Herb Stuffed Roast Chicken

A great way to infuse chicken with flavor? Stuff seasonings right underneath the skin. That way as the chicken cooks, it bathes the meat in the flavor of the seasonings. In this recipe we are using a mix of fresh chopped herbs and some salt and pepper to season our chicken. The recipe comes (barely adapted) from Jamie Oliver, in his wonderful book Naked Chef.


  • One 5 lb chicken
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup loosely packed fresh herbs (basil, parsley, thyme, marjoram or oregano), finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary

1 Preheat oven with a roasting pan in it to 400°F.

2 Rinse and salt the chicken: Rinse the chicken and chicken cavity with water and pat dry with paper towels. Rub salt over the inside of the cavity.

3 Stuff herbs under skin:  Grasp the skin at the tip of the chicken breast and gently pull up. Use your fingers to gently separate the skin from the breast meat, taking care not to tear the skin. Sprinkle a little salt into the gaps and insert as much of the chopped herb mixture as you can.

4 Stuff the cavity with the lemon, bay leaves, rosemary, and any remaining herbs. Pull the skin of the chicken breast over the breast so that none of the meat is exposed.

5 Tuck in the wings and truss with kitchen string. 

6 Brown the breast side of the chicken in roasting pan in oven: Rub olive oil over the chicken and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Carefully remove the hot roasting pan from the oven and add a little oil to the bottom of the pan. Place the chicken on one side, breast side down, on the roasting pan and put it back in the oven.

Cook for 5 minutes, then turn the chicken so that the other breast is on the pan and cook for another 5 minutes. Starting off by cooking the chicken this way will help brown the breasts.

7 Turn chicken over and roast until done: Then turn the chicken over so that it is breast-side up. Cook for 45 min to 1 hour, or until the juices run clear (not pink) when a knife tip is inserted into both the chicken breast and thigh, about 165°F for the breast and thigh.