This roasted chicken is beautiful and delicious. Its also simple! I decided to make chicken this year because we will have a super small group for Christmas dinner. There will be just four of us. My husband, kiddo, my dad and I. So, a chicken is plenty for us. This chicken is so easy and really pretty. I adapted our Apple Roast Chicken recipe to create this one. After a few tweaks, I think I have a winner! You’ll have to let me know if you like if as much as we did. I mean, how can you go wrong with butter under and on top of the skin.
I was buying the rosemary for this and the produce guy started a conversation with me about growing rosemary. He said his rosemary at home recently died, so he did a bunch of research and found out that there are many different varietals of rosemary and only a few grow well here in our part of Virginia. We are on the cusp of zone 6 and 7. According to Gardening Know How, the best for my zone are Hill Hardy, Madeline Hill and Arp. So interesting. It makes total sense, there are varietals of everything, but I had never give much thought to rosemary. I do know that one of my neighbors has a few rosemary bushes in her yard that are gigantic and last year after year. So, she must have the right kind. One of the reasons this came up is because around this time of year, every year, my local store has rosemary skewers. Its a super long rosemary step that is hard and thick enough to use as a skewer. Now, I purchase these every year, because they are super cool, however, I have yet to use them as an actual skewer. Maybe this is the year! I’ll keep you guys posted on the rosemary skewer status.
So this prompted me to do a bit of rosemary research. Here is what I learned – and its a lot! Rosemary is obviously a common herb, but can also be use as an ornamental shrub in your yard. There are three kinds of rosemary varietals, uprights, creeping (also known as ground cover) and trailing (who knew!) All variety types offer the same fragrant evergreen edible leaves and edible flower (again, who knew!) I had absolutely no idea you could eat the flower! Up to this point, all I knew what rosemary us supposedly good for memory, and that I can cook with it. Anyhoo, there are so many different types of rosemary. Here are a few I found in my research; Salem Rosemary, Blue Boy Rosemary, Spice Island Rosemary, Prostrate Rosemary, Huntington Blue, Tuscan Spires, Hill Hardy, Arp, Madeline Hill, Golden Rain, Miss Jessup, Collingwood Ingram, and Boule. Now this is just a sampling of the types I found, but these seem to be some of the most common among rosemary aficionados. I think it also will vary depending on where you live. So I’m going to stop here and refer you to Joy Us Garden, and Gardening Know How, two gardening blog I found. They can teach you way more than I can. Here is the Joy Us Garden post about rosemary, and here is the Gardening Know How post about rosemary in Zone 7 specifically. According to Joy Us Garden, the two best varieties for taste are Tuscon Blue and Tuscon Spires.
Now that you are a bit wiser about Rosemary, lets get back to the recipe. The most important thing to remember here, is that you need to keep an eye on the chicken once it goes in the oven at 425, you don’t want the skin to burn. So, definitely take a peek after about 30 minutes to gauge how much time you think you’ll need until you cover with foil and turn the oven down.
Enjoy! Let me know what you think. I hope your family loves it as much as we did.
1 whole chicken (5 lb is a good size)
3-4 sprigs of Rosemary (more for garnish)
1-2 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of cranberries (more to garnish)
1 stick butter, softened
Salt, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Wash the chicken and pat dry with paper towels.
- Mince the rosemary.
- Take half the stick of butter and combine with the rosemary in a small bowl.
- Cut the onions into quarters
- Gently lift the skin on the chicken, and spread the rosemary butter under the skin, reaching as much of the meat as possible. Replace skin as well as you can on top of the chicken breasts.
- Rub the remaining butter all over the outside of the chicken.
- Place the quartered onions in the bottom of a roasting pan, and place the prepared chicken on top of the onions so the chicken is not touching the bottom of the roasting pan.
- Put about 1/2 of the cranberries inside the chicken cavity, and remaining in the bottom of the roasting pan.
- Pour the stock into the bottom of the roasting pan, until it just reaches the bottom of the chicken. Do not cover the chicken.
- Salt the taste.
- Place chicken in preheated oven, uncovered.
- Keep an eye on the chicken. You don't want the skin to burn.
- Once the skin has reached the desired color (about 1 -1 1/2 hours), cover the chicken with aluminum foil.
- Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Roast another 1 -1 1/2 hours, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reached 165 at the thigh.
- Remove chicken from oven, and allow to rest at least 15 minutes before slicing.
- Add rosemary and cranberries to platter as garnish for serving.
- Serve with juices or make a pan gravy using drippings.