Crispy Roast Chicken with Brown Butter and Sage
Despite the fact that Thanksgiving recipes are already being circulated around the internet, this Crispy Roast Chicken is not a roasted turkey. However, crispy roast chicken has the same wow factor as a fully roasted bird, takes a fraction of the time, and in my opinion, is much tastier. Crispy roast chicken also happens to be the epitome of fall/winter comfort, and makes the perfect chilly night meal, so it’s appropriate for dinner any time now through March.
Heck, it’s even appropriate through late spring, just switch out the sweet potato and brussels sprouts for something more in season like asparagus, artichokes or even hearty morel mushrooms. Really, anything goes.
This particular crispy roast chicken isn’t just a simple roast chicken, even though the ease of prep is only minimally more labor-intensive.
This crispy roast chicken is smothered with an easy sage butter, brushed with brown butter (my personal fall nirvana when it comes to food), and glazed with sweet pomegranate juice. If that doesn’t sound delicious enough, we also surround the chicken with sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts which get seasoned from all the drippings of the chicken. And lots of salt and pepper of course.
Crispy Roast Chicken is easy to make!
We have a whole roast chicken in our house at least once a month, and I’ve never understood why more people don’t do the same. While they may seem kind of intimidating at first glance, they’re honestly so easy to throw together. In fact, most of the time, it’s my go-to lazy dinner when I want something that feels fancy and homey, but I feel like putting virtually no effort forward whatsoever.
Which happens a lot.
Of course, I love a simple roast chicken seasoned with just salt and a touch of pepper, but I think it’s much more fun to come up with creative ways to serve it so we don’t get bored after the third time we’ve had it in under a month. Some of my favorites have been this Poblano Roast Chicken and this one with Pistachio Arugula Pesto, which happens to be perfect for spring.
For this version of crispy roast chicken, I wanted something super fitting for fall and winter, and to me, nothing screams fall and winter to me more than brown butter, pomegranates, Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes.
I’m obsessed with all four ingredients on their own this time of year, but together, they’re the ultimate umami combination and become the perfect addition to a blank canvas like roast chicken.
Ingredients in Crispy Roast Chicken
Whole chicken. I like to buy a free-range chicken or organic chicken on the smaller side, but honestly, anything goes. The beauty of a roast chicken is it’s a great, inexpensive way to feed your family so don’t feel like you need to splurge for an organic chicken if it’s not within your budget.
Butter. Lots of butter. It’s used two ways, first as brown butter to brush over the skin. Second, to smother under the skin. This not only adds moisture to the chicken, but it adds tons of flavor.
Sage. This is an essential fall herb for me. I use it ALL THE TIME. It’s perfect with chicken, but it’s also the perfect counterpart to sweet potatoes. I just love the combination of the two.
Pomegranate juice. This adds a nice sweetness and tartness to the chicken that I love. It’s a very subtle addition, so if you don’t have it, don’t sweat it.
Salt. Salt is the single most important ingredient in a crispy roast chicken. You can have all the butter, sage, and pomegranate juice in the world, but if you don’t properly season the chicken and vegetables, your meal will be bland. You want to season the chicken with more salt than you think you need, I use a whole teaspoon to season the surface. I also season the sage butter with salt.
Sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts. These are my fall vegetables of choice, but you could really use whatever you’d like.
How to make Crispy Roast Chicken
People are very opinionated on the perfect way to roast chicken. I don’t think there’s a”right” answer, but for me, the best method is to slather the chicken under and over the skin with softened butter, liberally season it with salt and a VERY conservative amount of pepper. Roast at a high temp, 425 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour. If you’re unsure when its done, when a thermometer reaches 165 degrees in the thickest part of the chicken, it’s done.
In this version of crispy roast chicken, I changed things up just a touch. I use a combination of softened butter, pomegranate juice, freshly chopped sage and salt to stuff under the skin. I also brush the entire outside of the chicken with brown butter.
