Roasted chicken is a delicious, healthy dinner staple, but your usual means for seasoning your average chicken isn’t the most effective way out there. Typically, you would spread an herb butter mixture under the skin of the chicken to get the skin to crisp and burst with buttered, seasoned flavor.

While this is an appropriate method of seasoning for a chicken breast, it doesn’t work as well for the wings and legs of the chicken. America’s Test Kitchen discovered, upon trying to use this method, that the skin of the chicken legs/wings simply rips right off.

So how are you supposed to thoroughly season your chicken without ruining it in the process? Well, America’s Test Kitchen has come up with a clever way to assure a flavorful, crunchy chicken with every bite in an easy method that won’t ruin your meat.

Fully seasoned chicken.America's Test Kitchen
The process is simple and only requires a couple basic kitchen tools, as well as the herb butter of your choice. One of our favorite herb butter is this basic recipe, brought to us by The Kitchn, which will crisp up the chicken skin to perfection and guarantee that each bite is bursting with flavor.

Here’s what you need to do to thoroughly season your chicken:

How To Season an Entire Chicken

  1. Butterfly the chicken by removing the backbone with kitchen scissors.
    Cutting out the backbone of a chicken.America's Test Kitchen
  2. Using the heel of your hand, press firmly on the breast bone so the chicken is flattened.
    How to season a chicken.America's Test Kitchen
  3. Use a knife to create scores on the skin over the legs and wings of the chicken. This will create pockets to trap the herb butter, keeping it under the skin without pulling the skin up.
    Cutting slits on the chicken.America's Test Kitchen
  4. Spread the herb butter over the entire area of the chicken, making sure to dole it out especially over the cuts you’ve made.
    Spreading seasoning onto chicken.America's Test Kitchen

If you’re looking for The Kitchn herb butter recipe, here’s how you can whip it up in a snap:


Homemade Herb Butter


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped mixed herbs (such as basil, thyme, sage, parsley, dill, chives, tarragon, oregano, marjoram or rosemary)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.
  2. Mix well until herbs are distributed evenly.
  3. Dump onto a piece of waxed paper or parchment, shape into a cylinder or disk, and seal ends by twisting, or pack into a ramekin (however you prefer to store and serve it) and cover with plastic.
  4. Chill in refrigerator until firm, at least an hour

With this quick tip and this flavorful recipe, you are on your way to most well-seasoned chicken you’ve ever made. This is much more simple method than your traditional “under-the-skin” method with even better results!

What do you think of this quick kitchen tip? Will you use this method to season your chicken or do you already use another method to make sure your chicken is bursting with flavor? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.