A Squared: What's For Dinner Wednesday: Sun-Dried Tomato & Herb Roasted Chicken

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What's For Dinner Wednesday: Sun-Dried Tomato & Herb Roasted Chicken

As you may recall, my Easter Sunday this year was thoroughly disappointing. Instead of making a holiday dinner like I love to do, I spent the day drinking tea and napping on my couch in a cold & flu medicine haze. Alex took the liberty of putting my whole chicken back in the freezer and ordering some Italian takeout for our last minute Easter dinner and I vowed to make it up to him when I was feeling better.

I'm happy to report that this past weekend I was finally feeling like my old self again. This Sunday evening I decided to make our belated Easter dinner (or Beleaster, as Alex referred to it). The first recipe I'd like to share with you is for the main course: a moist and flavorful roasted chicken seasoned with sun-dried tomatoes and fresh herbs. This chicken smelled so great while it was roasting-- reminiscent of pizza, which made my husband happy.

A whole bird obviously produces WAY more chicken than the two of us can eat so I will be repurposing some of the leftovers in another dinner this week. If it's tasty, I will be sharing that recipe with you too. I will also be sharing the recipes for our "Easter" side dishes later this week in Friday Finds.

It may look bruised or burned, but that's the sun-dried tomato paste that was rubbed under the chicken skin for extra flavor


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 7 cloves garlic, divided
  • 8.5-ounce jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, divided
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 Tbs. fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tsp. black pepper, divided
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided 
  • 1 lemon, quartered 
  • 1 medium yellow onion, quartered
  • 1 cup dry white wine *I used Pinot Grigio
  • 2-3 cups fat free low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Cooking spray 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Meanwhile, remove the insides of the chicken, rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Season the inside of the chicken cavity with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper and set aside.

Peel 4 of the garlic cloves and add to the bowl of a food processor or mini chopper. Add sun-dried tomatoes, all of the oil in the jar, butter, 1/4 cup parsley leaves, basil, rosemary, 3/4 tsp. black pepper, 3/4 tsp. salt to the garlic. Run the machine until ingredients are well blended and have formed a thick paste resembling a pesto.  Loosen the chicken skin with your fingers and generously rub about half of the paste evenly under the skin.  Rub the remaining paste all over the outside of the chicken.

Stuff 2 onion quarters and 2 lemon quarters inside the chicken cavity.  Cut 3 of the remaining garlic cloves in half and add those to the cavity of chicken.  Tie the chicken's legs together with kitchen string, tuck the wings underneath the bird, and place on a roasting rack lightly coated with cooking spray.  Pour the white wine and 2 cups of chicken broth (reserving the additional cup) into the bottom of the roasting pan.  Add the remaining 1/4 cup parsley, 2 lemon quarters, and 2 onion quarters to the liquid in the bottom of the pan. 

Roast for 25 minutes at 450 degrees.  After 25 minutes turn the oven temperature down to 375 degrees.  Bake until a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 165 degrees (or roast for approximately 20 minutes per every pound of chicken).

Every 15-20 minutes, remove the chicken from the oven and baste the chicken with the liquid in the bottom of the pan. Keep an eye on the pan and make sure to add the additional chicken broth if the liquid in the bottom of the pan starts to evaporate.

Once the chicken is fully cooked remove it from the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes.  Then carve and enjoy.

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