I think a really good roast chicken is one of the more under appreciated dishes when one thinks of fall comfort foods. To me, there’s nothing better than a juicy bird,  creamy mashed potatoes, and simple salad of mixed greens. Everyone should have a solid roast chicken recipe up their sleeve, and this one I’m sharing today has come to be my favorite. Naturally, it’s from Ina.  The roasting method is pretty standard, but it’s the simple sauce she creates from the pan juices, wine, and chicken stock right after the bird comes out of the oven that makes her recipe so insanely good. Your dinner guests will be blown away- promise!

Ps: Creamy mashed potatoes with my go to secret ingredient to go with.

Jeffrey’s Roast Chicken from Barefoot Contessa “How Easy is that?”

Serves 4

  • 1 (4-5 pound) roasting chicken
  • 2 lemons, cut into quarts
  • 1 whole head of garlic cut in half crosswise
  • 2 spanish onions, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425°.

Remove and discard the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken and pat dry- make sure it’s completely dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Place the garlic and 2 lemon quarters inside the chicken.  At this point you can either truss the chicken (I follow this video), or you can just tie the legs together and tuck the wing tips under the bird. If you don’t have kitchen twine, you can also use thread or floss. It’s also not a disaster if you can’t do this- you can cook the bird as is.

Place the chicken in a small roasting pan (I use a 9×13″ Pyrex dish). Brush the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. The bird should look speckled! In a medium size bowl, toss together the onions and lemons with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Place the onion and lemon mixture around the bird.

Roast the chicken for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thy.  Move the chicken to a platter, leaving the lemon and onions in the pan (some of them may be a bit charred- that’s ok). Cover the chicken with foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes while you make the sauce.

Place the roasting pan on top of the stove over medium heat. Add the wine and stir with a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits. Add the stock and sprinkle on the flour, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the sauce has deceased by roughly half.

Carve the chicken. Sprinkle with salt and spoon sauce over. Serve immediately.

  1. Leanne

    I have never, in my life, roasted a chicken. How awful is that?!? And just last week my husband announced that he could not remember the last meal he ate that didn’t include a chickpea, so clearly it’s time I branch out! And if you and Ina both recommend this one …

    • Clara

      You will LOVE and it’s truly so easy. Your husband will definitely be blown away :).

  2. Totally love this chicken. It’s a Sunday Dinner favorite in our house!

  3. Ina’s roasted chicken is my go-to “impress” recipe. It literally never fails and could not be more simple. Yours looks like it came out flawless!

    The Glossy Life

  4. A roasted chicken just screams comfort to me. Not to mention the delicious smell that fills your kitchen while it roasts away in the oven! I can think of nothing lovelier than this chicken and your creamy mashed potatoes (and that simple green salad you speak of) on a Sunday evening. I am quite excited that Fall is here!

    • Clara

      Thanks, Amanda! I’m so glad you agree on the comfort food front- you should definitely make this chicken recipe.

  5. vickie

    Do you transfer the onions and lemon to another pan to finish since pyrex can’t be placed on top of the stove for cooking?

    • Clara

      Hi Vicky- Yeah I’ve read that about Pyrex too but I’ve tried it with my pan a few times and haven’t had any problems. It’s probably a risk I shouldn’t be taking though (!), so instead of transferring the onions and lemons to another pan, since you really want to capture the pan drippings and juices, you could roast the chicken in a metal roasting pan- which will be less risky on the stove. Hope that helps- let me know if you have any further questions.

    • Rose

      I have had a Pyrex dish POP loudly while doing this exact process…. making sauce. Little glass shards and losing all the yummy goodness. Metal pan is highly advised :-)

  6. I am a vegetarian but I must say that chicken looks tempting. lol

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