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Thyme & Cayenne Roasted Chicken

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Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: Between 1 – 1.75 hours.

Highlighting Spices: Thyme & Cayenne pepper

Dinner is served!

This roasted chicken recipe is so easy–and if you’re careful not to overcook it–the result is a juicy and flavorful meat. While it roasted, I worked on making a salad and caught up on some reading. What else is great about making roasted chicken? You can serve fresh out of the oven the first day, shred the next day to make Flautas, Enchiladas or add to your Sopa de Fideo. If you don’t feel like cooking the rest of the week just separate into zip-lock baggies and freeze. My sister-in-law also makes chicken salad with the left overs. The possibilities are endless! So if you’re like me and mostly only cook for one or two, don’t be discouraged by the size of the chicken, go for a 3 – 5 lb. bird and make you some left overs girl! Or boy!

As some of you might know, thyme is typically used in provincial French recipes for roasted chicken; I love the fragrant slightly sweet taste it brings to a dish. But I also like a little bit of spice with my chicken so I combined this excellent herb with the fiery cayenne pepper powder, which in my opinion makes for a delicious contrast! I know that some people prefer to use fresh herbs over dried, which is totally fine, but I did find that the dry rub gives the skin a bit of crunch that makes me want to devour the entire chicken!

Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments section below.

¡Buen Provecho!


1 whole chicken, without giblets, 3 – 4.5 pounds

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon dry thyme

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 lemon

2 chopped fresh garlic cloves

1 stalk of celery, leaves removed

4 Tablespoons butter, divided


1. PREHEAT the oven to 350 degrees F, (175 Celsius)

2. PREPARE the spice rub. In a small bowl mix the salt, pepper, thyme, cayenne pepper and garlic powder.

3. PLACE the chicken inside a large colander in the sink and rinse well. Let it drain and transfer it to a deep baking pan. Use a paper towel to blot dry the chicken. Discard the paper towel.*

*Always wash your hands after handling raw chicken to prevent the spread of bacteria.

4. RUB the chicken inside and out with the dry spice rub.

5. PLACE the lemon, celery, chopped garlic cloves and 2 Tablespoons of butter inside the chicken. If the cavity is too wide and the ingredients slip out, you could tie the legs together with string.  Divide the other 2 Tablespoons of butter around the chicken and on top.

6. BAKE uncovered for 1 hour and 40 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 180 degrees F (82 degrees C). My chicken was 4.5 pounds so it took longer to cook than smaller bird. Using a thermometer is your best bet! Do your first temperature check at about 1 hour and continue on every 5-10 minutes so you don’t overcook it and have dry roasted chicken, (Oh it’s happened to me too, no worries!).

7. REMOVE the chicken from the oven and baste it with the drippings and melted butter. Cover it with aluminum foil and let it sit for 20 – 30 minutes before serving.

LEFTOVERS? Shred the leftover chicken and divide into 6 ounce portions. Put each portion inside a sandwich bag and seal tight. Freeze for later use.


About Maribel

Bilingual digital media and marketing pro | blogger| foodie | fashionista | philanthropist #NotTheCoolGirl

6 responses »

  1. Your favorite sis

    Looks good and simple. I will try it one of these days.

  2. Pingback: Poblano Chicken Salad | Azúcar & Spice

  3. Pingback: {Sopa de Fideo} – Authentic Mexican Noodle Soup | Azúcar & Spice

  4. This looks wonderful! Today I’m using your spice/herb combination on fingerling potatoes, using fresh thyme from my new garden!

  5. Pingback: The World’s Best Sopa de Fideo {Mexican Noodle Soup}  – Not The Cool Girl

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