There are any number of ways to roast a chicken, and most home cooks have their preferred method. But while ingredients and preparations can vary, one thing is constant: Roasting a chicken can turn a weeknight dinner into a meal worthy of a celebration. As the weather turns brisk, the days shorten and we spend more time inside, we turn to the types of dishes that offer comfort, and if they also warm up the kitchen, even better.
This simple, six-ingredient recipe does just that. Here, melted butter is combined with maple syrup and fresh rosemary — two classic autumn flavors — and then spooned over the top of the chicken. The bird goes into the oven for about an hour until glossy and golden. (If you can find dark amber maple syrup for this recipe, do. Deeper in flavor and thicker than the lighter variety, it’ll create a richer sauce. If it’s not within reach, not a worry, just make sure to use one that is of good quality.)
The maple butter serves a dual purpose: Using it to baste the chicken ensures the meat falls off the bone, while its natural sugars caramelize and turn the skin a nutty brown. The result is a lacquery, sweet and salty chicken that makes the house smell pretty great.
You’ll have plenty of buttery pan juices left over, which you should whisk together and mop up with crusty bread or spoon over rice or roasted potatoes. Serve with a salad of chicories dressed with a bright, lemony dressing or a side of greens that have been sautéed in garlicky oil. Eat your meal around a fire, with plates on laps and a butter-streaked wineglass in hand — you’ll be happy you did.