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Chicken 101–How To Roast the Perfect Chicken With Pan Sauce

  • Author: Tonja Engen


  • For the Chicken:
  • 1 whole chicken, 3½–4 lb
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 Tbls. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • For the Pan Sauce:
  • 1/2 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced with vegetable peeler
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup of water


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Discard neck from cavity, rinse chicken, and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle cavity with salt and pepper and place half the lemon and thyme in the cavity. Using kitchen twine, tie the legs together with a single knot. Place the chicken in a large skillet.
  3. Next, in a measuring cup add melted butter, olive oil, wine, and the juice of the other half of lemon. Pour mixture over the chicken and inside the cavity. Season chicken liberally on both sides with salt and pepper.
  4. Place in oven and roast until the juices run clear, about 1 hour – 1 hour and 15 minutes or when the thickest part of the chicken is 160 degrees. Transfer chicken to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet and let rest for 10-15 minutes while you make the pan sauce.
  5. Put the pan in which you have just roasted the chicken over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and stir, scraping up the browned chicken drippings, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, allowing the liquid to reduce completely, 3-5 minutes. Add 1 cup of water, stir and reduce again, 3-5 minutes.
  6. Carve chicken and serve with pan sauce.