Julia Child's Favorite Roast Chicken Recipe

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Servings: 4


Cost per serving $1.59 view details
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. Unsalted butter
  • 1/3 c. Each finely diced carrots, onion and celery
  • 1 tsp Thyme, savory or possibly mixed herbs or possibly 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 4 lb Fresh chicken Salt & freshly grnd pepper Parsley stems &celery leaves
  • 6 x 1/8-inch thick lemon slices
  • 1/2 c. Each sliced onion & carrot
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 c. Chicken stock or possibly broth


  1. Heat 1 Tbsp. of the butter in a skillet. Add in the diced carrots, onion and celery and cook over moderate heat till softened about 5 min. Stir in the herbs.
  2. Wash the chicken rapidly inside and out with warm water and pat thoroughly dry. For easier carving, cut out and throw away the wishbone. Pull the neck skin up over the breast and secure it to the back with a toothpick. Salt and pepper the cavity and spoon in the cooked vegetables, a handful of parsley stems and celery leaves and the lemon slices. Massage the chicken all over with 1 Tbsp. of the butter then truss it. (Alternatively, tie the ends of the drumsticks together and tuck the wings under the body)
  3. Preheat oven to 425F. Choose a flameproof roasting pan which is 1 inch larger than the chicken. Salt the bird all over and set it breast up on a rack in the pan.
  4. Roast the chicken in the oven for about 1 1/2 hrs, as follows:
  5. AT 15 Min: Quickly brush the bird with the remaining 1/2 Tbsp. of butter. Scatter the sliced vegetables around the bird. Reduce oven temperature to 350F.
  6. AT 30 Min: Baste the chicken with the pan drippings.
  7. AT 45 Min: Brush the lemon juice over the chicken, Add in 1/2 c. of water to the pan to prevent the vegetables from burning.
  8. AT 60 Min: Baste with the pan drippings. Begin testing chicken for doneness: the drumsticks should move fairly easily in their sockets and their flesh should feel somewhat soft. If not, continue roasting, basting and testing every 7-8 min.
  9. Spear the chicken through the shoulders and lift it up to drain; if the last of the juices run clear yellow, the chicken is done. Set it on a carving board and throw away string. Let rest for 15 min.
  10. Spoon all but 1 Tbsp. of fat from the juices in pan. Add in the stock and boil rapidly till reduced and lightly syrupy. Strain the juices - you will have just sufficient to bathe each serving with a fragrant spoonful.


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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 567g
Recipe makes 4 servings
Calories 162  
Calories from Fat 89 55%
Total Fat 10.08g 13%
Saturated Fat 5.42g 22%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 19mg 6%
Sodium 231mg 10%
Potassium 566mg 16%
Total Carbs 10.94g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1.5g 5%
Sugars 3.01g 2%
Protein 10.17g 16%
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