Weekend Cooking: Honey-Butter Baked Chicken with Mashed Sweet Potatoes
20 Sep 2014

Weekend Cooking: Honey-Butter Baked Chicken with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

20 Sep 2014

I always wanted to try making a good baked chicken.  I also wanted the dish to not cost a bomb, or use super exotic ingredients which can only be found in upmarket grocers (and cost a bomb).  So I ended up with this.  Simple and inexpensive, the chicken is served on a bed of sweet potato mash and drenched with the juices from the roast. Mmm.

Update: Added steps for baking the chicken butterflied, for faster and more even cooking. Also added fresh pictures.

Based on the recipe by Emeril Lagasse.

Honey-Butter Baked Chicken


  • 1 (1.4 to 1.6 kg) whole chicken, rinsed and patted dry, and butterflied
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon room temperature unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Mashed Sweet Potatoes, recipe follows


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (fan 180 degrees C). Arrange a rack inside a large roasting pan and set aside.

Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan lined with aluminium foil. Tuck the wing tips under. Season the chicken on both sides with the salt and black pepper.

Transfer to the oven legs first and bake, until slightly browned, 20 minutes.

While the chicken is baking, make the honey-butter glaze. In a small bowl, combine the honey, lemon zest and juice and butter.

After the chicken has been baking for 20 minutes, using a pastry brush, brush half of the honey mixture on both sides of the chicken, then sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons of the thyme over the chicken.

Return the chicken to the oven. Continue to cook another 30 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast registers 65 degrees C.

Remove the chicken from the oven, brush the remaining honey mixture and sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme over the chicken.

Let rest on a large cutting board for 10 minutes before carving into serving pieces.

To serve, spoon the sweet potatoes into the center of 4 large plates and arrange the chicken on top. Drizzle the chicken with any remaining pan juices and serve immediately with the sweet potatoes.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

  • 1 kg sweet potatoes
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (fan 180 degrees C).

Place the potatoes on a baking tray lined with aluminium foil and bake, until tender and begins to ooze sugary syrup, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let sit until cool enough to handle. Pierce with a fork or knife to test for doneness.

Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh with a spoon into a large bowl.

Add the cream, sugar, butter, syrup, salt and pepper, and thyme, if using and mix, mashing until the potato mixture is smooth.

Cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

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