For More Flavor, Start Stuffing Your Roast Chicken

Despite being a cooking staple, roast chicken does have the tendency to become boring. To shake things up and add more flavor to your bird, a great way to do this is by stuffing it. When we say stuffing, we're not talking about the bread-based kind that is common on your table at Thanksgiving. Instead, this stuffing comprises aromatic herbs and vegetables. 

How this works is that as the chicken roasts, the juices from the vegetables along with the flavors from the herbs will run through the stuffed cavity and become even more tasty. After roasting, this juice is collected in the run-off tray and can even serve as a great base for stock, gravy, or sauce that needs an aromatic boost.

Among the commonly used herbs and vegetables to stuff chicken are carrots, celery, onion, thyme, rosemary, garlic, and lemon. Because of their acidity, lemons help cut through any potential greasiness in the chicken, lending a crisp, light taste that livens up the other ingredients. Carrots, celery, and onion, the trifecta of the classic mirepoix in French cooking, also serve as a foundation on which to build flavor. The thyme, garlic, and rosemary add that herbaceous, fresh kick.

Experiment with various herbs and fruit for more flavor

Other stuffing options come in the form of other fruits and herbs you may not have thought about. Sage and apples, for instance, are an excellent choices. The apples lend a sweetness thanks to their natural sugars but will also help keep the chicken from drying out as the fruit will release its moisture while the bird is roasting. Sage is a bold herb that really stands out for its earthy flavor. Used in moderation, it adds a great depth to the chicken and works well with the fruit's sweetness, thanks to the herb's undertones of lemon and mint.

Most citrus fruits work well with roast chicken, complementing the savory seasonings with their bright taste — especially oranges. You could also put a Caribbean spin on it and stuff the bird with pineapple and cilantro along with some lime. Just remember that after you stuff your chicken, give it one good flip with a pair of tongs about half-way through cooking for the juiciest and most flavorful results.