Weeknight Roast Chicken

roast chicken

I owe Tarragon an apology. Back before I began to blog, when just learning to cook, there came a recipe that Tyler and I wanted to try. It was “Turkey Tarragon”, made in a Crock-Pot, and was well beyond my comfort zone. Fast forward to dinner, and we could literally not stomach this dinner. It went in the trash. I am not kidding. It was just disgusting. Tonight I gave tarragon another shot with a Weeknight Roast Chicken.

So, the other night, Tyler, Sam and I were watching an America’s Test Kitchen 20th Anniversary special on PBS. The cast broke down the top twenty favorite recipes from viewers and showcased the two decade long recipes. The #1 recpe was this Weeknight Roast Chicken, which boasted it’s tarragon-lemon sauce. Now, I was skeptical, as my last encounter with this herb was literally back in 2013, honestly. However, I broke down and trusted these cooking experts and made this dinner. Y’all, this recipe was SO easy and rediculously quick, with a result that blew my mind.

Weeknight Roast chicken with tarragon-lemon pan sauce on plate with stuffing and zucchini

Monica is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commission incomes by advertising and linking to Monicas Scratch Kitchen Blog.
Published April 12, 2022
This page might contain affiliate links. In the event of a sale, I will be awarded a small commission (at no extra cost for you). Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network, and Amazon.

Why this recipe is special

There are many recipes where I use a whole chicken, however this recipe is different as they do not cut the chicken and lay it flat in the baking pan to cook. The result of this recipe is a perfectly cooked whole chicken. A no-fail recipe that leaves the chicken, breast meat and all, moist and juicy and by no means dry.

The magic to this chicken, while skipping a brine, is by using a pre-heated skillet to cook the chicken. Just make sure the large skillet you are using is rated for oven use as it will be cooked at 450 degrees.

Tarragon-Lemon sauce

I want to eat this sauce on everything. It was SO good, and I thought I hated tarragon! To make this sauce shine, make sure to use the juice from a lemon so it is fresh and gives the best flavor. Certainly, the next time we have this Weeknight Roast Chicken with Tarragon-Lemon pan sauce for dinner, I will have to not only double the sauce but additionally make two chickens.

Now, if you are like me and did not have any fresh tarragon in your spice cabinet, rest asured that Amazon does. Click the link below to get your own for all your Tarragon-Lemon sauce needs.

Weeknight Roast Chicken Recipe

Ingredients

1 Tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 (3-4-pound) whole chicken
1 Tbsp oil
1 medium shallot, minced
1 cup chicken broth
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp tarragon
2 tsp juice from 1 lemon

all the ingredients to make weeknight roast chicken and blue cutting board

Directions

1. Place an oven safe 12-inch saucepan in the middle rack of an oven and then preheat to 450 degrees. Keeping the skillet in the oven until fully preheated.

warming 12-inch skillet in oven

2. In a small bowl, combine the salt and pepper and then set aside.

small bowl with salt and pepper to season weeknight roast chicken

3. On a cutting board, pat the whole chicken dry with paper towels and then rub the surface with oil.

dry chicken skin with paper towels before season

4. Sprinkle the entire surface of the whole chicken with the salt and pepper blend, then tie the legs back with twine and tuck the wing tips behind the back.

whole chicken seasoned with salt and pepper

5. Transfer the whole chicken onto the now hot 12-inch saucepan, skin side up and roast the chicken until the thigh registers 135 degrees and the breast registers 120 degrees, around 25-35 minutes.

handle of hot skillet with hotpad coveing to place weeknight chicken in skillet to roast in oven

6. Turn off the oven and leave the chicken in the saucepan in the oven, or until the breast registers 160 degrees and the thighs register 175 degrees.
7. Remove the saucepan from the oven and then place it carefully on the stovetop, keeping a kitchen towel resting over the handle to not accidentally grab the hot pan.

weeknight roast chicken removed from oven and saucepan set on stove

8. Then transfer the whole chicken to a cutting board to rest, around 20 minutes.

weeknight roast chicken removed from saucepan with towel on hot handle

Finally, carve the chicken and serve with the Tarragon-Lemon pan sauce.
In addition to this Tarragon-Lemon sauce and roasted chicken, we also had stuffing and sauteed zucchini and onion.

Weeknight Roast chicken with tarragon-lemon pan sauce on plate with stuffing and zucchini

Tarragon-Lemon Pan Sauce Directions

ingredients to make tarragon-lemon pan sauce for weeknight roast chicken

1. While the chicken rests, remove all but 1 Tbsp of fat from the skillet where the whole chicken was cooking.

weeknight roast chicken drippings in 12-inch saucepan on stove

2. Place the skillet over medium-high heat and then add the diced shallot and cook until soft, around 2 minutes.

saute shallots in saucepan for tarragon-lemon pan sauce for weeknight roast chicken

3. Then stir in the chicken broth and mustard, using a spatula to scrape up any browned bits on the saucepan so they get incorporated to the sauce.

