Tomato-Butter Roast Chicken

tomato butter roast chicken

I am firmly in the camp that everyone should know how to properly roast a chicken, and this should be the recipe you try. Tomato butter works wonders on chicken. Not only does it keep the bird moist, but the healthy dose of tomato paste brings a slightly sweet, umami acidity, which chicken could often use. Plus, there are no better veggies than ones that have been roasted underneath a chicken, collecting all of that flavor-packed schmaltz. This is a great way to add some excitement to a classic roast chicken.


  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided, plus more
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (3 1/2- to 4-lb.) whole chicken 
  • 1 1/2 lb. baby Yukon potatoes, quartered 
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green parts sliced into 1/2″ rounds
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 c. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves



  1. Step 1 In a small bowl, combine cumin, mustard, cayenne, 1 tablespoon salt, and several grounds of black pepper.
  2. Step 2 Pat chicken dry. Rub spice mixture all over chicken. Let sit at room temperature 1 hour.
  3. Step 3 Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, toss potatoes, leeks, and oil; season with salt and black pepper. Transfer about half of potatoes and leeks to a large Dutch oven or heatproof pot. Arrange chicken on top.
  4. Step 4 In a medium bowl, whisk butter, tomato paste, thyme, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt until smooth. Reserve 1/4 cup tomato butter for serving. Brush chicken all over with remaining tomato butter. Fill in gaps on sides with remaining potatoes and leeks.
  5. Step 5 Cover pot and roast chicken and vegetables 45 minutes. Uncover and continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken registers 165°, 35 to 45 minutes more. Let rest 15 minutes before cutting. 
  6. Step 6 Brush chicken with reserved tomato butter and serve with vegetables alongside
  7. Step 
  8. Make Ahead: Tomato butter can be made 3 days ahead. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate.

tomato butter roast chicken

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