprigs of fresh herbs into the cavity. Place a few lemon rinds in there as well and spread the remaining rinds around the outside of the chicken. Do not over fill the cavity. (You want just enough to add flavor; too stuffed and the inside will not fully cook.)
Tuck the wing tips under the chicken.
Use your fingers to separate the skin from the meat but be gentle leaving the skin intact and not ripped. Use an upside down long spoon to reach the back. Also run your fingers around each thigh and leg as far as you can reach to separate the skin from the meat.
Use a spoon to spoon half the butter mixture under the skin, using your fingers and the spoon to spread evenly.
Spread the remaining butter over the top of the chicken covering all skin.
Using kitchen twine, tie the ends of both legs together tightly.
Place a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken and set the alarm temperature for 160 degrees F.
Roast for 45 minutes uncovered then add two cups of water to the pan under the chicken. The water is not placed in at the beginning so the skin crisps first before adding moisture.
Throughout the remaining roasting time, if the water evaporates, add a cup more at a time so the bottom of the pan does not burn.
The total cooking time will be about two hours. If the chicken gets too browned before reaching 160 degrees, loosely tent with foil.
Once at 160, remove from the oven, leave the probe in, loosely tent with foil and let rest 20 minutes. While it rests, the temperature should rise to slightly above 165 degrees F which is the USDA’s recommended cooking temperature of cooked chicken.
After twenty minutes, remove probe and foil and begin carving.
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