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Frankie and Olive’s Roast Chicken

by Drew Barrymore from Rebel Homemaker: Food, Family, Life

Drew Barrymore's simple roast chicken, flavoured with thyme and rosemary, is a regular at her house and is soon to be at yours too.


This roast chicken is a weekly tradition at my house, and it’s one of the first things Pilar made for the girls. Olive goes in for the drumstick, and Frankie the breast; always a little something for everyone.

A few tips: spatchcocking the chicken helps the chicken cook more evenly and reduces the cooking time, too. If you’ve never spatchcocked a chicken before—have no fear! It is way easier to do than to say. All you need are some sharp kitchen scissors, and you’re all set. Also, we recommend seasoning your bird in advance—up to 1 day. This produces an extra tasty (and crispy-skinned) roast chicken.

Got leftovers? No problem! The fully cooked chicken will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days and can be used to make chicken noodle soup, chicken salad, or chicken tacos. Yum!

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½ tbsp sweet paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 whole chicken (3½ to 4 pounds), spatchcocked
3 cloves garlic, divided
1 lemon, zested and cut into ¼ -inch slices, plus additional lemon wedges for serving
3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 carrot, scrubbed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 head broccoli, florets cut into 2-inch pieces, stems peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 medium sweet potato, scrubbed and cut into 1½-inch chunks
8 sprigs thyme
1 (4-inch) sprig rosemary, broken into 2 or 3 pieces
2 tbsp olive oil

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Make the rub. In a small bowl, combine the paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Season the bird. Place the chicken on a cutting board. Sprinkle half of the spice mix in between the skin and the meat of the thighs, drumsticks, and breasts. With the remaining spice mix, season the chicken all over, this time focusing on the skin and the underside. It may seem like you have a lot of spice mix, but if you thoroughly coat the meat and skin all over, you should use it all up.

Place the chicken on a large plate and transfer to the refrigerator, uncovered, skin-side up, until ready to roast, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day in advance. This produces a well-seasoned chicken and helps the skin crisp.

Make the compound butter. In a small bowl, grate 1 clove of the garlic, then add the lemon zest and butter. Mix until smooth.

Roast the chicken. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Pat it dry. Place the chicken in the centre of a rimmed sheet pan, breast-side up, and tuck the wing tips behind the tops of the breasts to prevent burning.

Using a spoon, or your hands, gently stuff half of the compound butter underneath the skin of the breast meat. Rub the remaining compound butter all over the chicken.

Smash the remaining 2 cloves garlic. In a large bowl, combine the lemon slices, smashed garlic, carrot, broccoli, sweet potato, thyme, and rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper. Scatter the vegetables around the chicken, tucking a few onion or sweet potato pieces underneath the chicken, so as not to overcrowd the perimeter of the pan.

Transfer the sheet pan to the oven, legs first, which will encourage the dark and light meat to cook at an even rate. Immediately reduce the oven temperature to 425.

Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until the chicken skin is deeply golden and an instant-read thermometer reads 160 to 165 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh or breast.

Serve. Let it rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with roasted vegetables, pan juices, and extra lemon wedges on the side.

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