Butter Roasted Chicken with Rosemary and Sage

by Andie Mitchell on November 23, 2011


I hope you’re eating turkey today.

In fact, I hope you’re eating turkey, the sweetest of sweet potatoes, herby sausage stuffing, whole berry cranberry sauce, an ungodly amount of gravy, and



That’s what I’m doing,



But hopefully, when you’re good and done with your third plate of Thanksgiving dinner, you can begin to think about other birds.

Chicken, for one.

This recipe, buttery and so tender I dare use the word ‘succulent,’ is perfect for any season, any occasion, any guest. Placing a halved lemon inside the bird infuses the meat with bright, fresh flavor. The smell alone is delicious.

The chicken tastes garlicky, herby- a blend of sage and rosemary and thyme. I like to soften the butter to room temperature and mash it with the finely chopped herbs, then rub that silky mixture underneath the skin of the chicken. By doing this, you’re ensuring that all of your favorite flavors seep into the chicken while it roasts. The skin still gets crisp and tanned, but it’s most important as a fatty barrier to keep your butter and herbs lying on your bird.

If that last sentence sounded fresh,

I meant it to.


Enjoy Thanksgiving, friends. Save this recipe for next week;

you’ll love it.

Butter Roasted Chicken with Rosemary and Sage

  • 5 lb whole chicken
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Rinse and pat chicken dry. Remove the giblets and place the halved lemon inside your bird.
  2. In a small bowl, mash the butter with all remaining ingredients. Gently loosen and lift the skin from the meat of the bird. Use your fingers to rub the butter herb mixture into the flesh of the bird- making sure to cover as much area as you can. Return the chicken skin to cover all of the exposed flesh. Roast for 17 minutes per pound. A 5 lb chicken will roast for about 1 hour 25 minutes. Let it rest on a cutting board for 15 minutes before carving.

serves 6

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Tracy November 23, 2011 at 5:20 pm

YUM YUM YUM are you in the fabulous state of MA for turkey day!?!?


Anna @ Food Fitness Frolicking November 23, 2011 at 5:21 pm

This looks just divine! Butter anything plus rosemary is just the perfect combination!

Thanks for a great recipe! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Amy November 24, 2011 at 12:25 am

I usually lovingly bathe my birds in olive oil, but sometimes there is nothing like butter. In fact, all the time, there is nothing like butter. This one will be made for the omnivores pronto!


Michelle H November 24, 2011 at 7:00 am

Looks delicious! Happy Thanksgiving!


Samantha @ Bikini Birthday November 24, 2011 at 7:11 am

Happy Thanksgiving! Here`s to pie.


johnny November 25, 2011 at 4:20 am

Happy Thanksgiving!!! Had a great day pigging out now its back to eating right. That chicken looks absolutely delicious! :)


The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh November 25, 2011 at 10:46 am

I’m lookin’ all dough boy today but dang was it worth it! This recipe will be getting made next week for sure.


Nicole from Loving Simple Moments November 25, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs!! :) This looks delish!


Lu @ A Mix of it All November 25, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Yum! That looks amazing. I wish I wasn’t afraid of chicken. If I could find the awkward emoticon I would put it here. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Your cranberry cornbread muffins made their second appearance at this year’s table. My family, and me, say thank you.


Lu @ A Mix of it All November 25, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Not me, I. Oops.


Sophie @ LoveLiveAndLearn November 26, 2011 at 3:52 am

Oh that just looks divine, I adore rosemary.
Your photos are so beautiful as usual, I love the colours :-)
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Erika - The Teenage Taste November 27, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Oh my goodness, this sounds really, really good! I’m pretty sick of turkey at the moment so it will be good for me to experiment with other birds this week. :-)


Sarah@The Flying ONION November 28, 2011 at 7:53 am

The happiest of Thanksgivings to you (sorry for the belated wish!)

(p.s. This recipe sounds fabulous. :D )


Jayme November 28, 2011 at 3:34 pm

I just found your website today, and I’m so grateful I have. I can’t wait to see what more recipes and stories you have to offer. As a large woman, your story is so inspiring. Thank you for writing, and being committed to this blog.


Rosaline December 3, 2011 at 11:14 am

Made this recipe today. Rosemary smells wonderful,and this chicken was delicious, along with the sauteed squash! Thanks so much for sharing!


jodi September 28, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Could you share with me how you cook your zucchini?


Stephen September 28, 2014 at 11:43 pm

I was looking for a recipe to cook for my wife for dinner tonight, and I’m so lucky came across this post. I used this recipe, and she loved it!


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