Of the dozens of recipes I’ve tried for making a roasted whole chicken, none ever delivered. I want crisp, browned skin and juicy, flavorful meat. Most recipes roast the chicken on too low of a temperature to crisp the skin, and many for way too long which dries out the meat. All of them season the skin, but that doesn’t put flavor into the meat. Why must crisp skin and juicy, flavorful meat be a trade-off?

The fact is, they don’t have to be a trade-off. What I’m giving you is the sure fire way to get both, and it will defy just about every roast chicken recipe you see. The secret is high heat and simple seasoning.

  • Ingredients
  • 1 3-4lb (1.3kg-1.8kg) whole chicken
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves
  • 6-8 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • kosher salt
  1. Instructions
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit (220 degrees celsius).
  3. Carefully place your finger under the skin of the breasts and separate the skin from the meat. In the tunnel that you create, stuff the basil and sage leaves.
  4. Place the chicken in a shallow roasting pan and squeeze the juice of one of the lemon quarters over the outside of the chicken.
  5. Stuff the remaining lemon quarters and the rosemary sprigs inside the cavity of the chicken.
  6. Brush the sunflower oil over the outside skin of the chicken. It’s best to use a brush to do this so that you can cover every inch of the skin–even the undersides of wings/legs where pouring won’t reach.
  7. Generously sprinkle kosher salt and paprika on the outside of the chicken.
  8. Place the chicken in the oven and roast, breast side down for 10 minutes. This will brown the skin on the breast.
  9. Turn the chicken and roast until a thermometer inserted into the center of the breast reads 163 degrees (about 1 hour).
  10. Remove the chicken from the oven and place it on a plate or cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes. Follow the directions (and video) below to carve and serve.