Herb Stuffed Roast Chicken

Low CarbPaleoRoast Chicken

Whole roasted chicken, infused with fresh herbs - parsley, basil, thyme, oregano.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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.

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Herb Stuffed Roast Chicken Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 5


  • One 5 pound chicken
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup loosely packed fresh herbs (basil, parsley, thyme, marjoram or oregano), finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin 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.

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Herb Roasted Chicken

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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9 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. AnnieBB

    Instead of a lemon (which i find overwhelming) i peeled off a good amount of lemon rind and stuck that in the cavity. the fresh herbs make all the difference and so too does sprinkling salt under the skin. Very good, simple recipe!

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  2. Jo

    I was surprised at how flavourful the chicken was. I used Italian parsley, rosemary, and basil to stuff the chicken. Realised halfway through cooking that I forgot to add the bay leaves! Still turned out delicious, and I liked how fancy the chicken looked with the herbs bursting out after being cut into. This one is going on the dinner rotation.


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  3. geneenb

    Loved this recipe! Simple, delicious, and used herbs from the garden. Would definitely make this again. Organic chickens from costco are always 5lbs not 3 like the grocery :)


  4. Ellen

    Also my first time cooking a whole chicken. Didn’t have a lemon so tossed in an onion instead, and it still was delicious, but I want to try it again with the lemon too. I was able to toss the whole carcass, onion and all, into a stockpot for broth, which is smelling excellent. Just wondering, do you have any good tips for carving a whole, hot chicken? I’ve never done a whole turkey before either, and my butcher job has me nervous before thanksgiving!

    I think if you look up “how to carve a turkey” in Google, you’ll find plenty of videos. Carving a large chicken is similar. ~Elise

  5. Giselle

    This was the first time I ever cooked a whole chicken. I made it for my boyfriend and myself. In fact, we’re still eating and it’s AMAZING! I forgot to add the parsley and bay leaves and even without those, it’s pretty darn good.


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