Butter, Sage & Orange Roast Chicken

This supremely fragrant compound butter is a wonderful accompaniment not only to a roast chicken, but your Holiday turkey as well.  Simply a mixture of unsalted butter, chopped fresh sage and orange zest rubbed underneath the skin of the bird before roasting at a high heat.  There are many theories out there in regards to roasting a chicken–do you start it at a high heat and then reduce the heat to low? Do you slow-roast the chicken the entire time? Or, if you’re like me, I roast my prepped chicken in a hot oven for the duration of the cooking time.  I think that method produces a moist interior and crispy, browned skin each and every time.

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Butter, Sage & Orange Roast Chicken

  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Total time:
  • Yield: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Recipe type: Entree


  • (1) 3-4 lb. chicken, giblets removed
  • 4 Tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 navel orange, zested and then quartered (zest chopped)
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped, fresh sage
  • More sage leaves for garnish
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ of a red onion or yellow onion for the cavity


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray a roasting pan or high-sided baking sheet with olive oil spray.
  2. Combine the room temperature butter, chopped sage and orange zest in a bowl. Combine it together with a fork until all ingredients are evenly dispersed within the butter.
  3. Rub the compound butter under the skin of the chicken; then the rest (if you have leftovers) over the outside of the chicken.
  4. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the onion and half of the orange. Season the chicken all over with 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, and a big grinding of black pepper.
  5. Roast in the preheated oven for 75-80 minutes, or until the thigh measures in at 165 degrees with a meat thermometer. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving.

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