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Perfect Roast Chicken

Alex Hitz's Perfect Roast Chicken and Tomatoes + Smashes Potatoes + White Chocolate-Pecan Cookies
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
Cook Time:
1 hr

Chef notes

This is the very best roast chicken ever! It's so easy to do that the only skill you'll need is being able to follow a recipe! This is an easy Sunday recipe that is guaranteed to impress your in-laws.

Technique tip: I do not recommend pricking the chicken as it releases way too much juice. It's done when an instant-read thermometer reads 160 degrees to 165 degrees. 


Roasted Tomatoes
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 3 cloves garlic, divided
  • 1 4-pound roasting chicken, cavity empty, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • teaspoons dried tarragon
  • 1 lemon, cut in half and seeded
  • 1 cup white wine


For the roasted tomatoes:


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 


In a medium bowl combine the tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper, and toss them thoroughly. Spread the tomatoes out on a baking sheet, and bake them in the oven for 20 minutes.


Remove the tomatoes from the oven, let them cool to room temperature.

For the chicken:


Preheat the oven to 450°F.


Mince two of the cloves of garlic. In a small mixing bowl, mash together the butter and minced cloves of the garlic with a fork to make a compound butter.


In a large mixing bowl, toss together the chicken, salt, pepper and tarragon until the chicken is fully coated on all sides with the seasonings. Place the seasoned chicken in a metal roasting pan, making certain to gather any excess seasonings from the mixing bowl. Squeeze both halves of the lemon over the chicken, and put the squeezed lemons inside the cavity with the remaining clove of garlic. Smear the garlic butter over the chicken fully making sure that it is even. Pour the white wine in the bottom of the roasting pan, and put the chicken in the oven.


Set a timer for 10 minutes, and after 10 minutes reduce the oven heat to 350°F. Roast the chicken for an additional 40-50 minutes at the lower temperature until it is brown and the internal temperature reaches 165°F.


Remove the chicken from the oven, and place it on a carving board. Letting it rest for 20-30 minutes before carving. Scrape the brown bits from the roasting pan with a wooden spoon or metal spatula and skim some fat from the pan juices. Carve the chicken, and pour some sauce over the carved chicken, but reserve the rest to be served alongside.