- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 lemon, zested and halved
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Step 1: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
- Step 2: Mix butter, garlic, thyme, rosemary, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together in a bowl.
- Step 3: Loosen skin on chicken breast; rub butter mixture between skin and breast meat. Press on the skin to distribute evenly. Rub oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper all over; place lemon halves inside cavity. Set in a baking pan.
- Step 4: Roast in the preheated oven, basting after 30 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink, about 1 hour. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone, should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Let rest before carving, about 15 minutes.
I like to let the chicken rest in the refrigerator for a few hours or a full day after placing the herb butter under the skin to let the flavors mingle.
Basting really enhances the color and flavor and creates nice drippings for a gravy.