Roast Chicken |

Weeknight Roast Chicken with Pan Sauce

Posted on Posted in Recipes

I have made updates to this roast chicken recipe, so read my updates after reading this recipe for the full details!

So, you know those amazing rotisserie chickens you can get for like 6 bucks at the grocery store?  Well, if you have a few hours and the same amount of money, you can make one from scratch!  No but really, this is one of my favorite new things to make– it is even better than the premade ones and it comes with an incredible pan sauce that’s perfect for smothering on mashed potatoes or using as a dipping sauce with homemade baguettes.  It feels like a little touch of Thanksgiving at any time of year!  And it’s an excuse to use my beloved Dutch oven.

This recipe comes courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen, the source of all things wonderful.  The final product has a crispy skin and very tender meat- all with relatively little effort!


  • 3.5-4 pound whole chicken- don’t forget to remove the guts!
  • 1 T kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • Rosemary or other herbs as you please
  • Butter
  • 1 c chicken broth
  • Corn starch for thickening
  1. Before starting, preheat the oven to 400F and put the empty Dutch oven in the oven to preheat as well.  You may recognize the next few steps from my turkey recipe– Alton Brown and ATK agree on this one, apparently!IMG_1098
  2. My lucky chicken today got brined for 10 hours in water, salt, coarse ground pepper, garlic powder, and oregano, but I don’t do that unless I think ahead!
  3. Dry off the chicken within an inch of its existence.
  4. Slather on olive oil followed by a mixture of salt, pepper, and baking powder (this dries and crisps the skin).IMG_1099
  5. Tuck the wings under the bird and tie the legs together (if you want to… I never do!).  Plop the bird… carefully!… in the Dutch oven.IMG_1101
  6. Bake the bird for 30 minutes before checking its doneness.  It probably won’t be done yet, so pop it back in for 15 more minutes.  ATK recommends just turning off the oven and letting it coast for another half hour in the hot oven, but that has yet to work for me.
  7. When the chicken is done, take it out of the Dutch oven to rest.IMG_1100
  8. If there is a lot of fat in the pan, scoop some out.  Otherwise, add a smidgen of butter to the drippings with the shallots and saute until brown.  Pour in the broth and heat until boiling.  Then, sprinkle in cornstarch about a teaspoon at a time and whisk until thick.  Add in the herbs and seasonings to taste. Pan Sauce |
  9. After carving up the chicken, plate and serve with the pan sauce. Sauteed green beans |
  10. On the side, I made sauteed green beans:

Heat butter and garlic salt (this is fresh ground from Trader Joe’s) in a saute pan (isn’t that a lovely picture of butter??) Toss in the green beans over high heat and stir around until browned and softened

Enjoy the best green beans ever!  

This is quite the fancy weeknight meal, but it’s really not all that much effort– I hope you try it!


Roast Chicken |
The skin wasn’t brown enough for me, so I added a little butter towards the end of cooking- that’s allowed!


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