Roast Chicken with Salsa Verde

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

From Scratch: 10 Meals, 175 Recipes, and Dozens of Techniques You Will Use Over and Over

From Scratch

By Michael Ruhlman

Published 2019

  • About

One of our favorite New York City meals was Jonathan Waxman’s roast chicken with salsa verde at his former restaurant Barbuto. We liked it so much we had it for our wedding-day lunch—and we returned a year later to have it again on our anniversary. Waxman’s fabulous salsa recipe (widely available online) includes eight different herbs, but you can use whatever herbs are available. Parsley is almost always a good idea, and I like to include a spicy green, such as watercress. You should stick mainly to the soft herbs, but I like a little savory herb such as oregano in the mix. In the end, it’s up to you—you’ll want about 1¼ cups/300 milliliters total. Garlic, capers, and anchovy give it some heft and umami (I use fish sauce instead of the anchovy because I always have that on hand). It’s a great sauce to have in your repertoire because it can be used on virtually any meat or fish. Add ¼ cup of red wine vinegar and it becomes a chimichurri sauce, beautiful on grilled steak.


  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 (3- to 4-pound/1.4- to 1.8-kilogram) chicken
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce or 1 or 2 anchovies, cleaned and minced to a paste
  • ¾ cup/180 milliliters extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup/15 grams chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped watercress
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


Preheat your oven to 450°F/230°C (or 425°F/218°C if you are concerned about smoke).

Aggressively salt the chicken and put it, breast-side up, in an oven-safe skillet. Roast for 1 hour. Allow it to rest in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

While the chicken is resting, make the sauce. Combine the garlic and capers in a mortar, along with a three-finger pinch of salt, the fish sauce, and 1 tablespoon of the oil and use the pestle to smash them to a paste (you can use a garlic press and finely chop the capers if you don’t have a mortar and pestle). Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add the herbs and then the remaining oil, and stir to mix well.

Carve the chicken and spoon the sauce over the cut pieces to serve.