roast chicken

roast butter chicken with gravy

dinner holidays main course meat recipes

Who needs a roasting rack?  I love roasting chicken directly on top of vegetables.

roast chicken

When roasting chickens or turkeys, I like to drape a butter soaked cheese cloth on top.  This helps the chicken from browning too fast on top, but you still get the juicy butter soaking in the chicken throughout the roasting time!

roast chicken

roast butter chicken with gravy

course Main Course
cuisine American
keyword chicken, classic recipe
prep time 20 minutes
cook time 2 hours
total time 2 hours 20 minutes
servings 8 servings
Author Christine


  • 5-8 lb whole chicken
  • 3 medium carrots cut into large pieces
  • 3 stalks celery cut into large pieces
  • 1 1/2 lbs baby potatoes quartered
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 stick butter at room temperature and softened
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t dried thyme leaves
  • butcher’s twine
  • cheese cloth
  • 10 sprigs fresh dill
  • 5 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 lemon quartered
  • 1 medium onion quartered and skinned
  • 2 T instant pancake mix
  • 1 c chicken stock.



  1. Remove chicken from packaging and discard any giblets that may be inside. Do not “wash” your chicken, but pat it down dry with paper towels. Remove any excess skin, fat, or feathers. Place it on a cooling rack, set aside, and allow to come to room temperature for about 20-30 minutes.

  2. Place carrots, celery, and potatoes at the bottom of a 9” x 13” baking dish. Season with salt and pepper, and toss with extra virgin olive oil.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the 1 stick of butter with 1 t salt, 1/2 t ground pepper, garlic powder and thyme. Divide the butter in half and place half of the butter in another small, microwave safe bowl.
  4. Preheat oven to 425° F.
  5. Before touching the chicken and getting your hands dirty again, cut two pieces of butcher’s twine that would be long enough to tie the feet of the chicken, and another to tie up a bundle of herbs. Next, cut two pieces of cheese cloth: One large enough to cover the breasts of the chicken, and another to wrap a bundle of herbs. Place dill, rosemary, and bay leaf in cheese cloth, wrap, and tie with butcher’s twine. Then, place the chicken on top of the vegetables. Rub half of the seasoned butter under the skin of the chicken. Really try and get the butter around as much of the chicken as possible.
  6. Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper. Inside the chicken, place the lemon, onion, and herbs. Tie the legs together with another piece of twine.
  7. Heat the other half of the butter in the microwave in 15 second intervals until melted. Dip the second cheese cloth in the melted butter until all butter is absorbed from the cheese cloth. Lay the cheese cloth on top of the chicken breasts.
  8. Roast chicken in the oven for 1 hour. Then, remove the cheese cloth from the chicken and roast for another 30 minutes, or until the inside temp of the largest part of a thigh reads 165°. If at any point the wings of the chicken brown too quickly, tent some aluminum foil on top of the wings to keep them from getting too dark.
  9. Transfer chicken to a platter and tent chicken with aluminum foil. Transfer vegetables to their serving dish. Allow the chicken to rest while you make the gravy.


  1. Remove the pan juices and transfer to a medium sauce pan, and 2 T to a separate small bowl. To the 2 T of chicken juices, mix in the pancake mix. Stir chicken broth into the sauce pan with the chicken juices and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once bubbling, whisk in the chicken juice and pancake mix. Simmer for 5 minutes, and strain.

recipe notes

Cooked chicken will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator, or 4-6 months in the freezer.


After carving the chicken, don't throw away that carcass!  Store in an airtight bag in the freezer to make a tasty chicken stock.