Mrs. Lefter’s Roast Chicken

Mrs. Lefter’s Roast Chicken

This roast chicken recipe is unique to any roast chicken I’ve made because it is covered in a paste of flour and butter.  The recipe is one submitted by Mrs. Viva Lefter.  She is a cook who submitted over 100 recipes to recipe contests run by The Richmond Item.  For more recipes by Mrs. Lefter, her page has a history and list of recipes.

The recipe calls for the chicken to be placed on thin slices of pork fat or chicken fat.  I used bacon because I had it on hand.  My chicken did have extra fat that I could have sliced off and placed underneath the chicken.  After rubbing the surface generously with salt, I made the paste of 3 tablespoons of melted butter and flour and patted that over the top.

Chicken before roasting

Mrs. Lefter's Roast Chicken Before Roasting

The recipe calls for the chicken to be placed in a hot oven until the flour is browned and then reduce the heat.  I put my chicken into a 425 degree oven for about a half hour and then turned the heat down to 375 degrees.  It took just over an hour and a half to roast.

The basting liquid is 4 tablespoons of fat mixed in 1 cup of water.  I was nervous to baste the chicken every 10 minutes because of the flour, but if you give it time to brown at the beginning, it will stay put.  When I reduced the heat, I poured the basting liquid into the pan and basted between 10 and 15 minutes.

Mrs. Lefter's Roast Chicken After Roasting

The end result is very nice looking and the crust is delicious.  The chicken was so tender and had a very nice flavor.  I’ve estimated the cost of the ingredients for this roast chicken was about $7.00, depending how much your chicken cost, it could be more or less.

Mrs. Lefter's Roast Chicken

Original Recipe

Roast Chicken

Dress a chicken and tie wings and legs close to body.  Place on its back on thin slices of pork fat or chicken fat in a pan a trifle larger than chicken.  Rub the entire surface with salt and spread legs and breast with 3 tablespoons melted fat and 3 tablespoons flour.  Place in a hot oven and when flour is well browned, reduce heat and baste every 10 minutes.  For basting, take 4 tablespoons fat mixed with 1 cup boiling water.  A 4 pound chicken requires about 1 1/2 hours

Mrs. Viva Lefter, 1120 Bridge Avenue, Richmond

Mrs. Lefter's Roast Chicken Recipe

Mrs. Lefter's Roast Chicken

A roast chicken recipe from 1925


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 3 tbsp butter for paste
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 4 tbsp butter for basting
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Place chicken on its back on several slices of bacon or thin slices of chicken fat.  Generously spread salt over the surface of the chicken.  Mix 3 tbsp melted butter and 3 tbsp flour into a paste and pat over top of chicken breast and legs.

  2. Place chicken into a 425 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until the flour has nicely browned on top.  Reduce the heat to 375 degrees and pour a mixture of 1 cup boiling water with 4 tbsp of butter into the pan.  Baste every 10 minutes.  Roast for about another hour to hour and a half depending on the size of the chicken. 

  3. When the chicken is done, removed from oven and let rest at least 15 minutes before carving.

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