Mom's Foolproof Butter-roast Chicken

Total Time
1hr 15mins
Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr

This was the method my mom used to roast chicken: relatively high temperature, a little butter, no basting. It turned out wonderfully each and every time; I'm glad to be able to share her technique with everyone.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 3 12 lbs chicken, cleaned,with skin
  • 2 tablespoons butter (olive oil works, too)
  • 12 lemon
  • salt and black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Pat dry the chicken and rub the inside with half of the lemon; squeeze the juice inside also and place in chicken cavity.
  3. Season cavity with salt and pepper.
  4. Rub outside of chicken with butter, season to taste with salt and pepper, and truss chicken.
  5. Place chicken breast up on a rack in a roasting pan in the center of the oven.
  6. Roast about one hour or until chicken juices run clear, or until thickest part of the thigh registers 185 degrees F on a meat thermometer.
  7. Remove chicken from oven and let stand 10 minutes before carving (for juicier meat).
  8. Note: At no time during roasting is basting required.
  9. Leave the oven door closed.
Most Helpful

5 5

This technique IS great. I use it often. If the chicken is larger than 4 pounds, I do it at 400° for the first hour then 375° to finish cooking (so the skin is perfectly browned). It really doesn't need to be basted at all. I use a mixture of butter and olive oil (2 tablespoons each or more) and put some between the skin and the breast. Excellent!!!