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Weeknight Roast Chicken with Tarragon-Lemon Pan Sauce


This recipe comes from America’s Test Kitchen, Season 2012. Whole Chicken can be boring, but this recipe proved to be anything but. What’s interesting about this recipe is that a skillet is preheated at 450F, and then the chicken is placed into it. Halfway through, the oven is turned off, to allow the chicken to continue to cook but it doesn’t dry out the meat. The pan sauce is simple to make, and absolutely delicious with the addition of lemon juice and tarragon. The meal took only an hour to make, and was flavorful and economical to make. This is definitely a keeper recipe for our busy lifestyle.

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Rate this recipe 3.8/5 (124 Votes)


  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 whole chicken , giblets discarded
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 recipe pan sauce (optional) (see related recipes)
  • Tarragon-Lemon Pan Sauce
  • Makes about 3/4 cup
  • Ingredients
  • 1 shallot , minced
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Pepper


Servings 4
Preparation time 10mins
Cooking time 60mins
Adapted from


Step 1

For the chicken:
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position, place 12-inch ovensafe skillet on rack, and heat oven to 450 degrees. Combine salt and pepper in bowl. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Rub entire surface with oil. Sprinkle evenly all over with salt mixture and rub in mixture with hands to coat evenly. Tie legs together with twine and tuck wing tips behind back.

2. Transfer chicken, breast side up, to preheated skillet in oven. Roast chicken until breasts register 120 degrees and thighs register 135 degrees, 25 to 35 minutes.

Turn off oven and leave chicken in oven until breasts register 160 degrees and thighs register 175 degrees, 25 to 35 minutes.

3. Transfer chicken to carving board and let rest, uncovered, for 20 minutes. While chicken rests, prepare pan sauce, if using. Carve chicken and serve.

For the pan sauce:
While chicken rests, remove all but 1 tablespoon of fat from now-empty skillet (handle will be very hot) using large spoon, leaving any fond and jus in skillet. Place skillet over medium-high heat, add shallot, and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.

Stir in broth and mustard, scraping skillet bottom with wooden spoon to loosen fond. Simmer until reduced to ¾ cup, about 3 minutes.

Off heat, whisk in butter, tarragon, and lemon juice. Season with pepper to taste; cover and keep warm. Serve with chicken.

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