Umami-Mayo Roast Chicken

The secret to this juicy roast chicken is umami mayo, a two-ingredient power-house combination of brewer's yeast and mayonnaise. Slathering the bird with a mayonnaise–brewer's yeast mixture before it goes into the oven yields maximal umami flavor. It also helps lock in its juiciness. Letting the chicken stand uncovered in the refrigerator overnight helps to dry out the skin for a crispier bird. The umami mayo is also awesome on a side of salmon. Seek out inactive brewer's yeast for this recipe, such as this version from Twinlab, which has a delicious, funky, umami flavor.

Umami-Mayo Roast Chicken
Photo: Photo by Eva Kolenko / Food Styling by Carrie Purcell / Prop Styling by Jillian Knox
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
9 hrs 25 mins


  • 1 (3 1/2 - to 4-pound) whole chicken

  • 1.50 teaspoons kosher salt

  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper

  • 4 large (4-inch) thyme sprigs

  • 4 large garlic cloves, smashed

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • ¼ cup inactive brewer's yeast (such as Twinlab)


  1. Remove neck and giblets from chicken; discard. Place chicken on a wire rack set inside a baking sheet; refrigerate, uncovered, at least 8 hours or up to 12 hours.

  2. Preheat oven to 475°F. Remove chicken from refrigerator, and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle cavity and exterior of chicken evenly with salt and pepper. Stuff cavity with thyme sprigs and garlic.

  3. Stir together mayonnaise and brewer's yeast in a small bowl until combined. Rub mixture all over chicken. Place chicken on a rack fitted inside a roasting pan. Roast in preheated oven until mayonnaise has crisped, charred in spots, and puffed slightly and a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of chicken registers 155°F, 50 to 55 minutes, rotating pan 180 degrees on rack halfway through roasting time. Cover chicken loosely with aluminum foil during final 10 minutes of roasting time if needed to prevent excessive browning.

  4. Remove chicken from oven. Let rest 10 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Suggested Pairing

Spicy, bright, natural red: Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme KO In Côt We Trust

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