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All-Time Greatest Recipes from Legendary Cooks Julia Child seasoned this roast chicken inside and out by packing sautéed vegetables, lemon slices and fresh herbs into the cavity, then rubbing the skin with butter. In typical French fashion, she trussed the bird to promote even cooking. Slideshow: Fantastic Roast Chicken Recipes 

January 1997


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

30 mins
2 hrs 15 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet. Add diced carrots, onion and celery and cook over moderate heat until softened. Stir in the herbs.

  • Cut out and discard wishbone. Pull neck skin up over chicken breast and secure it to the back with a toothpick. Salt and pepper cavity and spoon in cooked vegetables, a handful of parsley stems and celery leaves and lemon slices. Massage chicken all over with 1 tablespoon butter, then truss it. Alternatively, tie drumstick ends together and tuck wings under body.

  • Choose a flameproof roasting pan that is about 1 inch larger than the chicken and place a rack inside. Salt chicken all over and set it breast-side up on rack. (Thoroughly wash all surfaces and utensils that have been in contact with the raw chicken.)

  • Roast chicken for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, brush chicken with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter. Scatter sliced onion and carrot all around. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

  • After 45 minutes, brush lemon juice over chicken. If necessary, add 1/2 cup of water to vegetables to prevent burning.

  • After 60 minutes, baste chicken with pan juices. Test for doneness; drumsticks should move easily in their sockets; their flesh should feel somewhat soft. If not, continue roasting, basting and testing every 7 to 8 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees.

  • Spear chicken through shoulders; lift to drain; if juices run clear yellow, chicken is done. Let chicken rest on a carving board for 15 minutes; discard string.

  • Spoon all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the juices in the pan. Add the stock and boil until lightly syrupy, 5 minutes. Strain; you will have just enough to bathe each serving with a fragrant spoonful.

Suggested Pairing

Minerally, full-bodied Cour-Cheverny.