Herbed Broiled Chicken

James Beard

Author and Educator

James Beard battled his weight for years, though usually it was a contest he fought only half-heartedly. Food, after all, was his life and his livelihood. When his doctor finally forced him to go on a salt-free diet, he turned his creativity to devising highly flavorful dishes that called for herbs, mustard, and spices rather than salt. He even claimed, “It takes inventiveness to make a saltless diet enjoyable, but it can be done!”


  • 2 broiling chickens, split in half
  • 2/3 cup scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 to 2 dashes Tabasco sauce (optional)
  • 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) butter or a combination of butter and margarine


Preheat the broiler.

Combine the scallions, garlic, mushrooms, parsley, pepper, and Tabasco sauce (if using) and mix well. Cream the butter and combine it with the chopped mixture.

Carefully slide your fingers between the skin and the flesh of the chicken, and loosen the skin to create a pocket. Insert pieces of the butter mixture all over, distributing it well under the skin.

Put the chicken bone-side up on a broiling pan and place it about 6 to 8 inches from the heat. Broil to the degree of doneness you prefer, turning it midway in the cooking and broiling it skin-side up until done. Watch it carefully, making sure that the skin doesn’t burn to a crisp before the chicken is cooked through. Baste the chicken with pan juices while broiling to give it more flavor.


4 servings