Kafka''s Herb-Roasted Chicken

How to roast a chicken at 500 degrees

4th Jun 2006 Nick Kindelsperger

High heat has its positives and negatives, but one thing for sure is that it definitely tastes much different than whatever the Joy of Cooking will throw at you.

In fact, one of the only downsides is that this recipe is easy to the point of being rather boring.  For the busy this is a godsend, but we cooked it with some much more challenging melting potatoes , that upped the ante on the fat factor ten-fold, and required constant love and attention.

As roasts go, this is as simple as it gets and as a starting point for whole chicken recipes.

Herb-Roasted Chicken


  • 5 to 6 pound whole chicken
  • 1/2 cup of thyme
  • 1/2 cup of rosemary
  • 1 cup white wine

Adapted from Barbara Kafka's Roasting: A Simple Art

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.  This will take about an hour, which will leave plenty of time to prep the chicken.  Actually, you'll have a decent 59 minutes.


Rub the inside cavity with salt and pepper, and get ready.  Gather the herbs - no need to cut them up - and stuff them into the cavity of the chicken...that's it.

Place directly in the roasting pan, no need for the rack.  Put the pan on the second level from the bottom and roast for about 50 minutes, or 10 minutes a pound.


When ready, remove the pan from the oven.  Stick a wooden spoon into the cavity and pick the body up with some tongs, and tilt the chicken so some of the juices drip into the pan with all the rest of the goodness.  Set the chicken aside and let it sit for ten minutes or so.


Dump the white wine into the pan and put on a burner or two over medium high heat.  Using the wooden spoon, scrap black bits from the bottom of the pan.  Those could be sold for pure gold, so try to break them up into the sauce and whatever you do don't remove them.  Reduce the sauce by half, place in a serving dish, or sauceboat for you civilized folk.

Cut the chicken up into your desired pieces and serve with the potatoes and that wonderful sauce drizzled over the lot.


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