Roast Chicken from Monticello

  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 50 mins


1 young chicken (preferably less than 2½ pounds, but no more than 3½ pounds)
Whole black pepper in a pepper mill
2tablespoons unsalted butter
2tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 500 degrees for at least 20 minutes. Wash the chicken inside and out under cold running water and pat dry. Liberally rub it inside and out with salt and several grindings of pepper. Let it rest at room temperature until the oven is ready, about 30 minutes.
  2. Lightly butter a heavy oval roasting pan that is a little bigger than the chicken. Lightly rub the bird’s breast with butter and put it in the pan breast side up. Roast 10 minutes.
  3. Baste well with butter and, using tongs and a carving fork, turn it onto one side. Reduce the heat to 400 degrees and roast 10 minutes. Carefully turn it onto the other side, basting with more pan juices, and roast 10 minutes more. Gently turn it breast side down, baste with pan juices, and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes more, or until the juices run clear and a meat thermometer inserted between the thigh and body registers 160 degrees. When it is done, turn it breast side up and let the skin brown, about 5 minutes more.
  4. Remove the chicken to a warm serving platter. Spoon off as much fat as possible from the drippings and pour them over the bird. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Recipe from Dining at Monticello: In Good Taste and Abundance, edited by Damon Lee Fowler and published by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc., 2005. Distributed by the University of North Carolina Press.

Nutritional Info *per serving

  • Glycemic Load 0
  • Calories 590
  • Fat 37g
  • Saturated Fat 12g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 7g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 14g
  • Cholesterol 215mg
  • Sodium 190mg
  • Potassium 520mg
  • Carbohydrate 0g
  • Fiber 0g
  • Sugars 0g
  • Protein 62g
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Vitamin A 15%
  • Vitamin C 4%
  • Calcium 4%
  • Iron 15%