4. Cook the sauce until it is reduced, around 3 minutes.

simmer stock in drippings in saucepan on stove

5. Remove the pan from the heat and then add butter and whisk to blend.

melting butter in saucepan

6. Finally add the tarragon and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and then set aside for serving over the chicken.

Additionally, the Tarragon-Lemon pan sauce tasted amazing with the chicken stuffing and zucchini. This sauce has won my kids over, won me over, and my husband said it was an amazing tasting meal. This will for sure be a regular dinner in my Scratch Kitchen!
~Monica

Weeknight Roast chicken with tarragon-lemon pan sauce on plate with stuffing and zucchini

Ingredients for Weeknight Roast Chicken

1 Tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 (3-4-pound) whole chicken
1 Tbsp oil

Directions for Weeknight Roast Chicken

1. Place an oven safe 12-inch saucepan in the middle rack of an oven and preheat to 450 degrees, keeping the skillet in the oven until fully preheated.
2. In a small bowl, combine the salt and pepper and then set aside.
3. On a cutting board, pat the whole chicken dry with paper towels and then rub the surface with oil.
4. Sprinkle the entire surface of the whole chicken with the salt and pepper blend, then tie the legs back with twine and tuck the wing tips behind the back.
5. Transfer the whole chicken onto the now hot 12-inch saucepan, skin side up and roast the chicken until the thigh registers 135 degrees and the breast registers 120 degrees, around 25-35 minutes.
6. Turn off the oven and leave the chicken in the saucepan in the oven, or until the breast registers 160 degrees and the thighs register 175 degrees.
7. Remove the saucepan from the oven and place on the stovetop with a towel covering the hot handle.
8. Transfer the whole chicken to a carving board to rest, around 20 minutes.
Finally, carve the chicken and serve with the Tarragon-Lemon pan sauce.

Tarragon-Lemon Pan Sauce Directions

1 medium shallot, minced
1 cup chicken broth
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp tarragon
2 tsp juice from 1 lemon

1. While the chicken rests, remove all but 1 Tbsp of fat from the skillet where the whole chicken was cooking.
2. Place the skillet over medium-high heat and add the diced shallot and cook until soft, around 2 minutes.
3. Stir in the chicken broth and mustard, using a spatula to scrape up any browned bits on the saucepan.
4. Cook the sauce until it is reduced, around 3 minutes.
5. Remove the pan from the heat and then add butter and whisk to blend.
6. Finally add the tarragon and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and then set aside for serving over the chicken.

Recipe for Weeknight Roast Chicken

Published by Monica's Scratch Kitchen

I have not always had the skills to cook and bake from scratch. As a young wife, I bought every meal frozen or boxed and presented it to my husband with a flourish, believing myself a decadent cook. As our budget shrunk, and our family grew, I looked for ways to stretch our money to nourish our kids with the best for their hungry appetites. Hoping to find recipes and meals that they would love to eat. Through the last 5 years, I have learned so many cooking and baking lessons, and experienced many wins and failures. Come along with me on this journey as I share my recipes that work, how to make them on the cheap, and my tips and tricks to get my kids to eat homemade deliciousness! I will also share updates to our house that we have done in the last year since our move. With one income, we do most of the work ourselves and with amazing family and friends to help out, cutting costs but keeping style and money in the bank! I am a wife and mother of 3 boys and 1 princess. When I was a kid, I remember being asked what I wanted to be or do when I grew up. My response was, "a mom", and I am proud to grow up and be a mom to 4 amazing kids! Samuel is 11, Matthew is 8, Levi is 4, and Elliana is almost 2. We have been blessed to have kids who love to explore foods, to try new recipes, and enjoy helping us around the house. With 4 kids, you better believe they help clean! My husband Tyler and I have been married almost 13 years. We love our kids, we love outdoors, camping, canoeing, grilling, watching movies, and just hanging out making memories. A few years ago I gifted Tyler with his own "menu" book, where we write meals and foods we have loved to eat. Weekly our family decides what our meals will be and I make up a grocery list with what we need. It literally is my favorite chore! I love to shop, so shopping for food on a budget is my biggest win! Thank you for taking the time and visiting my site, Subscribe so you do not miss a post! Keep coming back to hear about new recipes, updates on our home, fun times with our kids, and how to make homemade deliciousness! ~Monica

One thought on “Weeknight Roast Chicken

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: