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Roast Chicken (Poulet Roti)

TODAY / Kara Birnbaum

Chef notes

If you’ve ever wandered around a farmers' market in France, you may remember stumbling by a stall with a dazzling amount of roast chickens. Traditionally cooked over potatoes and stuffed with herbs and lemon, poulet roti is the epitome of French country cooking. Now, every home cook should have a roast chicken recipe in their arsenal. All it takes to complete the meal is serving it with a bright green salad. When it comes to leftovers, there’s endless ways to use up these precious birds — from soups and stews, to enchiladas and tacos and even chicken salad. There’s almost as many techniques for making chicken as there are ways to use it. We’re partial to this method. 

This chicken gets cooked at high heat for a shorter amount of time, which renders gorgeous golden brown skin and succulent meat. Start by rubbing butter under the skin of the bird, which helps ensure that the chicken stays moist. Tuck preserved lemon slices under the skin, which acts as flavor bombs of acidity and salt. Drizzle melted butter over the chicken, then finish with a spice rub. From there, all it takes is popping the chicken in the oven until cooked to perfection. 

Get Ingredients: If you don’t have everything you need on hand, you can easily purchase all of the ingredients (just click the orange button below that says ‘Get Ingredients’). You can pick and choose exactly what ingredients you need based on what’s in your pantry and they’ll be on your doorstep before you know it. 

Technique Tip: Save the chicken carcass to make your own chicken stock at home. If you’re not making it immediately, store in a sealed container or bag in the freezer until you’re ready to use it. 

Swap Option: In lieu of poultry seasoning you can use fresh, hardy herbs like rosemary, thyme and sage. 


  • 1 (3½- to 4-pound) roasting chicken
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning, preferably Bell's brand
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely crushed dried garlic chips
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, divided
  • 1 Moroccan preserved lemon, cut into thirds and seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 medium yellow onion
Fulfilled by



Preheat the oven to 450 F.


Remove the giblets from the chicken, if necessary; pat dry with paper towels.


In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the sea salt, poultry seasoning, garlic and pepper until well-combined.


Gently separate the chicken skin from the flesh with your fingers.


Carefully rub 1 tablespoon of the butter under the skin. Carefully slide a slice of the preserved lemons under each side of the breast skin of the chicken. Place 1 tablespoon of butter and the remaining third of the preserved lemon into the cavity of the chicken.


In a small saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the lemon juice and stir to combine.


Roll the onion in the butter mixture and then in the spice mixture until well-coated. Stuff the onion into the cavity of the chicken.


Drizzle the remaining melted butter mixture over the chicken and rub it into the skin. Sprinkle the remaining spice mixture evenly over the chicken.


Roast the chicken for 60 to 75 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the bird reaches 165 F.


Let rest for 15 minutes before serving. The preserved lemon and onion may be removed from the chicken and sliced to serve alongside the chicken.