October 31, 2013

Perfect Lemon Herb Roast Chicken

I've been on a mission. Perfect roast chicken. The criteria: TONS of flavor, and not just on the top quarter inch of meat, juicy, easy, and crispy skin. My favorite chicken recipe of all time is my French Chicken, but I needed a classic too. I tried a few, and each time came a step closer... I combined a few different techniques and finally, success! The best roast chicken I have ever made!! It was so good I literally danced around the kitchen. The Geologist still isn't fully satisfied, he wants me to experiment with injecting... *rolling eyes* but that would defeat the purpose! Say it with me: Simple. Classic. 

Enjoy! We did :)

Perfect Lemon Herb Roast Chicken
Printable Recipe

4-5 lb roasting chicken
1 whole head of garlic, halved
1 whole lemon, zested and halved (cut one half in half again!)
6-8 sprigs of fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley, sage, etc)
3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced/pressed
4 Tb butter, softened
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2-3/4 tsp black pepper
1 onion, sliced
1 cup chicken broth

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine butter, lemon zest, minced/pressed garlic, about 1 1/2 tsp fresh herbs (minced or chopped), salt and pepper. Set aside.

Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Stuff cavity with one half of the lemon, one half of the head of garlic, and 3-4 sprigs of herbs. Loosen the skin over the breasts and spoon one third of the butter mixture under the skin of each breast, spreading over the whole surface of the meat. Rub the last third of the butter all over the skin of the chicken.

Line your roasting pan with foil or parchment paper. (This makes clean-up so much easier!) Spread sliced onion, 2 lemon quarters, remaining herbs, garlic, and carrots in roasting pan. Pour chicken broth over all. Place chicken on top of veggies.

Roast, uncovered, 1 1/2 hours or until juices run clear. Check after 30 minutes. If your chicken is browning too quickly, cover with a sheet of foil or parchment. Do not seal. Remove from oven and let rest 15-20 minutes and serve! To make gravy with juices: Strain the pan juices. Discard all solids. In a small saucepan, melt 2 Tb butter on medium heat. When butter is melted and foaming, add 2 Tb flour. Stir constantly till mixture darkens and smells toasty. Slowly drizzle in reserved juices, whisking constantly until all the juices are added. Bring to a boil, season to taste, and serve!
Perfect for company or a weeknight, you can have it in the oven in under half an hour, gorgeous and classic and delicious! Why does this make me so happy?? Who knows. Food is my thing, what can I say?
The meat is tender and juicy and full of flavor, the skin is crispy (if you like that sort of thing for more than looks), it is altogether as perfect as can be!
If you have a few more minutes, the gravy really takes it over the top. If only we had some mashed potatoes to go with it...


  1. That looks fantastic! My husband loves roast chicken, so maybe I will give this one a shot next time! Come by and link up to our linky party! Heres the link: http://wonderfulathome.blogspot.com/2013/10/wonderful-wednesdays-10-with-features.html

    1. I hope you love it! Thanks for the invite again, I'm on my way over! :)

  2. Lemon, Garlic and roasted chicken. That is a part of the Holy Trinity of delicious Chickendom! I have a really lovely lemon and parsley bread stuffing I make with mine as well which is to die for! I think you'd love it too! Check it out: http://theenglishkitchen.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/roast-chicken-with-lemon-herb-stuffing.html


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