This Five Ingredient Sage Butter (Faux) Roasted Chicken uses individual chicken pieces instead of a whole chicken, and is cooked at a lower temperature for a juicy and super tender end result. It’s the perfect easy, weeknight meal!
I have a ridiculous amount of fall meals I love, but the ones I’m truly passionate about, are the ones that are not only comforting and delicious, but easy as well.
Roast chicken falls in this narrow category, as it basically oozes fall and cooler weather, and all you need is a rinsed chicken, a liberal amount of salt, and an oven to achieve a near-perfect dinner. Some of my favorite recipes you can find here, here or here.
While you can’t replace the beauty and ‘WOW’ factor of a whole roast chicken, it doesn’t, however, fall in to the next coveted category of being quick. Yes, most of the hands-on time for a roast chicken in minimal, but the cooking time can wander up near an hour and a half, depending on the size of your bird. Most of the time, this isn’t a problem, since I plan ahead, but when I get an impromptu craving for a roast chicken at approximately 4:30pm, and need dinner on the table by 6pm, I quickly realize, time is not on my side.
I’ve wanted to create a recipe for months now that mimics the comfort and ease of a traditional roast chicken, but takes a fraction of the time, and today’s faux roast chicken does just that. Instead of roasting a whole bird, I just purchased a bunch of chicken breasts and roasted them individually. If you want, you could butcher and dissemble a whole chicken yourself to save a few bucks, and to utilize all of the chicken, but I’m too lazy for that. Also, you don’t really need to buy only breasts; if you love dark meat, only buy thighs, if you like a variety, go with breasts, wings, or thighs, all you have to do is adjust the cooking time accordingly.
I almost always use a compound butter to smother the skin and flesh with prior to roasting, but typically I’ll switch up the additions depending on the season. Since we’re in the midst of fall, I went with chopped sage, which happens to be my favorite herb this time of year.
Before I add the butter to the chicken, I actually like to let the meat sit out of 20 minutes or so, because butter solidifies so easily, if you add the butter to a super cold surface, it will seize up and be difficult to massage evenly over the chicken. Once the chicken is coated, it gets sprinkled with a liberal amount of salt, and it’s ready to be roasted.
Typically when I roast a chicken, I’ll crank up the temperature in the oven in the beginning of cooking so the skin gets that nice crispy texture, but I wondered what would happen if I let the chicken cook at a lower temperature to render the fat out slowly while simultaneously facilitating a more tender finished product. And it worked! The chicken was juicy and tender, and the skin was even crispier than my typical roast chicken. Win!
If you want a side that basically cooks itself, before you lay the chicken pieces on your roasting pan, cover the bottom of the ban with a couple diced potatoes, seasoned again with a little bit of sage and salt. The fat that drips down from the chicken coats the potatoes, and almost taste as if they were deep-fried.
I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to a classically roasted chicken…
For more easy chicken dinners, check out these posts:
- 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, set out at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- 4 Tlbs softened unsalted butter
- 1 Tlbs + 2 tsp.. sage
- 1½ lbs. russet potatoes cut into a ¼-inch dice
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- In a small bowl, combine butter and 1 tablespoon sage. Use your hands to run half of butter under skin of the the breasts and thighs. Spread the other half of the butter on the outside of all the chicken pieces.
- In a bowl, toss remaining sage with potatoes oil, and a liberal amount of salt. Toss until combined.
- Spread potatoes on a large sheet pan. Place chicken pieces on top. Liberally season chicken with salt.
- Place chicken in the oven for 25 minutes. Turn the heat up to 450 degrees. Roast until skin is golden brown and crispy, another 15 minutes.
- If potatoes aren't crispy yet, remove chicken from the pan and give the potatoes a toss (drain excess moisture if needed), place the potatoes back in the oven. Roast until crisp.