From “The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook” by America’s Test Kitchen

Variation: Jamaican Jerk Weeknight Baked Chicken
Substitute ½ teaspoon grated lime zest and ½ teaspoon Jamaican jerk seasoning for thyme, salt, and pepper. Add 1 minced garlic clove to softened butter mixture.


  1. 2 tablespoons butter, softened, plus 1 tablespoon melted
  2. 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  3. 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  4. Salt and pepper
  5. 1 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (split breasts, drumsticks, and/or thighs), trimmed


  1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line broiler-pan bottom with aluminum foil and top with slotted broiler pan top. Mix softened butter, thyme, lemon zest, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper together in bowl.

  2. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Use your fingers to gently loosen center portion of skin covering each chicken piece; place softened herb butter evenly under skin, directly on meat in center of each piece. Arrange chicken, skin side up, on prepared broiler pan. Brush chicken with melted butter and season with salt and pepper.

  3. Roast chicken until breasts register 160 degrees and drumsticks/thighs register 175 degrees, 30 to 50 minutes. Transfer chicken cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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