Roast Chicken with Sage, Lemon and Garlic

Simplicity reigns with this flavorful, cold weather comfort food recipe

In the months of October, November and December, we do everything so much bigger than we do the other nine months of the year. Our foods are more decadent, our cocktails are “sparklier”, our decorating is much more colorful, we stay up, we shop, we indulge so much more in just about every way possible. When January finally arrives, our bodies simply say enough.

We box up the clutter, we tone down our colors and our diets become cleaner. Our bodies will tell us everything we need to know if we just listen. And with the turn of the new year, we begin to crave cleaner foods while keeping in mind it’s still winter and some of our coldest days are yet to come. This means we will still crave heartier comfort foods and with these, flavorful vegetables and herbs dominate the menu to keep our recipes on the healthier side.

This recipe is simple, filled with flavor and has a lot of room for improvisation. Add some of your favorite vegetables for both color and flavor, and if sage isn’t your thing, use rosemary or your favorite herb instead.


Serves 4


  • 1 4-pound chicken
  • 1 lemon
  • 22 fresh sage leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room
  • temperature
  • Salt and freshly ground black
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 sprigs parsley
  • 2 small onions, cut into quarters
  • 2 carrots, cut into 2″ pcs


  1. Heat oven to 475°.
  2. Rinse chicken under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Peel lemon, keeping away from the white pith.
  4. Chop lemon peel, sage, and garlic together; place in a bowl. Add butter and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine. Quarter the peeled lemon; set aside.
  5. Using your fingers and a small, sharp knife, loosen skin of chicken from breasts and thighs. Slide the butter mixture between skin and poultry, spreading it evenly.
  6. Rub skin with oil; season skin and cavity with salt and pepper to taste. Stuff with quartered lemon, parsley, and 1 quartered onion. Tie legs together with kitchen twine, if desired.
  7. Add remaining quartered onion and carrots into center of roasting pan and place chicken on top of them. Roast for 20 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 400˚.
  8. Continue roasting until the thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh (without touching bone) reads 165°, about 1 hour more. Transfer chicken to a platter and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

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