Roast Chicken with Butter & Thyme

This roast chicken is so juicy and flavourful and the drippings will literally have you licking the pan. It’s delicious of course, butter is the secret!


  • 1 whole roasting chicken
  • 1/3 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs (substitute gluten free if desired)
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parchment paper


Preheat oven to 375 F on convection setting if available. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Rinse the chicken with cold water and pat dry inside and out. Butterfly by placing the chicken on a cutting board breast-side-down. Working from the cavity opening up to the neck, cut down one side of the back bone with a pair of kitchen shears. Open the chicken up and place on the parchment paper covered baking sheet cavity side down.

roast chicken with butter prep

Gently lift the skin on the breast, thighs and drumsticks by lifting with your hand and sliding the skin up as you go.

Roast chicken with butter prep

Using the tips of your fingers, lifting the skin up, rub butter on the chicken, pushing up under the skin all the way to the thighs and legs, covering the flesh with butter as evenly as possible. Next, place sprigs of thyme under the skin on each leg, thigh and breast. Using your hands, cover the entire outer skin with butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired.

Roast chicken with butter prep

Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the entire chicken. Push any stray crumbs up against the edges of the chicken. Roast in the oven for 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes (longer if not using convection) or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 180 F. Remove from the oven and let stand uncovered for 15 minutes before carving.

Chicken roast with butter

Using a fork just sample those crumbs and pan juices – cooks prerogative! You won’t be able to stop. Delicious!


  • I prefer fresh, specialty or organic chicken if available – flavours are the best and I appreciate the wholesome quality. If you’re using frozen chicken, make sure it is completely thawed before you start your prep.
  • When butterflying the bird, some people cut on both sides of the backbone, but I like to leave it attached to one side. Cooking on the bone always enhances the flavour.
  • If you don’t like doing the cutting, ask your friendly butcher to butterfly the chicken for you.
  • Have hot sudsy water in the kitchen sink. It comes in handy when you are working with raw chicken and you won’t have to touch the tap or the soap bottle with contaminated hands
  • Hungry guests or family waiting to eat when the chicken is resting? Put a small portion of the crumbs and pan drippings from around the edge of the chicken onto tasting spoons and hand them out.