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Garlic Butter Roast Chicken

Richly flavored and robust, this recipe for Garlic Butter Roast Chicken is easy to prepare and delightful to enjoy.

It’s a magical scent — roasting a chicken in the oven on a cold winter day. It calls you to the kitchen, leaving your mouth watering. Add in the comforting fragrance of butter and garlic and it’s practically intoxicating.

Whether for a holiday dinner or a Sunday supper, Garlic Butter Roast Chicken is a winning recipe. Serve it with your favorite mashed potatoes (might I recommend Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes?), a vegetable side dish (Brown Butter Green Beans? Or perhaps Roasted Garlic Herb Carrots?) and maybe some biscuits (you won’t regret making these Whole Wheat Biscuits).

This flavorful chicken takes only a few simple ingredients: sliced garlic, unsalted butter, sweet Hungarian paprika, salt and pepper. Oh, and the chicken.

Preparing it is also simple.

Slice the butter. Loosen the skin on the chicken. Slide slices of butter and garlic under the skin. Season the chicken all over with paprika, salt and pepper.

Then roast it.

It’s that simple.

Readers have asked in the past about the difference between roasting and baking. The short answer is not much.

Roasting is a term that refers to a dry method of cooking where heat surrounds the food, as it does in a hot oven. In terms of a dish like this, you are cooking the chicken on a rack so that the juices drip down and are kept separate from the chicken. As a result, the chicken cooks evenly on all sides without the excess juices touching the meat.

You don’t need a special pan for this — not exactly. A foil-covered baking sheet with a cooling rack set atop will do the trick.

Roasting and baking are essentially the same. Both are dry methods of cooking that result in browned, cooked throughout food. Roasting is the term often used when talking about meats and veggies though, while baking often refers to casseroles and baked goods.

Ready to dig in? Carve up this Garlic Butter Roast Chicken and enjoy.

Garlic Butter Roast Chicken

Garlic Butter Roast Chicken

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Rich and fragrant, this recipe for Garlic Butter Roast Chicken is a total winner.


  • 3-3.5 lb roaster chicken
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cut into pats
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • salt, pepper and sweet paprika


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Top with a cooling rack.
  2. Remove the giblets from the chicken. Rinse inside and out with cool water. Pat dry with paper towels. Set on the rack. Loosen the chicken skin. Slide the butter pats under the skin, dividing them evenly between the two breasts. Slide the garlic slices in, dividing evenly between the two breasts as well.
  3. Season the outside of the chicken with salt, pepper and sweet paprika. How much? Just enough to get it all over.
  4. Slide the pan into the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and roast for an additional 40-55 minutes. When the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it's done.
  5. Remove from the oven and let the chicken sit for 10 minutes before carving. Enjoy immediately.

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