This whole chicken is oven roasted with fresh lemons, garlic, and garden picked herbs like rosemary like rosemary and thyme. The skin is crispy and the meat is juicy!
Herb and Lemon Chicken
Can we all agree that cooking a whole chicken is not as intimidating as it appears? In fact, I prefer roasting a whole chicken. Not only does it make my house smell amazing, but everyone enjoys it and there’s always left overs.
Roasted chicken has become a staple in my house, and my mission is to make it one in yours, too! Whether your preparing a whole bird with some root vegetables, or seasoning it with your favorite Mexican spice blend, this dinner is so versatile.
The next natural step is to make chicken bone broth! Making my own bone broth helps me reduce and budget in my kitchen. Gone are the days that I need to add chicken broth to my grocery shopping list. Look at me, saving a whole $2. Look, I’m not saying it’s life changing money, but at least the bird is being use to full capacity!
- Whole Chicken: Opt for free-range or organic for a more flavorful, tender meat. The diet and lifestyle of the chicken play a vital role in the taste of the meat.
- Butter: Salted or unsalted, butter gives our chicken that luscious, golden finish. If you’re health-conscious, you can replace this with olive oil, though the flavor profile will slightly change.
- Garlic: Freshly minced garlic gives a robust flavor. But, for a mellower and sweeter taste, consider roasted garlic.
- Lemon: The zest and juice bring a zesty tang, counterbalancing the richness of butter and meat. Always opt for fresh over bottled juice.
- Fresh Rosemary and Thyme: Garden-fresh is ideal. These herbs not only impart flavor but also have health benefits. Rosemary is known for its high antioxidant levels, while thyme has antiseptic properties.
- Salt & Pepper: Always season to taste. Consider using sea salt for a more refined flavor and freshly ground black pepper for a sharp kick.
How To Roast A Chicken
Look, in all fairness, I did not state that this was not mess free. You’re going to have to get your hands a bit dirty. Preparing the chicken for roasting is going to set you up for success… Or just a really juicy bird with crispy skin and BOMB pan drippings. Either way, you’ll walk away happy.
- Take the chicken out of the package. Discard the gizzards (I have so many better ideas than just throwing them away. Give them to your dogs. Or toss them in your zip lock bag for bone broth later on). Turn the chicken upside down, and make sure the cavity is empty of fluid and gizzards. Pat dry the chicken with paper towels.
- Separate the skin from the meat with your hands. Bring your hands along the chicken breasts, thighs, and underneath. This allows for you to put the seasoning directly on the meat for the best flavor and crispiest skin.
- Preheat the oven to 450° F.
- Melt the butter, squeeze the lemon, dice the garlic, thyme, and rosemary, then add a dash of salt and pepper. Using a brush, slather all over the bird between the skin and meat.
- Once the bird is coated in the buttery goodness, give a quick glaze over the skin with the brush,
- Place the bird in a cast iron pan, and place it in the oven. Roast for 20 minutes, then bump the oven temperature down to 350° and cook the bird for another hour, or until the internal temperature has reached 165° F.
Herbs To Use
Can you ever go wrong with fresh herbs in your dinner? It’s wildly under looked and under appreciated. Kitchen gardens are becoming more rare, and with that, people are relying more and more on dried herbs. Fresh herbs hold great nutritional value, all while providing robust flavors. My favorite herbs to cook a whole chicken with are thyme, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, parsley, basil, sage, cilantro, and on and on and on. Seriously, I could bore you with all my favorite herb names, but I suggest just getting out there and seeing that your palate prefers!
No matter how you cook your chicken, whether it’s baking, roasting, pan searing, etc., the internal temperature will need to be 165° F. To help make sure I do not over cook my dinners (hello, dried chicken) I keep a kitchen thermometer near by. This prevents the pan drippings from drying up and makes sure I do not produce a dry chicken.
- Refrigerating: Once your chicken has cooled to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight container. It will last for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Before consuming leftovers, reheat them thoroughly either in the oven or microwave.
- Freezing: If you want to extend the life of your roasted chicken, consider freezing it. First, portion the chicken into serving sizes or as you prefer. Then, wrap each portion in aluminum foil, followed by a layer of plastic wrap. Place these wrapped portions in a freezer bag, squeezing out as much air as possible. Properly stored, it should remain at peak quality for 2 to 3 months.
- Bone Broth Storage: If you’re planning to make bone broth later, store the bones in a ziplock bag in the freezer. They can be stored for up to 6 months.
- Reheating: When you’re ready to savor your chicken again, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight if frozen. Reheat in a preheated oven at 325°F until warmed through. If you’re reheating from the fridge, you can use a microwave, but an oven or toaster oven will maintain the chicken’s crispiness better.
More Chicken Meals
- White Wine and Herb Roasted Chicken
- Chicken and Dumplings
- One Pan Creamy Lemon Chicken
- Mojo Chicken (baked, grilled, or stovetop!)
- Grilled BBQ Chicken Thighs
Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken
- 1 5 lb whole chicken
- 3 TBS butter
- 1 lemon squeezed, 1/2 of the lemon zested
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 TBS fresh rosemary
- 1 TBS fresh thyme
- salt & pepper
- Preheat the oven to 450° F.
- Remove the chicken from the package. Discard gizzards and pat dry the chicken with paper towels.
- Seperate the chicken skin from the meat by sliding your hand between them. Separate the skin from the meat from the chicken breasts to the thighs.
- Melt the butter. In a food processor, add butter, garlic, herbs, and lemon juice & zest. Blend until the garlic is finely chopped. Add a dash of salt and pepper to the mixture and stir.
- Using a brush, slather the butter mixture directly on the meat under the skin. With the left over butter, glaze the chicken skin.
- Place the chicken in a cast iron pan, then roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven to 350° F and roast for another hour or longer until the internal chicken meat is 165°F.
- Remove the chicken from the oven, and let it rest for 15 minutes to allow the juices to settle (this provides a juicier bird!) Mangia!
Nutrition values are estimates, for exact values consult a nutritionist.
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