Honey Herb Roasted Chicken

I am on the road this week on a media tour, but I wanted to share a few more yummy recipes for Rosh Hashanah before the holiday. Today’s recipe is my Honey Herb Roasted Chicken. This super juicy, flavorful chicken is drizzled with honey white wine sauce for extra flavor and aroma. It’s a great option for those who want a lighter entree, or a change from brisket, or simply another menu choice for the holiday meal!

Roast chicken is so comforting, and a whole roast chicken can be an impressive addition to the holiday table. When thinking about my Rosh Hashanah menu this year, I wanted to create a simple roast chicken with the essence of herbs and honey– not overly sweet, but full of flavor. I made it four times before I felt like it was perfect (which means my family ate a lot of chicken earlier this month)! Finally I hit upon the perfect balance of flavors. This recipe is the result. It received thumbs up all around from my family… and they’re my toughest critics!

Make sure you don’t skip making the sauce from the pan drippings (at the end of the recipe)– the honey white wine sauce really makes this dish sing. The wine flavor is subtle, and plays deliciously with the herbed pan drippings and sweet honey. I’ll definitely be making this for Rosh Hashanah this year. It’s also gluten free (if you use a GF wine/broth) kosher for Passover (with a KFP wine/broth), and would make a lovely Shabbat entree as well. Enjoy! :)

Recommended Products:

Roasting Pan

Basting Brush

Mesh Strainer

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Honey Herb Roasted Chicken


  • 1 whole chicken without giblets (3.5 lbs-4 lbs)
  • 1 small handful of fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1 small handful of fresh thyme sprigs
  • Peel from one small lemon, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 large onions, peeled and sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp honey, divided
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • Fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs for garnish (optional)

You will also need

  • medium sized roasting pan, string for trussing chicken, foil, mesh strainer
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 2 Hours
Total Time: 2 Hours 30 Minutes
Servings: 4-6 servings
Kosher Key: Meat
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together ¼ cup of olive oil, 1 tbsp of honey, and 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice. This is your basting mixture.
  • Assemble your chicken, herbs, lemon peel, garlic, and a few small slices of onion.
  • Season the cavity of the chicken with salt and pepper and brush some of the basting mixture inside the chicken (go light on the salt if you're using a kosher chicken, which will already be salted). Stuff the cavity with half of the fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs, sliced lemon peel, garlic cloves, and a few pieces of the sliced onion. Don’t overstuff the cavity; pack it loosely with room to breathe.
  • Truss the chicken; click here for instructions. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Line the bottom of your roasting pan with foil. Take remaining sliced onions and place them in an even layer on the bottom of your roasting pan. Drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil over the onions. Remove leaves from the rest of the rosemary and thyme sprigs, then put the leaves into the roasting pan and discard stems. Use a large spoon to toss and coat the onion slices with herbs and olive oil.
  • Place the chicken breast side down onto the bed of onions. Pour half of the basting mixture over the chicken, using a brush to coat it evenly.
  • Cover the roasting pan with foil (nonstick foil is best). Pierce a few small vents into the outer edges of the foil with a knife. Place covered roasting pan into the preheated oven and cook for 45 minutes.
  • Take roasting pan out of the oven, remove the foil (reserve), and flip the chicken to breast side up. Brush off any onions or herbs that cling to the top of the chicken. Brush the rest of the basting mixture evenly onto the top of the chicken. Cover the roasting pan again with the vented foil. Place back into the oven for 45 minutes longer.
  • Remove foil from the top of the roasting pan and reduce oven heat to 375 degrees. Let the chicken continue to roast another 20-30 minutes until the skin is brown and crisp. The skin may get quite dark in places; this is from the honey in the basting liquid. Watch the chicken carefully, as it can go from brown to black very quickly. Blackened parts of the skin will not affect the flavor in a negative way.
  • Chicken is done when the skin is nicely browned, and the internal temperature reaches at least 170 degrees F as measured on a food thermometer at the thickest part of the thigh.
  • Take the chicken out of the roasting pan and place it on a carving board. Cover it with foil to keep the heat in and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving.
  • Meanwhile, use a mesh strainer to strain the pan drippings from the roasting pan into a small saucepan.
  • Let the drippings settle for a moment; you will see brown bits settle to the bottom of the pan and lighter fat and oil rise to the top.
  • Skim about half of the fat/oil from the top of the liquid. Add ½ cup of white wine, ¼ cup of chicken broth, and 2 tbsp of honey to the pan. Whisk to blend. Heat the sauce over medium to a light boil and let it simmer for about 2 minutes, whisking constantly.
  • Remove the honey sauce from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Carve the chicken. Drizzled each serving of meat with some of the honey sauce. Garnish with fresh thyme or rosemary, if desired, for a pretty and aromatic presentation.


Comments (35)Post a Comment

  1. do you think this would work well with chicken pieces, instead of a whole chicken? My family likes that a little better, and I’m much more successful with it too!

  2. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    This is a great recipe! My father doesn’t care for chicken, so we never had it a home…it was my first (and still favorite) “formal” dish. There is something so tasty and elegant about a roasted chicken…and it’s such an easy dish to make! I really like the addition of honey on this and roasting on a bed of onions.

    Best of luck with your trip…I hope it’s successful and fun!

  3. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Great recipe! Hubby and I loved it, and the kids were able to peel off the skin (LOL.) One thing I would change: skim all the fat from the pan juices. Pre-mix the honey, wine, etc, and add a teaspoon or so of cornstarch, arrowroot, or whatever, to thicken; dissolve completely. Then add to the pan juices, bring to a quick boil, and serve. This just thickens it up enough. Otherwise, the sauce tended to just run off the chicken. VERY tasty, though!

