Baby leaves are sprouting.  Mustard flowers blooming.  Afternoons are warm and sunny.  Spring is here!  BUT it is still cold in the mornings (40s being cold here in California) and once the sun dips below the horizon, I still like to have something warm on the stove.  Or in this case, the Oven.

This is the BEST DAMN ROAST CHICKEN RECIPE EVER.  And I promised Rob Turner I’d write next on this gorgeous recipe!

Thanks to Gail Ross, my foodie friend and intrepid cookbook scout for turning me onto Dorie Greenspan.  This recipe is a take off on hers…just tweaked.  Italian style.

This is the chicken BEFORE I dust with dried herbs. I now make the chicken almost totally covered in herbs for extra flavors.
This is the chicken BEFORE I dust with dried herbs. I now make the chicken almost totally covered in herbs for extra flavors.

Ingredients for Step 1: ** These are all to taste so adjust for your taste

  • 1 Roasting Chicken 3&1/2-4&1/2 lbs
  • 2 heads of Garlic
  • 1-2 lemons (scrubbed)
  • Fresh Thyme — 10-14 sprigs
  • Dried Thyme – 1-2 teaspoons
  • Fresh Rosemary — 1-1&1/2 tablespoon
  • Fresh Sage — 10 leaves
  • Dry Sage (dust) — 1/2 teaspoon
  • Dried Oregano — 1 teaspoon
  • Kosher Salt — 2 teaspoons+
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • 1-2 even slices of thick country bread.  Can be stale or fresh.  * Opt for white or plain wheat breads with no heavy herbs or seasoning.
  • 1 cup Chardonnay (or worst case, Chicken Stock)

Heat oven to 450’F.

Pat dry your chicken.  Remove any giblets or bits of feather.

Rub a sheen of olive oil all over the interior of a large Dutch Oven.  Place the 2 slices of bread in the center of the pot.  Place dried chicken on top of them in the center of the pot.

Remove excess paper from the garlic clove(s).  Chop each one in half so you have 4 half bulbs.

Cut the lemon(s) in half.

Take a chopping knife and course chop the washed and now dry sprigs of fresh thyme, rosemary needles, and sage leaves.

Put all dried herbs in a mortar & pestle to fresh them up.  You can also crush them between your hands.

INSIDE the cavity of the chicken, place a mixed bunch of fresh herbs and one of the garlic halves.  Secure half of a lemon in place with the pul side IN to steam the chicken with the herbs and lemon from the inside as it cooks.

Be sure to keep washing hands throughout as raw chicken is dangerous.

Rub olive oil over the top and exterior of the bird.  Dust liberally with the salt.  Crack a few turns of pepper over the chicken next.

Next take all fresh herbs and rub onto the chicken.  Then I dust the dried herbs on top of THOSE fresh herbs.

Position half cloves of garlic and lemon halves around the chicken.

Carefully pour the 1 cup of Chardonnay into the well of the pot.  Not only will the chicken roast in the heat but steam in the aromas of white wine, garlic and lemon!

Cover with lid and Roast for 45-55 minutes.


Mix the following Ingredients in a large bowl:

  • 1 Large Yellow Onion peeled and quartered
  • 2-4 Potatoes or any sort of Roots (Mix it up depending on the season with turnip roots, leeks, shallots, etc) cleaned and quartered
  • 3-5 Carrots (orange, purple, etc) – cleaned and chopped in 1-2 inch rounds
  • olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh pepper

Remove chicken from the oven after the initial 45-55 minutes of roasting.  Place the olive oil covered vegetables around the perimeter of the chicken.  I drizzle the left over olive oil over the top of the chicken.  Place lid back on the dutch oven and slide back into the oven for 45-50 minutes more, depending on how large your chicken is.

** If you have more vegetables than your pot allows, roast them below in a cute pan.

Remove from oven and uncover.  If it’s not golden brown yet, crank heat up and toast the top of the Chicken a few minutes more.

Let stand 10-12 minutes and serve with Annadel 2012 Chardonnay or 2009 Anni’s Blend!! Drizzle chicken with hot lemon juices.  And watch people fight over the scrapings of bread and roasted garlics from the bottom of the pot!

Gorgeous Chicken
Gorgeous Chicken