Roast Chicken French-Style (Poulet Roti)

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Roast chicken, or poulet roti as the French call it,  is a staple in my home. With some roasted vegetables and a big loaf of French bread, it’s probably one of my favorite meals to make and eat. 

Poulet Roti: Roast chicken done the French way. A recipe for juicy, crisp chicken that'll taste and look fantastic. Recipe via MonPetitFour.com

Poulet Roti

I thought it appropriate to update my recipe for poulet roti as I’ve slightly modified it since the last time I shared the recipe here. My tweaks have made the recipe more straightforward and even more fuss-free.

The first time I made roast chicken, I used Julia Child’s recipe. The poulet roti ended up tasting great, but it was a lot of work constantly basting the chicken as it baked in the oven. 

Poulet Roti: Roast chicken done the French way. A recipe for juicy, crisp chicken that'll taste and look fantastic. Recipe via MonPetitFour.com

Du Beurre

While brushing the chicken with butter is key to getting a chicken with crisp, golden skin, I’ve found that a simple brush of butter in the beginning is just as effective as continually basting it. 

You could also use olive oil if you really wanted, but the skin won’t be as crisp (or tasty!) as using butter. It is the French way, after all. 

Poulet Roti: Roast chicken done the French way. A recipe for juicy, crisp chicken that'll taste and look fantastic. Recipe via MonPetitFour.com

French Herbs

I love stuffing my poulet roti with French herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage. These fresh herbs add great flavor and aroma to the chicken. Sometimes I’ll chop up the herbs real fine and sprinkle them all over the top of the chicken. 

poulet roti
Alternate way to dress chicken is to chop up the herbs and sprinkle them all over the top of the chicken. This will provide a stronger, herbed flavor.

It doesn’t look as picturesque when I chop up the herbs and sprinkle them on top, but I find the herbs’ flavors shine through much better. It’s really your preference.

In addition, I utilize garlic and lemon to also provide the chicken with delicious flavor. 

Poulet Roti: Roast chicken done the French way. A recipe for juicy, crisp chicken that'll taste and look fantastic. Recipe via MonPetitFour.com

The Best Sides

My favorite way to serve this poulet roti is with roasted vegetables. I love the organic rainbow carrots they sell at my local farm stand, and often pick them up just for recipes like this. They are so delicious with just a drizzle of olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. 

You can also serve this roast chicken with potatoes, French bread, and/or salad. I love creating a simple frisée, endive, and radicchio salad that I dress with olive oil, sea salt, and lemon juice. It’s a refreshing compliment to the warm, comforting roast chicken. 

Just before serving the poulet roti, I spoon the leftover juices in the pan over the chicken. The final touch makes this meal absolutely tantalizing. This is definitely a classic recipe that you’ll cherish for years to come. 

Poulet Roti: Roast chicken done the French way. A recipe for juicy, crisp chicken that'll taste and look fantastic. Recipe via MonPetitFour.com

Poulet Roti (Roast Chicken French-Style)

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes

Classic roast chicken made with fresh herbs, butter, garlic, and lemon. 

Ingredients

  • 3.5 lb whole chicken, , skin on
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1 sprig of sage
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 lemon, vertically cut into quarters
  • 1 1/2 tsp table salt (divided)
  • freshly ground pepper
  • olive oil (or melted unsalted butter)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. If you're going to add the herbs on top: remove the leaves from the thyme, rosemary and sage. Use a sharp knife to mince these herbs into fine pieces. Use your knife to mince the garlic clove as well before combining the minced garlic and minced herbs together. Temporarily set aside next to your cut up lemon quarters. If you're using whole herbs, simple preheat your oven and skip the rest of this step.
  2. Rinse and remove any giblets from the inside of the chicken. Thoroughly pat dry the chicken using paper towels.
  3. Drizzle olive oil over (or melted butter) over the chicken, using your hand to rub the oil all over the surface of the chicken (including its wings and legs). Flip the chicken over and repeat on the backside.
  4. Sprinkle 3/4 salt tsp all over the breast side of the chicken, including its wings and legs. Then sprinkle 1/4 tsp salt into the inside cavity of the chicken, before flipping the chicken over and sprinkling another 1/2 tsp of salt all over the backside of the chicken.
  5. Grind some fresh ground pepper over the backside of the chicken, then flip it over and grind some pepper over the breast side.
  6. Gently stuff the inside cavity of the chicken with the lemon quarters. If using minced herbs, cover the breast side (including legs and wings) of the chicken with the herb/garlic mixture. If using whole herbs, simply place the herbs and garlic clove in the inside cavity of the chicken as well. If you're stuffing the chicken with herbs, you can use twine to tie the chicken legs together to keep the cavity shut (optional).
  7. Grab a 9" by 11" baking dish and slightly grease the bottom of the dish with some oil or butter. Place the chicken into the dish (breast-side facing up), and place in the oven to bake.
  8. Bake the chicken for 1 hour and 30 minutes at 375°F or until a food thermometer reads 165°F when inserted in the thigh area and breast area. Loosely cover the chicken with a sheet of foil and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 4 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 475
Poulet Roti: Roast chicken done the French way. A recipe for juicy, crisp chicken that'll taste and look fantastic. Recipe via MonPetitFour.com

35 thoughts on “Roast Chicken French-Style (Poulet Roti)”

  1. I am seeing comments about the difference in cooking time for organic vs. store-bought chicken, but not seeing anything in the recipe. Do I need to cook the chicken for a different amount of time if it is store bought?

    Also, this chicken looks to tantalizing and delicious! I went to Paris 7 months ago and have been obsessed with trying to recreate some of the amazing food I had while I was there!

    Reply
    • Hi Katherine! I use store-bought chicken, but some brands offer organic chicken and others don’t. It’s just been my personal experience that the organic brands take a little longer to cook. It’s not a hard and fast rule, just a personal observation. If you’re concerned about over-cooking your chicken, I would suggest giving it the full hour to bake, then checking on it every 10 minutes after that until you’re comfortable with that brand of chicken. 🙂

      Reply

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