12 Mar2005

There are many terrific roast chicken recipes but this is one of my favorites. chix1The chicken is infused with a tremendous scent and flavor of lemon plus all the great herbs that are massaged into the skin and added to the chicken cavity. The gravy is rich and flavorful. This dish served with some roasted or mashed potatoes with a salad is a very satisfying dinner indeed. Do not be shy with the herbs. Many people put too little fresh herbs and lose out on a potential flavor explosion. I like to do this recipe when I realize just how many herbs I have hanging out in the fridge after another excessive shopping spree at the market. Dried herbs are a mediocre alternative and if you use them, remember that their flavor is much more concentrated than fresh herbs. Because the types of herbs differ slightly from time to time, the final flavor of this recipe changes a bit depending on what herbs you have available.

Ingredients: 1 large chicken of 1.5-2.0 kilos, Olive oil, minced garlic, whole lemon, 3-4 tablespoons of chopped fresh thyme, tarragon, parsley, rosemary, etc. chix2(go light on rosemary if there are other herbs as well), 1/2 cup of white wine, 1-2 cups of chicken broth, some flour or cornstarch. To make: Preheat Oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, clean and dry the chicken. Put in a roasting pan and rub with olive oil and chopped herbs. Season generously with salt and pepper and place the whole lemon in the chicken’s cavity together with leftover herbs from the rub. Roast for about 15 minutes and lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Roast about 35-50 minutes more (depending on size of chicken and actual heat of your oven) until the juices run clear when you pierce near the connection of the thigh to the body of the chicken. Remove chicken from pan and rest on a platter. Put roasting pan over hot burners and pour in the wine to deglaze the pan. Add chicken broth. Mix 1 tbsp flour with some olive oil and add to gravy. Whisk the flour mixture into the gravy and cook until it reaches the right consistency. I prefer a less thick gravy but that is completely up to you. Add salt and pepper if necessary. I like this with just lemon and thyme as well. Or lemon and rosemary. You get the picture. Serve with the cut up chicken together with potatoes and a salad.



  1. Stan says:

    I’m semi-addicted to thyme in my roast chicken but has never found fresh sprigs of the herb. Maybe I was not at the right place at the right time. Can’t rely on serendipity :-) Know where’s the best bet to get them? Thanks. Really savor your great foodie blog.

    Apr 15, 2005 | 12:52 am


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  3. Marketman says:

    Until recently fresh thyme has been impossible to find unless you grew it yourself. Now it issometimes available but very erratic and I buy it whenever I see it. The thyme I used for this chicken was from Rustan’s Rockwell. They have a good herb section that is best stocked on Friday and Saturday. I also found fresh thyme still growing in pots from the Toscana Farm Stand on the way to Tagaytay (see my post on this supplier). The gravy of your roast will particularly benefit from fresh vs. dried thyme. Antonio’s in Tagaytay also seem to grow it and sometimes supply Santis deli at Forbes with it.

    Apr 16, 2005 | 4:51 pm

  4. Stan says:

    Appreciate the info. Hope to start roasting with thyme soon. Will try to replace my wife’s cologne with eau de thyme as well, ha ha (half-joking).

    Apr 18, 2005 | 11:53 am

  5. Rina Hubilla says:

    have occasionally seen fresh thyme at Terry’s Selection
    in Pasong Tamo as well…my favorite roast chicken
    version also has fresh thyme with a stuffing of dried figs,
    orange juice, brandy, a cubed baguette, flat leaf parsley, chopped onions, a little sugar and butter…yum!

    Apr 19, 2005 | 9:28 pm

  6. Mila says:

    There’s a good article in Jeffrey Steingarten’s book of essays on food (I think it’s the second collection, title eludes me) about roasting chicken. He talks about how roasting chicken is what he does when he has nothing else to do and he’s roasted thousands of chickens. The article goes on about the different roasters he’s used, but the perfect roaster eludes him. The essay made my mouth water!

    Apr 22, 2005 | 5:35 pm


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