Honey Herb Roasted Chicken

Author: Tori Avey
Serves: 4-6


  • 1 whole chicken without giblets (3.5 lbs-4 lbs)
  • 1 small handful of fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1 small handful of fresh thyme sprigs
  • Peel from one small lemon, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 large onions, peeled and sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp honey, divided
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • Fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs for garnish (optional)

You will also need

  • medium sized roasting pan, string for trussing chicken, foil, mesh straining

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together ¼ cup of olive oil, 1 tbsp of honey, and 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice. This is your basting mixture.

Assemble your chicken, herbs, lemon peel, garlic, and a few small slices of onion.

Season the cavity of the chicken with salt and pepper and brush some of the basting mixture inside the chicken (go light on the salt if you’re using a kosher chicken, which will already be salted). Stuff the cavity with half of the fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs, sliced lemon peel, garlic cloves, and a few pieces of the sliced onion. Don’t overstuff the cavity; pack it loosely with room to breathe.

Truss the chicken; click here for instructions. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Line the bottom of your roasting pan with foil. Take remaining sliced onions and place them in an even layer on the bottom of your roasting pan. Drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil over the onions. Remove leaves from the rest of the rosemary and thyme sprigs, then put the leaves into the roasting pan and discard stems. Use a large spoon to toss and coat the onion slices with herbs and olive oil.

Place the chicken breast side down onto the bed of onions. Pour half of the basting mixture over the chicken, using a brush to coat it evenly.

Cover the roasting pan with foil (nonstick foil is best). Pierce a few small vents into the outer edges of the foil with a knife. Place covered roasting pan into the preheated oven and cook for 45 minutes.

Take roasting pan out of the oven, remove the foil (reserve), and flip the chicken to breast side up. Brush off any onions or herbs that cling to the top of the chicken. Brush the rest of the basting mixture evenly onto the top of the chicken. Cover the roasting pan again with the vented foil. Place back into the oven for 45 minutes longer.

Remove foil from the top of the roasting pan and reduce oven heat to 375 degrees. Let the chicken continue to roast another 20-30 minutes until the skin is brown and crisp. The skin may get quite dark in places; this is from the honey in the basting liquid. Watch the chicken carefully, as it can go from brown to black very quickly. Blackened parts of the skin will not affect the flavor in a negative way.
Chicken is done when the skin is nicely browned, and the internal temperature reaches at least 170 degrees F as measured on a food thermometer at the thickest part of the thigh.

Take the chicken out of the roasting pan and place it on a carving board. Cover it with foil to keep the heat in and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving.
Meanwhile, use a mesh strainer to strain the pan drippings from the roasting pan into a small saucepan.

Let the drippings settle for a moment; you will see brown bits settle to the bottom of the pan and lighter fat and oil rise to the top.

Skim about half of the fat/oil from the top of the liquid. Add 3/4 cup of chicken broth and 2 tbsp of honey to the pan. Whisk to blend. Heat the sauce over medium to a light boil and let it simmer for about 2 minutes, whisking constantly.

Remove the honey sauce from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Carve the chicken. Drizzled each serving of meat with some of the honey sauce. Garnish with fresh thyme or rosemary, if desired, for a pretty and aromatic presentation.