Roasted Chicken with Anise Tarragon and Garlic

October 21, 2008

Photo: adactio

Last night I made an absolutely delicious roast chicken, the recipe for which I must share. It started with the desire to have rice with a yummy gravy - led me to pick up a chicken to roast - and wound up with real prize of a dish that I will certainly share with you and my future guests. The rub I created for this dish was a completely spontaneous concoction that defies exact measurement - so, read the mixture and add/substract/adjust at will. I served this roasted chicken with steamed cauliflower and plain white rice. The gravy this chick created was the best I've ever made. If you have suggestions for improvement - please send along.

The picture above is not mine, I did not have a camera last night - but this chicken so pretty I just had to post it.


Whole Chicken: I only use organic, folks.

Onion and Garlic: 1-2 small to medium onions (cut into quarters) and approximately 10 cloves of garlic (peeled and slightly smashed).

Shallots: 1 shallot, cut into quarters, stuffed inside the bird's cavity.

Parsley: Smallish bunch - enough to loosely fill the cavity of the bird.

Tarragon: 3 good long sprigs to stuff inside the cavity of the bird.

Chicken Broth: I only use Swanson's or my own...

Spice Rub: These are rough measures, I was free-wheelin' when I made this, so feel free to experiment with the amounts.

  • Kosher Salt (1 tablespoon)
  • Black and White Pepper (1 Tablespoon)
  • Coriander Seeds (1/2 to 1 teaspoon)
  • Cumin Seeds (1 teaspoon)
  • Anise Seeds (2 teaspoons)
  • Fennel Seeds (2 teaspoons)
  • Cayenne (1 teaspoon)


  1. Wash and dry your bird, inside and out. I also like to cut off any extra flaps of skin/fat. Rub with a little vegetable oil.
  2. Stuff bird with quartered shallots, approximately 5 cloves of garlic (peeled and smashed), tarragon sprigs, and parsley. Sprinkle with a small amount of the above spice rub. You could tress this bird - I did not do so - I simply placed it breast down in my roasting pan, stuffed it with the shallots, garlic and tarragon and inserted the parsley at the end to keep those items inside the bird. Do not stuff too tightly or it will affect your cooking time.
  3. Place stuffed bird onto a bed of roughly cut onions and garlic.
  4. Rub with remaining spice mixture and a little nob of butter (can't resist).
  5. Cook at 425 until the internal temperature reaches 160.
  6. Midway through the cooking process I did a few things that I think are worth repeating: (a) I allowed the bird to brown and then began to baste it with the drippings and a little chicken broth; (b) about 1/2 way through the process I began to baste with chicken broth - which added liquid to the roasting pan and began the process of deglazing the pan before I took it from the oven - I would not add more than 2 cups of liquid. This chicken broth boiled down nicely - intensifying the chicken flavor and incorporating the flavors of the rub. A roasting purist would say I did not truly roast this bird, and they would be right. This technique roasted the bird for the first 1/4 of its cooking and braised it the rest of the way. The result was a very rich broth and moist breast.
  7. Gravy: Remove bird and any bits from the roasting pan and add 4 more cups of broth. I reduced this to 1/2, added a little pepper, wondra flour (my mom's trick for thickening gravy), and fresh chives and parsley at the end. It was good. Didn't need salt - though will want to check it.

Great gravy for potatoes and rice. Lovely on my cauliflower. A real comfort meal. Enjoy.