  4. What a beautiful chicken! Roasted chicken is one of our favorites. Oooh, and honey. I just bought some raw honey at the store so I will be making this soon. :)

  5. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    I made this for Rosh Hashanah, using bone-in chicken breasts. Soooo good! And it does work well with “parts”, just have to adjust the cooking time.

    1. Hi Brittany– it helps, but doesn’t eliminate that issue completely. The best way to avoid that problem is to roast the chicken on a rack in the pan, so there is no direct contact with the pan and the chicken.

  6. Hi Tori, I’m from Canada. A friend introduced me to your blog.
    I just love it, especially your stories and diagrams. Been cooking for over 50 years but am always looking for more interesting recipes. How about some recipes using red wine? Don’t drink much and want to use up some from Rosh Hashanah. Best wishes, Pearl. Keep up the good work

  7. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Just when I think there is nothing new I can learn about baking chicken you post your recipe. This is really great. I will definitely try it. Love the bed of onions!

    I’m part of your non Jewish blog followers but glad you don’t mind my appreciation for your amazing cooking. Another winner….

  8. Do you think the chicken would turn out even more moist if marinated overnight in the basting liquid? My experience with chicken has shown me that marinating ALWAYS helps!

  9. Hi Tori,
    Living in Switzerland I wonder what 400F would be in Celsius? Is it possible to put the bird in a claypot with claylid instead of covering with foil?
    Good job from Hagai Strohweiss to remind me on checking on your website since we talked a lot about it on our Pessach dinner last year at the DAN – you remember? Quite enjoyable!

  10. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Hi Tori,
    I made the Herb Roasted Chicken for Rosh Hashanah this year–actually made 2 birds, doubling the recipe to feed 12. Instead of my needing to apologize for a dry, tasteless bird, my family and friends thought this was the best chicken they’d ever had–so moist and flavorful. Even the leftovers for dinner day 2 were delish. Wow! This one’s a keeper. Thanks for all the wonderful recipes and great information. I just love it!

  11. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Dear Tori,
    this is simply the best chicken I ever made.
    Thank you for sharing!!

    Best regards,
    Michael (Berlin, Germany)

  12. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    I feel most comfortable when I am able to complete much of a recipe preparation well ahead of serving time. This is why brisket works so well in my house, since I often make it the day before, and it is even better after soaking in the juices before reheating. But this year I would like to make chicken for Rosh Hashanah and this recipe looks so delicious. Is there any way this could be made the day before without ruining it? Or perhaps even several hours before serving, could I complete all steps through the carving of the chicken, arrange it in an oven safe tray with the honey sauce spread over the parts, and then reheat it in time for serving? Also, if two chickens are roasted, am I correct to assume that doubling the recipe amounts will be adequate and the time/temperature in the oven will remain the same? Thanks again,Tori, for so many wonderful recipes that I have tried from your website and for your patient responses to my questions!

    1. Hi Marcia, these are great questions. The trouble with making a whole chicken and carving it in advance is that the meat will lose a lot of the juices. It also won’t present as pretty as it would when it’s roasted before serving. I would instead suggest another very similar recipe, my Honey Garlic Chicken. Here is a link:

      link to theshiksa.com

      Because this other recipe uses chicken pieces on the bone, it can easily be made in advance and will retain a lot of its flavor and moisture when reheated. What I would do is marinate the chicken overnight, pop it in the oven on the morning you plan to serve it, and roast till done. Keep it on the counter covered in foil till it cools to room temperature. Keep it in the refrigerator in its original roasting dish covered with foil. About 45 minutes before you’re ready to serve, pour a little chicken broth in the bottom of the roasting dish, then reheat it in the oven (covered) at 325 degrees till warmed through. Make the sauce just before serving. Or, you can make the sauce ahead too, but know that it will thicken when it cools and you may need to add additional chicken broth/white white when you reheat the sauce in order to thin it out to the desired consistency. Good luck!

  13. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    This. Was. Amazing. !!! Roasted chicken is always a bit of a challenge for me- it usually turns out well, but I’m never left with any drippings. This cooked up beautifully, and even without a lot of drippings, the honey wine sauce was delectable. The meat was falling off the bone, it was so moist. Thank you!

  14. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    This was my family’s first time celebrating Rosh Hashanah and I have to tell you that this is the best roasted chicken that I have ever made (thanks to you!). We have made it several times since then and it always comes out delicious.

  15. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    I moved to Israel and a lot of Israeli kitchens only have hot plates and toaster ovens. I just made this in my toaster oven and it came out delicious and super moist (and cooked very well which I was worried about; I had to cook it for about 20 minutes longer to brown). I would love to see some more toaster oven/hot plate friendly recipes. Its hard to cook here sometimes.

  16. I made this last year for Rosh Hashanah, and plan to do so again, because it was so delicious. :) I’d like to make two chickens so I have enough for a larger crowd- are there any directions for roasting two at once? Do I need to change the temperature or roasting time? Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Gretchen, it will likely take a bit longer to roast two at a time, but I can’t give you a specific time difference. I wouldn’t change the cooking temperature, but I would switch the chicken’s positions halfway through roasting to make sure they each get the same amount of heat exposure (heat tends to be different throughout the oven). Best way to test for doneness is with a meat thermometer, that way you’re not left guessing if it’s cooked through or not. Enjoy!

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