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Butter-Roasted Chicken with Cilantro and Mint

Rubbing butter on chicken skin (as well as under it) and letting it sit in the fridge for a few hours is a great way to make it extra-crispy, with moist breast meat. Here, Floyd Cardoz flavors the butter with cilantro, garlic, mint, chiles, cumin and lime juice.


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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6

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  • 2 cups small cilantro sprigs
  • 2 cups mint leaves
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 serrano chiles, thinly sliced (with seeds)
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Kosher salt
  • Two 3 1/2-pound chickens, backbones and wing tips removed


  1. In a food processor, combine the cilantro, mint, garlic, ginger, chiles and lime juice and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the butter, cumin, black pepper, cloves and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt.
  2. Set the chickens breast side down on a large rimmed baking sheet. Spread with some of the herb butter. Turn the chickens over and splay them out. Loosen the skin on the breasts and legs and spread some of the butter on the chicken underneath the skin. Rub the remaining butter over the top of the skin. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425°. Let the chickens stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  4. Roast the chickens in the upper third of the oven for about 1 hour, until they are richly browned and the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced. Transfer the chickens to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Pour the pan juices into a glass measuring cup and skim the fat from the surface. Carve the chickens and serve with the pan juices.

Make Ahead

The cilantro and mint butter can be refrigerated overnight.

Suggested Pairing

Fresh, red-berried Chianti Classico.

Contributed By Photo © John Kernick Published December 2011

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