It was kind of a risky move since brown butter has already been cooked at such a high temperature, and then has to cook again at another high temperature while the chicken roasts, but it turned out PERFECT. The chicken stays nice and crispy, gets a touch darker than it would without the brown butter and has that perfectly nutty flavor laced throughout, which I just adore.
When the chicken is about halfway done cooking, scatter the Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes around the bird. Toss them in the drippings. Season the vegetables with PLENTY of salt and pepper and pop the whole thing back in the oven to finish cooking.
When the chicken is about 10 minutes away from being done, brush the entire skin with a little bit more pomegranate juice, and pour ¼ cup or so in to the pan with the veggies to make a sauce and semi-glaze on the skin.
How to serve Crispy Roast Chicken
For serving, I like to take both breasts off the bone completely, slice them and put them on a platter with the drumsticks and thighs. This way more than two people can have breast meat and dark meat.
Scatter the veggies around the carved chicken. Pour the drippings on top and around the chicken and veggies. Or, you can strain it into a gravy boat or pitcher so everyone can serve themselves. You can also make a quick gravy with the leftover juices.
How to make an easy gravy
If I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll make a really quick and easy gravy to go with the crispy roast chicken. All I do is:
Pour about 1/4 cup of the juice from the pan into a small saucepan. Whisk two tablespoons flour with 1/2 cup COLD chicken stock. Whisk the chicken stock into the pan . Season with a little bit of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer until thickened, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper one last time. What should I serve with Crispy Roast Chicken? Our Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes are smooth, fluffy, and SO delicious. The perfect blank canvas to serve with Crispy Roast Chicken. This Everyday Kale and Brussels sprout Salad is a quick, easy side salad. We’re obsessed with it. Of course, we also love to serve this with our Perfect Creamy Dreamy Garlicky Mashed Potatoes.
Brown Butter and Sage Roast Chicken
Brown Butter and Sage Roast Chicken: A whole chicken is smothered with brown butter, fresh sage, and plenty of salt. It's roasted with diced sweet potato and brussles sprouts – so delicious!
1 4 1/2-5 lb whole chicken 3 1/2 tbsp butter, softened 1 1/2 tbsp chopped sage 1/4 cup + 2 tsp pomegranate juice 1 1/2 cups quartered brussels sprouts 1 1/2 cups chopped sweet potato
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Make sure oven rack is on the middle level. Rinse the chicken on the inside and outside with cool water. Pat dry with paper towels.
Add 1 1/2 tablespoons butter to a small skillet. Heat over a medium-high heat. Once the butter begins to brown, swirl pan. Keep swirling pan until butter is a deep brown color and smells nutty. Set aside.
Mix 2 tablespoons softened butter with sage and 2 teaspoons pomegranate juice. Season with salt. Mix until combined. Use fingers to loosen the skin from the flesh of the breast. Spread the sage butter under the skin.
Brush the entire chicken with brown butter. Season liberally with salt and a little bit of pepper. Place the chicken on a small baking sheet or roasting pan. (Make sure the rack is in the middle of the oven.) Tie the legs together with kitchen twine so the chicken cooks evenly. Roast for 40 minutes.
Remove the chicken from oven and scatter sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts around the chicken. Toss in any juice/fat that has accumulated in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with plenty of salt and pepper. Brush the chicken with 2 tablespoons of pomegranate juice. Place back in the oven and roast another 30-35 minutes or until the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165 degrees and the vegetables are soft. Brush with two more tablespoons pomegranate juice again after 15 minutes.
Let chicken rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. Using a sharp knife, remove both breasts, then thighs and drumsticks. Slice breasts. Serve with roasted veggies and pan drippings.
To make a quick gravy:
Pour about 1/4 cup of the juice from the pan into a small saucepan. Whisk two tablespoons flour with 1/2 cup COLD chicken stock. Whisk the chicken stock into the pan juice. Season with a little bit of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer until thickened, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper one last time.
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