While a classic roast chicken is worth mastering, variations are fun too. A few months ago I could not get the idea of a slow-roasted chicken out of my head. I imagined a buttery, smoky chicken, so tender the meat would effortlessly fall off of the bone, requiring nothing more than a quick spice rub and a low, lazy roast in the oven.
Today, I am introducing you to Butter-Basted Slow-Roasted Chicken, and I am confident she is going to win you over. I knew this recipe was a hit when my son walked into my bedroom one evening. He had not been home when the rest of us ate dinner, and so I had left a plate for him in the kitchen. He told me, “That chicken you made? It’s good. You need to keep making that.”
Spoken like a true believer.
The trick to this chicken is a quick spice rub that permeates the meat, an occasional buttery basting, and a low, slow cook time. As the chicken roasts, the meat becomes meltingly tender, and the results are succulent, savory, and worth every minute.
As with all roasted chicken recipes, one of the secrets is to let the bird rest for at least twenty minutes after it comes out of the oven. I always let mine rest longer (usually 30 to 45 minutes) because a rested bird is a better bird.
When it comes time to serve and eat, you will not need a knife for the dark meat. It will simply release from the bird. The white meat will require a few swipes of a sharp knife before it releases and falls off the bone. I love to carve the bird in the roasting pan so I can swirl them meat around in the buttery juices that have collected in the bottom of the pan.
I hope you enjoy this recipe!
Butter-Basted Slow-Roasted Chicken
- 1 whole chicken 3 to 5 pounds
- Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons smoked sweet paprika
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1-2 cups chicken stock or water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- At least an hour before you plan to begin roasting the chicken (or up to 24 hours before), rub a generous amount of Kosher salt on the outside of the bird. Sprinkle some inside the cavity. Use your fingers to separate the skin from the breast meat, and sprinkle some salt on the meat. Place the salted chicken into a roasting pan and chill, uncovered for at least an hour and up to 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
- In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and dried thyme. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator, and rub the spice mixture all over the bird. Try to get under the skin if possible.Pour about a cup or two of stock around the bird in the bottom of the roasting pan. The amount of liquid you will need depends on the size of your roasting pan. You want to have about a half of an inch of liquid in the bottom of the pan to keep the oven moist while the chicken roasts.Tie the birds’ legs together using kitchen twine. Drizzle the outside of the bird with olive oil, and place chunks of butter on top of the skin. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
- Roast the chicken for a total of four hours. Check the liquid in the pan every so often. If it looks dry, add some more stock or water. After about three hours, remove the pan from the oven, and using a spoon, carefully baste the chicken with some of the juice in the bottom of the pan. Return the bird to the oven for the final hour of cooking.After four hours, remove the pan from the oven, give the bird another basting, and allow it to rest for a minimum of twenty minutes and up to an hour. You can cover the pan with foil if you like, but it isn’t necessary. After it has rested, serve the bird. The legs should easily pull away, and the white meat should carve with ease. Enjoy!