Roast Lemon Chicken

This is a really simple recipe that’s help me recently get over the intimidation factor of working with whole chickens. I’ve done this twice now; once with a kosher bird from Empire and more recently with a whole chicken from my January Meat CSA share. I’ll let you guess which one was tastier. Grin

What you need:

  • 2 T butter
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 whole lemon
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 whole chicken, 3-4 lbs.
  • 1 cup chicken broth, white wine, water or combination of any

Preheat the oven to 375.

Rub the bird inside and out with some salt & pepper. Cut the lemon into eighths. Stuff the lemon, garlic and rosemary into the cavity. Use a couple of toothpicks to secure the skin flaps over the cavity; this serves to keep the stuff from falling out when you turn the bird later.

Set the bird breast-side down in a well-oiled v-rack inside a roasting pan. Brush the top with 1 tablespoon of melted butter.
Roast for 40 minutes. Take the bird out and flip it so it’s breast-side up (I use wads of paper towels in either hand to grab it). Add the broth/wine/water to the roasting pan. Back in the oven and roast “until done”, about 45-50 minutes.

Note that the roasting time is going to depend on several things: size of the bird, your oven, etc. I’ve got a convection roast setting that probably reduces the time for me. When in doubt use a meat thermometer.

You can make a sauce with the pan drippings but I’ve been saving mine to make a chicken soup later in the week.

Bonus: here’s a video showing how to carve your yummy, roasted chicken.

Written on January 28, 2008