Let’s get right into the swing of things on here. I had a whole chicken just waiting to be roasted. I wanted something that had a little zing in it, so I came up with this Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken recipe.
A few things to say about the recipe, I use butter! If you would rather not, please go ahead and substitute with olive oil. I also used fresh herbs but dried herbs are perfectly fine too. Just keep in mind the dried ones are stronger in flavor so adjust accordingly. What I loved about this recipe was just the marriage of flavors. The way the lemon zest kicked it up a notch and the tangy lemon juice. I can’t say enough about fresh herbs but I just love having them in the kitchen, it just makes me feel closer to my food. You will notice that as we use the butter herb mixture on the outside that the skin won’t be a golden brown. If you prefer that look then keep aside some butter without the herb mixture and rub the top of the chicken with that.
Preparation time: 20 Minutes
Cook time – 1 1/2 Hours
Serves: 5 (depends on size of your chicken, mine was a farm raised chicken so much smaller)
Whole Chicken (mine was between 3 to 4 lbs)
Onions – 3
Carrots – 2
Celery – 4 Stalks
Chicken broth – 1 cup
Lemons – 2
Zest of one lemon
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and Pepper to taste (I used freshly ground pepper)
Garlic – 8 cloves
(Note about the herbs – Take the leaves of all the herbs and chop them up finely, keep the stalks aside to use for the gravy.)
Oregano – 2 Stalks
Sage – 2 Stalks
Parsley – 5 stalks.
Butter – 1/4 cup
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Start by washing your chicken under cool running water and drying it off. In a small bowl put the softened butter, 4 cloves of grated garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper and all the chopped herbs. Mix it together and let it sit for a few minutes.
Then take your roasting pan and roughly cut your onions, carrots and celery. Add in the stalks of all the herbs we kept aside and four cloves of garlic. Pour in the chicken broth and keep the roasting pan aside.
Now its time to give your chicken some TLC. This may sound gross but you are going to take some of the butter herb mixture and slide it between the skin of the chicken and the meat. This will give you a very moist chicken and well seasoned one at that. Push all the butter mixture through the chicken’s skin pockets. So make sure you get them in the thigh areas as well. Whatever you have left you can rub generously over the skin of the chicken. Then fill the cavity with a halved onion and the left over lemons (1 1/2).
Now all that is left to do is tie the legs of the chicken and you will notice I didn’t have kitchen string, so I improvised with a piece of foil folded lengthwise. If the skin tears while you are giving the chicken the rub down, take a few toothpicks and skewer the skin to the flesh. Then place your chicken on top of your vegetables and put it in the oven for an hour and half or until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees. You will baste the chicken at the halfway mark. If you prefer the bottom of the chicken not to be soaking in the juices then make sure you use a roasting rack. I was just too lazy to wash it for a little chicken lol!
I served this with roasted potatoes and sauteed sweet peppers. It was a hit with the family and I barely had enough to make a chicken noodle soup! I used the drippings to make a gravy and the lemons left a subtle flavor. I hope you try this recipe out and let me know how it turned out for you.
P.s. To make a simple gravy, add 1/4 cup butter to a hot saucepan and cook 1/4 cup flour in it. Whisk this mixture til golden brown and add about a cup and half of the gravy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring this to a low boil. Serve over the roasted chicken.
These are some things you may need to make this dish: