Fresh herbs, butter, and Dijon mustard provide big flavor in this simple roast chicken. It first cooks breast side down, then is turned over to finish cooking. This method ensures moist breast meat. Look for a bird labeled "roasting chicken" or "roaster"—these usually have more meat and are more tender than broiler-fryers.
2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
4 teaspoons butter, melted
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (4 1/2-pound) roasting chicken
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 375°.
Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl.
Remove giblets and neck from chicken; discard. Trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Rub herb mixture under loosened skin and over breast and drumsticks. Tie legs together with kitchen twine. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken. Place the chicken, breast side down, on the rack of a broiler pan or shallow roasting pan coated with cooking spray; place rack in pan.
Bake chicken at 375° for 40 minutes. Carefully turn chicken over (breast side up). Bake an additional 40 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the meaty part of thigh registers 165°. Place chicken on a cutting board; let stand 10 minutes before carving. Discard skin.