This Maple Mustard Roasted Chicken is the quintessential fall dinner. My family absolutely loves roasted chicken and over the years I’ve practiced and practiced until I’ve perfected it. I loved the idea of using maple in a savory way with the spiciness of English dry mustard.
I love the spicy kick ground mustard powder adds. I wanted to make a compound butter to use when I made roasted chicken. I paired it with real maple syrup, garlic, and freshly minced herbs and mix them with butter. I always use a compound butter when I roast a chicken and this one is by far the delicious compound butter I’ve made. The mustard and the maple are perfect I tell you!
I served the Maple Mustard Roasted Chicken with roasted fingerling potatoes and the drippings. Oh the drippings! Oh that I had a picture of the golden drippings – so mustard-y and maple sweet! The chicken itself was extremely juicy and tender too. Read on below for step-by-step pictures and tips on making the perfect roasted chicken.
- One (3-4 pound) all natural whole chicken
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ¼ cup fresh herbs, finely minced (sage, rosemary, thyme)
- 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup (Grade B preferred)
- 1 Tablespoon finely ground mustard powder
- 2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced (or 2 teaspoons garlic paste)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 large onions, cut into ½-inch rounds
- sprigs of fresh herbs (rosemary, sage, thyme), for stuffing and garnish
- extra salt and black pepper, for sprinkling
- Special equipment needed: roasting pan with 2- to 3-inch deep sides, twine
- Rinse chicken and remove giblets. Pat the chicken dry inside and out. Let come to room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl mix together the butter, mustard powder, fresh herbs, garlic, salt and pepper. Add the maple syrup a little at a time, stirring well to combine.Divide the butter in half. Wrap one half in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator or freezer for a later use.
- Season the inside of the chicken well with salt and pepper. Line the bottom of a roasting pan with the onion slices. If there are extra slices, cut them into quarters and stuff them inside the chicken along with the sprigs of fresh herbs.
- Place the chicken in the roasting pan breast-side up. Use your fingers to gently separate the chicken skin from the meat on the breasts and legs. Place a few tablespoons of the butter underneath the skin, pressing on the skin to spread it evenly underneath. Spread the remaining butter over the surface of the skin. Season very well with salt and pepper.
- Bring the legs up, cross them and tie with twine.
- Place in the oven, uncovered, and roast for 20 minutes. Lower the heat to 400 degrees and continue roasting for another 45-60 minutes, rotating the roasting pan after 30 minutes, until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and has an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Take the temperature in the thickest part of the chicken thigh, not in the chicken breast. The leg should wiggle easily and the juices will be clear.
- Remove the chicken from the roasting pan and place on a serving platter and garnish as desired.
- Strain the juices from the roasting pan and remove the fat. (A fat separator is ideal for this.) Taste the juices and add salt, if necessary. Transfer to a small pitcher or gravy boat to pass along side the chicken.
- Carve the chicken and serve.
Step-by-step instructions and photos:
Start by mixing the room temperature butter to further soften it. I use a silicone spatula or butter knife.
Next add the maple syrup.
It will come together into a ball.
Wrap half of the butter in plastic wrap to use later. You will only need half for the roasted chicken.
Remove the giblets if they have been included. Discard them or save them for another use. Make sure the chicken has been throughly rinsed inside and out with hot water (I learned that from Julia Child.) Pat the chicken dry all over and let drain on several layers of paper towels. Let the chicken come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before roasting.
Slip your fingers between the skin and meat all over the chicken starting at the bottom end. It will easily separate. This is to leave room for the butter.
Do this on the chicken legs as well.
Take a few tablespoons of the butter and place it under the skin on top of the meat. Use your hand to press it down flat. It will slip around a bit. Just try to make it as even as you can. Repeat with the remaining butter on the leg meat as well.
Prepare a roasting pan by placing an even layer of thick cut onions over the bottom. This will help elevate the chicken which will help it brown more evenly and have crisper skin.
Season the inside of chicken very well with salt and fresh ground black pepper, then stuff the cavity with chopped onions and herb sprigs.
Season the exterior of the chicken with salt and pepper too.
It’s important to tie the legs together. It keeps them up higher so they cook more evenly and the hot air can circulate better in the oven. Trust me – I have roasted many chicken without tying the legs and tying them is essential! I just tie the twine around one leg and then make a figure 8 around the legs and pull them tight together and tie a knot. There are fancier, nicer ways to do it, but this is what I always do.
Now the turkey is ready for the oven! Can you see the butter underneath the skin? Oh, it’s going to be delicious! You can also spread a little more butter over the surface of the skin, but this time I didn’t do that because of all the butter underneath the skin. I knew it would brown nicely. Alternatively, you can also drizzle the skin with a little olive oil.
If it starts to brown too much, tent it with foil. Start checking the temperature at the 1 hour 15 minute mark. Take the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh, at an angle. If it reads 160-165 degrees F, it’s about ready. I might let it go a little longer if I see that the juices aren’t clear. The leg will wiggle easily when it’s properly cooked.
Remove the chicken from the oven and let it stand for about 20-30 minutes. That will be enough time for the juices to be reabsorbed and for you to make a quick gravy if you like. For this recipe, I didn’t make gravy. I carved the chicken and passed the drippings alongside.
That’s how you roast a chicken. Easy and delicious as can be!