Zuni Roasted Whole Chicken with Chimichurri

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I'm CRAVING a trip to San Francisco and a fun night out at one of my favorite restaurants Zuni!! Until I can get myself up there - I'm making this Zuni Roasted Whole Chicken with Chimichurri at home.

Zuni Roasted Whole Chicken with Chimichurri from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)


If you have my last cookbook at home - you know there's an ode to Zuni Roasted Whole Chicken in there. It's perfection!! And I say that as someone who tried to NOT order chicken when I go out to eat because it's something I make at home so frequently. Gimme something new... unless it's a Zuni Roasted Whole Chicken.

There are a few components that go into this recipe that makes it perfect for a fun dinner party.

  1. There's a brine. We all know by now that I love a brine. It infuses so much extra flavor into meat
  2. You serve it with a sauce. Obviously the chicken is fantastic as is... but that bright green Chimichurri sauce really sends this over the edge
  3. It's impressive! So often we resort to chicken thighs and chicken breasts... the whole bird is actually far more cost effective and looks so much more ta-da when you serve it for a dinner!

It's also a part of my Roasted Chicken Dinner Party Menu - which you should totally make this season. It's incredible!

Zuni Roasted Whole Chicken with Chimichurri

Author: Gaby Dalkin
4.8 from 4 votes
The best Roasted Whole Chicken with a foolproof method for the most crispy skin!
Prep Time 1 day 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 day 2 hours
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Argentinian
Servings 8 people


For the Chicken:

  • 1 4-5 pound whole chicken giblets removed
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons mixed herbs, like thyme, rosemary, and sage finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the Chimichurri:

  • 1 head parsley
  • 1 head cilantro
  • 20 leaves basil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons capers rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ - ¾ cup olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste


For the Chimichurri:

  • In a food processor, combine herbs, garlic, and vinegar and capers. Pulse until coarsely chopped, 20-40 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

For the Chicken:

  • Dry brine for the chicken starts 24-48 hours ahead of serving. Start by patting the chicken all over with paper towels to make sure its very dry. Use your fingers to loosen the skin on the breast making a pocket that you’ll use to place the chopped herbs.
  • Place the chicken onto a rack in a roasting pan and sprinkle liberally with the salt making sure to get the bottom, inside cavity wings. Tuck the wings behind the breast and tie the legs. Lightly sprinkle with pepper Place chicken uncovered into the refrigerator for 24-48 hours, this will slowly dehydrate the skin, the end result after roasting will be the most crispy skin ever.
  • After the chicken has air dried, remove from the refrigerator, and let sit at room temp for about 30 min while the oven preheated to 425. Stuff the herbs into the slit you cut the day prior. Drizzle the chicken with 2 tablespoons olive oil and roast in the preheated oven for 1 hour, 15 min, rotate the bird ½ way to ensure even browning. Once done, a meat thermometer should register at 165 degrees F and the juices should run clean. Remove from the oven and let rest  10-15  minutes before carving.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 835kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 77g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 48g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 136mg | Sodium: 3691mg | Potassium: 373mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 0.03g | Vitamin A: 482IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 3mg
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  1. 5 stars
    We love this chicken! The flavor was fantastic and it was very moist. Do you think it's possible to bake a turkey this way? I have an 11.5lb bird that I have already dry brining in the refrigerator.

  2. 5 stars
    This chicken recipe is awesome! So flavorful and the crispy skin is delicious. What can I say about the chimichurri sauce: OMG that sauce would make cardboard taste delicious! New family favorite. Thank you for another fabulous recipe!

  3. Best roast chicken on the planet, especially if it's dry-brined for at least 48 hrs. Skin comes out perfect.


    1. nope! some will come off in the fridge, you can discard that but the rest that stays on is seasoning!!

    1. Hi! Is it possible to make this only using a few pieces of chicken instead of a whole? Love your recipes! Thanks!

4.75 from 4 votes (1 rating without comment)

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