Perfect Lemon Herb Roast Chicken

November 2013


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. 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.


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!

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