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in the kitchen with: molly shuster’s herb-roasted chicken

by Kristina Gill

I am always pleasantly stunned when submissions like this week’s recipe for herbs de Provence roast chicken by food stylist and recipe developer Molly Shuster land in my inbox.  Photographer Jamie Beck brought us together (you may remember Jamie’s recipe for chocolate spice biscotti).  Jamie and Molly work together to create the lovely food photography you see on Jamie’s blog From Me to You.  Drawing on both of their interests, Molly developed a recipe that incorporates a bit of everything that we touch on in our Friday columns (Small Measures, We Like it Wild, In the Kitchen With).  If this were a final exam, Molly would get an A+ !!  To make it even better, Jamie illustrated it with step-by-step photography, from field, to market, to plate.  I love a simple roasted chicken, and can’t wait til Sunday, my favorite “roast” day to try this recipe with the lavender I have here!  –Kristina

About Molly: Molly Shuster is a freelance food stylist and recipe tester from New York City. She has worked on projects for various authors and publications including Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Real Simple, Ina Garten, Everyday Food, Rachel Ray and Prevention. Molly loves food, is particularly fond of baking, and is committed to supporting local farms and sustainable methods of agriculture.  {Photography by Jamie Beck}

CLICK HERE for the full recipe after the jump!

Herbs de Provence Roast Chicken


*1 4lb roasting chicken
*4 tablespoons butter
*3 tablespoons herbs de Provence
*few springs of fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, lavender) salt

*Roasted along with some red onions and fingerling potatoes- yum.


1. Preheat the oven to 400.

2. Wash the chicken inside and out with cold water. Pat dry and place in a heavy bottomed roasting pan along with any veggies along the sides.

3. Rub the chicken all over with butter.

4. Tie the drumsticks together with kitchen twine.

5. Sprinkle the herbs de provence evenly and season with salt.

6. Place a few springs of fresh herbs in the cavity of the bird.

7. Bake until the bird is cooked and juices run clear, about 1 hour and 15 minutes, periodically basting the chicken. Let sit for 5 minutes before carving.

Why Molly chose this recipe

While there are certain staples that are an absolute must on my weekly farmer’s market list (seasonal veggies, honey, eggs), meat has steadily been inching its way to the top of the list.  I know! I should always buy local meat. It is so important to understand where your food is coming from. But it is rather pricey and this New Yorker is on a budget.  However, I must practice what I preach! Yes, it’s more expensive than meat you would buy at the regular market, but it’s worth it. Whatever you buy will be more flavorful, juicier and just all-around tastier! And you’ll sleep soundly knowing that you are supporting local, humanely-raised meat.

Jamie, having just recently traveled to a lavender field in Texas, brought along her dried lavender as inspiration for this week’s shoot. We wanted to pair the lavender with some sort of local meat. We wandered through the farmer’s market until we came upon a vendor selling upstate-NY chicken. With our broiler in hand, we picked up some fresh herbs, flowers and veggies and it was into the kitchen to make a greenmarket feast!   Herbs de Provence is a mixture of dried herbs which always pairs thyme and savory, and sometimes includes a variety of others such as rosemary, marjoram and lavender. With my dried herbs supplementing Jamie’s lavender, we had a lovely mixture of flavors for our Herbs de Provence chicken.

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  • OMG! That recipe looks divine and the photos are absolutely stunning. Thanks for sharing. Now, I only need to face my (irrational) fear of roasting a whole chicken and then I am set. :-)

  • Thank you so much design sponge for sharing Molly’s beautiful, simple and rustic recipe! It was a pleasure to photograph and an even more delight to have it published here. I’m beyond proud.

  • Such lovely pictures on picking food. They make the food look even more flavorful than ever :) Can’t wait to try this as soon as I find some lavender.

  • the pictures are so lovely and the chicken looks magnificent. i love the step-by-step illustrations. can’t wait to give this a try.

  • the pictures are stunning! I tried this recipe this evening and it turned out soooo good! I love it! and my fiance loved it as well. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • I have never roasted a chicken before, but the beautiful pictures convinced me. I couldn’t find Herbs de Provence in my local supermarket, so I substituted Italian Herbs.

    My husband (who was skeptical about the dish and is pretty picky) LOVED it!

    Thank you so much for an easy to follow recipe! Cant wait to find herbs de Provence so I can make it as written.

    • i’m so glad you guys liked (and tried!) this recipe. it always makes me so happy to hear about people who actually cook these recipes- thanks :)


      • It looks great! I’m going to try it tonight. Although it doesn’t say it in the ingredients but from the look of the pics you also rubbed and stuffed with butter. Correct? I will be doing that… Perhaps mixing the Herbs with the butter first…

  • I just made this recipe this weekend!! Thanks so much for sharing, and I agree the photos were so amazing and inspiring I couldn’t wait to make it myself. :)

  • Absolutely lovely. Bravo! The pictures were stunning and I really appreciated the step-by-step clear instructions and art work. Now, if I could only tie bows so beautifully.

  • I made this tonight, and i think it qualifies as my first roasted-chicken success! I was so happy with the way it turned out. really, really delicious. thanks for the recipe and tips.

  • I have made this twice now and it really turned out great! So moist and SO full of flavor. [I used a pampered chef stoneware dish and I think that it really helped to retain flavors]

  • Beautiful photos – really breaks the roasting process into bite sized pieces! This chicken would also go perfectly with any of the autumn squashes that are emerging at the market right now. Thanks for this recipe!

  • Could this be made with chicken pieces instead of a whole chicken (any changes anyone would recommend)? Also, what would you think about putting a vegetable in the pan with the potatoes. like brussel sprouts or something else?

  • @Deb, I don’t see why not! The only problem you will have is figuring out how to impart the flavor that would be in the cavity. One way would be to rest the chicken on the herbs, but then what about your Brussel sprouts?

    I’m also wondering if your brussel sprouts could keep it together long enough for the chicken to roast.

    Why not try it and see?

    Let us know!

  • I made it, and I think it was great. I put olive oil in a large pan and rubbed the chicken pieces with it, then shook on the herbs and rubbed them all over. I added potatoes to the pan and additional herbs and then mixed them all up to get the oil and herbs all over them. Then since it was chicken pieces I roasted at 350 for an hour. Tasted great! I wimped out on the vegis because of Kristina’s comment but I’m guessing carrots might work because they hold up in a roast with potatoes. Still an easy almost-one-pot meal!

  • Wow! Late to this: looks absolutely delicious. I can’t wait
    to make this, and look forward to finding more inspiration on your

  • Thanks for this. After reading many similar recipes this was the best and with pictures too… turned out great and so simple! Decided to subscribe to this.

  • I made this recipe and I absolutely loved it! It was simple, healthy, and delicious. I loved that I could create such a tasty meal so effortlessly. I cooked the chicken in a cast iron pan and it turned out really well. Thanks you!

  • Thank you so much for this recipe!! It was absolutely delicious. In addition to your instructions, I also poked holes in a small lemon all over with a fork and inserted it into the chicken, then I stuffed the fresh herbs as instructed. My fiancé absolutely loved this. He is the type of person whom is not very fond of eating skin. Now, ask me – go ahead- who ate majority of the skin? LOL…..if you couldn’t guess, he did. Have a good one!

  • I’m trying this today, but I’m gonna spatchcock the chicken so it cooks in about 40 minutes. Looking forward to using Herbs de Provence!