Roasted Citrus-Herb Chicken

Back in the day, my mom would typically heat up a rotisserie chicken for dinner on a busy weekday. I remember when she pulled it out of the oven, I would rush to her side and wait for her to look away for a moment. I would then proceed to peel the crispy skin away from the meat and stuff it into my mouth before she turned around again. The skin was always my favorite part. The fact that she would obviously notice that the skin was gone never crossed my mind until it was too late.

Everyone needs to know how to make a good roasted chicken. And it all starts with butter. Citrus-herb compound butter, if we’re getting fancy. Which we are. A beautiful homemade roasted chicken deserves to be smothered in buttery love. I make a compound butter with shallots, orange zest, lemon zest, fresh basil, and fresh thyme. I use the pan juices to make a simple homemade gravy. Weeknight dinner never tasted so good.

Simple and classic roast chicken with a citrus-herb crust

Prep time
1 hour

Cook time
2 hours

Total time
3 hours

Serves 4


  • 1 (6 pound) roasting chicken
  • 1¼ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour


1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Place in a large roasting pan.

2. Combine 1 stick of butter, the shallots, orange zest, lemon zest, basil, thyme, 2 teaspoons of salt, and ½ teaspoon of pepper in a small bowl. Rub the mixture all over the chicken, rubbing some under the skin and in the cavity of the bird. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine and tuck the wings under the body of the bird. Add the chicken broth, wine, orange juice, and lemon juice to the bottom of the pan.

3. Roast the chicken for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and roast for another 1 hour and 30 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the inner thigh registers 175°F. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and tent with foil to keep warm.

4. Meanwhile, place the pan juices over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and butter, stirring until smooth and slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

5. To serve, slice the chicken and place on a serving platter. Drizzle some gravy over the chicken and pour the rest into a small serving bowl to serve alongside the chicken.

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