How To Enhance The Flavor Of Roast Chicken With Fresh Herbs

If you've ever had plain chicken you know how bland it can be. But secretly, that's chicken's superpower. Having a mild taste makes chicken a fantastic vehicle for whatever flavor you want to give it. There's no better way to create the ultimate chicken flavor bomb than with fresh herbs.

Whether you're looking for a classic French-style or something more Mediterranean, the herbs you choose should be ones that play nice with the other ingredients. Dill, for example, is a fantastic burst of citrus and grass but the flavor is so unique that you'll want to be careful what other herbs you pair it with lest they clash. Certain herbs are more charismatic, hopping between different cuisines with ease the way salt and pepper do.

If you're going the French route with herbs de Provence, rosemary and oregano are your friends. For a more Mediterranean style, consider using dill, marjoram, and chives. Herbs with a more universal appeal include fresh sage and thyme. If you're unfamiliar with herbs and spices and how they fit together, take comfort in the fact that it looks more complicated than it is. If you're really nervous, follow a recipe. You'll intuitively start to pick up on what goes well with what and down the road you can start to freestyle your way through the spice rack.

How to use fresh herbs to roast chicken

There are honestly so many ways to flavor chicken but with fresh herbs, we can narrow it down to a handful of good options. We'll start with the dry rub. Take your fresh herbs and crush them with a mortar and pestle. You don't need to turn them into dust but give them a good grind. Dry off the chicken with a paper towel and lightly brush with oil. Take the dry rub and generously apply it all over.

Another fun way to get fresh herbs on your chicken is with compound butter. Take one stick of butter at room temperature and beat it with a paddle attachment until fluffy. You can also use a fork if that's what you have available. Chop your herbs up and toss in with the butter, mixing them together. Dry the chicken with a paper towel and spread the butter across the surface of the chicken. You'll also want to gently lift the skin and, without tearing it, apply the compound butter to the meat underneath.

For both of these methods, if you have any leftover herbs consider stuffing the chicken with whatever is left as well as slices of lemon and celery. As the chicken cooks, the aromatics of what's inside will take your chicken to the next level.