Roast Chicken with Lemon and Tarragon Butter

Roast Chicken with Lemon and Tarragon Butter

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Active time: 15 min Start to finish: 45 min


  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (3- to 4-lb) quartered chicken


  1. Preheat oven to 500°F.
  2. Stir together butter, zest, tarragon, salt, and pepper.
  3. Pat chicken dry and arrange, skin sides up, in a shallow roasting pan (1 inch deep). Loosen skin on chicken by gently working your fingers between skin and meat, keeping skin attached on 1 side and being careful not to tear skin. Rub butter mixture evenly under skin of each piece of chicken, then rub top of chicken with butter remaining on your hands. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake chicken in middle of oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted 2 inches into fleshy part of chicken (do not touch bone) registers 170°F, about 30 minutes.

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