Be sure the butter is softened so it combines thoroughly with the herbs.
1 (3 3/4-pound) whole roasting chicken
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 carrots, peeled and halved
4 stalks celery, halved
1 onion, quartered
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 375°.
To prepare chicken, remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken; trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breasts and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat.
Combine butter and next 5 ingredients (through pepper) in a small bowl. Rub seasoning mixture under loosened skin and over breasts and drumsticks. Tie ends of legs together with twine. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken. Place carrots, celery, and onion in a single layer in a roasting pan. Place chicken, breast side up, on top of vegetables.
Bake at 375° for 40 minutes.
Increase oven temperature to 450°, and bake an additional 20 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the meaty part of thigh registers 170°. Using tongs or insulated rubber gloves, remove chicken from pan, tilting slightly to drain juices. Let stand 15 minutes. Remove vegetables from pan with a slotted spoon; reserve.
To prepare gravy, place a zip-top plastic bag in a 2-cup glass measure. Pour wine into bag; add drippings from pan. Let stand 2 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into measuring cup, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat.
Return vegetables to pan. Add wine mixture and broth to pan; cook 10 minutes over medium heat, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Remove vegetables from pan using a slotted spoon; discard. Combine flour and water in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk to form a slurry; add slurry and 1/4 teaspoon salt to pan, stirring constantly. Simmer 1 minute or until slightly thick.
Remove skin from chicken; discard. Carve chicken, and serve with gravy.
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Use this recipe as my "go-to" for roast chicken as most of the ones I buy from Costco are in the 3-4# range. I use whatever fresh or dried herbs is most appealing at the moment, as well as the vegetables...last night I used quartered red potatoes, shallots and onions in olive oil, but have used squash, sweet potatoes, whatever I have on hand. I don't always bother with the gravy, usually just add a little chicken stock to the roasting pan and scrape up the brown bits for a nice au jus. If you have had problems with roasting a bird in the past and not being sure if it was done, this 2 temp method is one of the best ways I know of to cook a bird!
Using past-their-prime vegetables as a rack to support and moisten the chicken is a great idea. Had a much larger bird, so doubled the herb butter and adjusted the cooking time. Instead of gravy, followed the roasted garlic/jus proportions from CL's provencal turkey. Excellent. Served with CL's butternut squash gratin & steamed brussels sprouts.
I made it for my family for Xmas. It was good. Nice and juicy - I followed the cooking times for the chicken and didn't have a problem with it being done or overdone. I did make the gravy, but didn't add all the chicken broth - I used about 1/3 of a cup in addition to the wine and pan juice. It came out with just the right consistency.
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