Mushroom & Sage Whole Roasted Chicken
Main Course,  Poultry

Mushroom & Sage Whole Roasted Chicken

Mushroom & Sage Whole Roasted Chicken

Mushroom & Sage Whole Roasted Chicken.

This week’s version of our whole roasted chicken was inspired by the most beautiful mushrooms and our gloriously happy sage plants.  My first thought was to make a stuffing with crusty bread, fresh mushrooms, apples, sausage and sage.  Then fill the cavity of this beautiful bird and let my taste buds dream of what was to come.

Mushroom & Sage Whole Roasted Chicken

A clearer ‘doesn’t-need-to-be-eating-stuffing’ mind prevailed.  But the flavor combination was still lingering in my mind.  So instead, I made a fresh chopped mushroom, shallot, sage and thyme sauté and nestled it under the skin before baking.  I filled the cavity with lemon and fresh lemony thyme, then rubbed the outside with a little olive oil and a spice rub of sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and a pinch of cayenne.

Mushroom & Sage Whole Roasted Chicken

I placed carrots, mushrooms, and fresh sage leaves in the bottom of the pan and added about 1-inch of chicken broth.  Then continued to add additional broth while I basted her throughout the cooking.  My goal is to always end of with a pan full of beautiful broth and drippings.  Remember, soup is but a day away.  And this broth turned out to be extra special, lots of personality.  As did the roast chicken.

I was encouraging a friend recently about meal planning and mentioned our weekly roast chicken.  She was excited by the prospects of a roast chicken dinner on night one.  Leftover chicken for a dish on night two.  And being able to turn the carcass into glorious homemade chicken broth for yet another meal.  But when it came down to it, she admitted that while cooking it sounded easy enough, she had no idea how to carve it.  So I told her I would share our method (we are not trained professionals, just above average eaters).

~ Carving a Whole Roasted Chicken ~

Before you begin ~ Let the chicken rest at minimum 15 minutes.  This allows the juices to redistribute in the meat and not on your counter.

Carving a chicken

Step One ~ Using a sharp knife and carving fork, slice down one side of the backbone.  Cutting as close to the bone as possible, until you reach the leg bones.

Note:  If you are going to serve the whole chicken on day one, remove the legs by cutting the skin to reveal the joint.  Cut through the joint to remove each leg.  Because we’re cooking for two, we leave those in tact, which keeps that much more juice in the bird.

Carving a chicken

Step Two ~ Once you’ve sliced down one side of the backbone, remove one breast by cutting above the leg back toward the breastbone.  You should be able to remove the breast in one piece.  Repeat with the other side.

Carving a chicken

Step Three ~ Once the breast meat has been removed, slice each breast as shown above to serve.

Note:  There will be plenty of additional meat still on the chicken.  The legs, wings and thighs have the most flavorful dark meat.  If you remove the remaining skin you’ll find additional white meat as well.

Mushroom & Sage Whole Roasted Chicken

Step Four ~ If you don’t want to ‘pick’ the chicken on day one, wrap it well in foil and refrigerate.  We find warming it in a low 250 degree oven for about 20 minutes prior to picking will make your job much easier.  Once all the good meat has been removed and as much fat and skin as possible discarded, your carcass is ready for a swim in your pressure cooker or stock pot.

Homemade Chicken Broth

Step Five ~ Homemade Chicken Broth.  <—- Click this link for our method.

The broth from your Mushroom & Sage Whole Roasted Chicken will make the most glorious Mushroom Sage Chicken & Rice Soup.

Mushroom & Sage Whole Roasted Chicken

Mushroom & Sage Whole Roasted Chicken

Libby with Lemony Thyme
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings 6 -8


  • 1 6-7 lb. Whole Chicken
  • 1 lemon cut in half
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh lemony thyme or reg. thyme
  • 2 large carrots peeled and halved
  • 4-6 large mushroom caps halved
  • 3-4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tbl. butter
  • 8-10 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 sprig lemony thyme leaves only
  • 8 oz. fresh mushrooms chopped
  • 1 shallot minced
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 Tbl. olive oil

For spice rub…

  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper


  • Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Place on rack in roasting pan. Insert lemon halves and fresh thyme into cavity. Arrange carrots and mushroom caps around pan and add about 1-inch of chicken broth. You can use butcher’s twine to tie the legs together in front (or not, completely optional).
  • In a skillet over medium heat add 1 Tbl. butter and sauté sage and thyme leaves for 3-4 minutes, then add chopped mushrooms and shallot. Saute until tender and mushrooms have released their liquid, about 10 minutes. Season mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cool slightly.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Loosen chicken skin above breasts and using hands, tuck mushroom mixture evenly under skin. Then coat the outside of the chicken with olive oil.
  • Combine spice rub ingredients; using hands coat entire chicken with seasoning.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or until nicely browned. Baste chicken with broth from pan. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and loosely tent chicken with foil. Continue baking for an additional hour or until chicken is done (juices run clear and thermometer inserted into the inner thigh registers 165 degrees). If your chicken comes with a pop-up timer trust it.
  • Once done, allow chicken to rest at least 15 minutes before carving. Don’t forget to reserve the carcass for making homemade chicken broth.

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