Birds of paradise

Five Incredible Roasted Chicken Dishes (And One Excellent Recipe)

Chef Judi picks five Sarasota eateries that have mastered the art of simple, perfect roasted chicken, and shares her favorite Sunday afternoon recipe.

By Judi Gallagher July 2, 2019

The roasted chicken entrée at Summer House

Image: Jenny Acheson

There might be nothing tastier than a perfectly roasted chicken. Buttery and juicy, with a crisp skin, it is considered a French classic and culinary students are often judged on their ability to do it right. Here in Sarasota, we have several succulent options:

Summer House

149 Avenida Messina, Siesta Key, (941) 260-2675,
It takes an excellent steakhouse to prepare a true French roasted chicken. Summer House chef Evan Gastman has created an amazing dish, with a buttery half chicken served atop a savory brioche bread pudding, with a deeply flavored pan gravy. This is one dish I savor.

Libby’s Neighborhood Brasserie

1917 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota, (941) 487-7300,
The new iteration of Libby's includes a large rotisserie that creates magic as it slowly rotates. The resulting chicken is juicy, flavorful and abundant. The skin is brown and flavors everything that awaits underneath.

Apollonia Mediterranean Grill

8235 Cooper Creek Blvd., University Park, (941) 359-4816,
Apollonia serves a roasted Joyce Farms half-chicken with Greek herbs, garlic and lemon. Set upon a mix of orzo, tomato and feta, this is your summer go-to dish. (A second Apollonia location is opening soon at 4956 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, in The Landings.)

Lucky's Market

3501 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 260-1223,
Wednesdays are a popular day at Lucky's thanks to $5 deals on its roasted chicken. The chicken is moist and the skin is flavorful, but remember that the skin loses its crispiness once placed in a plastic container. Still, this bird is one of the best in the grocery world.

Michael's on East

1212 S. East Ave., Sarasota, (941) 366-0007,
The roasted chicken lemonato is divine. The chicken is stuffed with spinach, dill and feta and plated alongside roasted potatoes, grilled zucchini and peppers, with an herb and lemon butter.

Sunday Afternoon Whole Roasted Chicken

From Recipes & Reflections of Chef Judi

Our go-to Sunday afternoon meal is a roasted chicken with lemon-flavored roasted potatoes and a rich pan gravy.


1 whole roasting chicken (4-5 pounds) or 2 smaller chickens
2 lemons
Fresh rosemary sprigs
Fresh thyme sprigs
3 tablespoons truffle butter
2 tablespoons truffle salt
3 tablespoons poultry seasoning
½ vidalia onion
Poultry seasoning
2 leeks, washed well, with the tops cut off


1. The night before you plan to roast, air chill the chicken uncovered in the refrigerator. You may season with poultry seasoning and black pepper, but do not salt until ready to roast.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place rack in roasting pan.

3. Remove chicken from refrigerator and season the cavity with truffle salt and poultry seasoning and fill, but do not over-stuff, with cut lemons and leeks, rosemary and thyme inside cavity. Rub chopped onion on skin.

4. Re-season the skin and rub soft truffle butter all over chicken.

5. Place in preheated oven upside down for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees with a convection roast and turn chicken right side up. Baste or brush chicken with drippings and more truffle butter.

6. Remove chicken when it reaches 160 degrees and let rest for 20 minutes. Internal temperature should rise to 165 degrees.

7. Serve with mashed cauliflower and pan gravy.

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