Honey Roasted Chicken with Lemon-Tarragon Butter

One of the things I most look forward to every Sunday night - other than watching our recorded episode of The Soup - is thinking about what to make for dinner in the coming week. I try to keep the dishes reasonably-sized, seeing as Mark and I are only a tiny two-some, but whatever ends up on the stovetop inevitably ends up feeding a good six to seven people.

Case in point: This chicken.

I don’t think I’ve ever tasted such a delicious roast chicken, and I mean it. In making this recipe, I found out that the secret to crispy skin is slipping the butter UNDER the skin, as well as above, and roasting the bird at high heat. This also helps the meat underneath the skin become ten times more flavorful (Don’t you hate when the skin is full of flavor but the meat is lacking? Problem solved!)

Along with the sweet honey glaze, the lemon-tarragon butter coating all corners of the chicken is a combination that will make your mouth water. And of course, the garlic cloves and whole lemon halves stuffed inside are indescribably aromatic. Actually… I think I have to go see if there are any more leftovers!

I know you’ll enjoy this recipe so much. The preparation and cooking are both much more simple than they may look – Just plan ahead and make sure you have a little over an hour to devote to making this bird the best it can be!

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Honey Roasted Chicken with Lemon-Tarragon Butter

Yield: Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

2 lemons
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (3 1/2-lb) chicken, rinsed and patted dry
1 head garlic, left unpeeled and halved horizontally
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 425°F.

Finely grate enough zest from 1 lemon to measure 1 tablespoon, then squeeze enough juice from same lemon to measure 2 tablespoons. Stir together butter, tarragon, zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper.

Put chicken, breast side up, in a small roasting pan. Starting from neck, work your fingers gently between skin and flesh of breast to loosen skin all the way to thighs without tearing. Put one fourth of tarragon butter under skin of each breast, then rub skin from outside to spread evenly.

Starting from large cavity, loosen skin on both sides of cavity with a paring knife (to provide access to thighs), then work your fingers gently between skin and flesh of thighs and drumsticks. Divide remaining tarragon butter among thighs and drumsticks, rubbing skin from outside to spread evenly. Season cavity and skin with salt and pepper, then halve remaining lemon and put inside cavity along with garlic.

Whisk together honey, lemon juice, oil, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Roast chicken 30 minutes, then brush pan juices and half of honey mixture over chicken and roast 10 minutes more. Brush chicken again with pan juices and remaining honey mixture and continue to roast until thermometer inserted in fleshy part of a thigh (do not touch bone) registers 170°F, about 20 minutes more.

Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let stand 10 to 15 minutes before carving. Skim fat from pan juices and serve juices with chicken.

Enjoy!

      

11 Responses to “Honey Roasted Chicken with Lemon-Tarragon Butter”

  1. #
    1
    K10n3 — March 25, 2010 @ 11:41 pm

    A gorgeous and delicious looking bird.
    It sounds like a fantastic recipe.
    I’m going to remember this the next time I roast a chicken.
    Thanks:)

  2. #
    2
    Georgia — March 26, 2010 @ 12:37 am

    Thank you, Kione. I hope you do give it a try!

  3. #
    3
    Jenn — March 26, 2010 @ 1:09 pm

    Hey Georgia, check out my site, I nominated you for a blogger award.
    http://jennsfoodjourney.blogspot.com/2010/03/now-i-am-really-blushing.html

  4. #
    4
    Georgia — March 26, 2010 @ 3:41 pm

    Wow, Jenn! Thank you so very much for thinking of me, I’m shocked! I’ll be blogging about this and passing it on shortly! Thanks again!

  5. #
    5
    Er Abhishek Haridasan — January 10, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

    An Ever Favorite…!!!

  6. #
    6
    Georgia — January 10, 2011 @ 9:57 pm

    Wow, Jenn! Thank you so very much for thinking of me, I’m shocked! I’ll be blogging about this and passing it on shortly! Thanks again!

  7. #
    7
    Georgia — January 10, 2011 @ 9:57 pm

    Thank you, Kione. I hope you do give it a try!

  8. #
    8
    K10n3 — January 10, 2011 @ 9:57 pm

    A gorgeous and delicious looking bird.
    It sounds like a fantastic recipe.
    I’m going to remember this the next time I roast a chicken.
    Thanks:)

  9. #
    9
    Jenn — January 10, 2011 @ 9:57 pm

    Hey Georgia, check out my site, I nominated you for a blogger award.
    http://jennsfoodjourney.blogspot.com/2010/03/now-i-am-really-blushing.html

  10. #
    10
    Molly — March 19, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

    Hello! I wanted to say that after I found your blog I went through each post until the very end saving each recipe that looked good. They each looked savory and practical which is how I try to cook.

    This was the first thing I have tried myself from your blogs and it turned out AMAZING! I paired it with your ‘herb roasted potatoes and pearl onions’ (though I omitted the onions because I forgot them when shopping, they were still yummy!) and my friends were super impressed. The chicken was the most tender thing I’ve baked and the house was so aromatic I had to shoo my friends out so it could finish baking. I was excited to try this because it looked easy and I had not ever worked with whole poultry before. It didn’t disappoint! I look forward to trying your other delicious looking (and practical) meals soon!

  11. #
    11
    Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking — March 22, 2011 @ 12:11 am

    Thanks for stopping by, Molly! I’m so glad that you and your friends enjoyed this chicken and my potatoes recipe as well. Your message was so sweet and really made my day! I hope you continue to try more of my recipes with confidence, and let me know how they turned out for you. If you have any questions, feel free to just ask! :)

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