Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken Recipe

Lemon herb roasted chicken is a classic recipe that’s both delicious and relatively simple to prepare. The recipe combines the bright, acidic flavor of lemon with the aromatic qualities of herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and parsley, creating a dish that’s perfect for a family dinner or a special occasion.

Here’s a basic recipe to get you started:


  • 1 whole chicken (about 4 to 5 pounds)
  • 2 lemons, one sliced and one juiced
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil or melted butter
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the Oven: Start by preheating your oven to 425°F (220°C).

Prepare the Chicken: Remove any giblets from the chicken and pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season the cavity of the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with lemon slices and half of the prepared herbs.

Flavor the Chicken: In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice, olive oil or melted butter, minced garlic, and the rest of the herbs. Rub this mixture all over the outside of the chicken, making sure to cover it evenly. Season the outside of the chicken with salt and pepper.

Roast the Chicken: Place the chicken in a roasting pan breast side up. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Roast in the preheated oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C) when measured with a meat thermometer.

Rest Before Serving: Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute, making the chicken more flavorful and moist.

Serve: Carve the chicken and serve it with your favorite side dishes. The lemon and herb flavors will have infused the meat, creating a delicious and aromatic main course.

Why we love this recipe lemon roasted chicken recipe:

The lemon herb roasted chicken recipe is beloved for several reasons, making it a staple in many households. Here are some key factors that contribute to its popularity:

Flavorful and Aromatic: The combination of lemon and fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and parsley infuses the chicken with vibrant, fresh flavors and a delightful aroma. The acidity of the lemon also helps to tenderize the meat, enhancing its texture and taste.

Simple Ingredients: This recipe uses ingredients that are easy to find and often already on hand in many kitchens. Its simplicity makes it accessible for cooks of all levels.

Versatility: Lemon herb roasted chicken can be served in a variety of settings, from a casual family dinner to a more formal occasion. It pairs well with a wide range of side dishes, making it a versatile choice for meal planning.

Healthful Option: Chicken is a great source of lean protein, and when prepared with olive oil and an abundance of herbs, it’s a heart-healthy option. The use of fresh ingredients also means you’re avoiding processed additives, making it a wholesome choice.

Comforting Yet Elegant: There’s something inherently comforting about a perfectly roasted chicken, but the addition of lemon and herbs elevates the dish, giving it an elegance that is sure to impress guests.

Easy to Prepare: Despite its impressive results, this recipe is relatively easy to prepare. The majority of the cooking time is hands-off, as the oven does most of the work, allowing you to prepare sides or simply relax.

Leftover Potential: Leftover lemon herb roasted chicken is versatile and can be used in sandwiches, salads, soups, and more, extending the value of the meal and ensuring that nothing goes to waste.

Seasonal Flexibility: While particularly refreshing in the spring and summer months due to its bright flavors, this dish can be enjoyed year-round, offering a taste of sunshine even in the colder months.

These factors combined make lemon herb roasted chicken a beloved recipe that appeals to a wide audience for its taste, simplicity, and versatility.

The Basics: Roasting a Whole Chicken

Roasting a whole chicken is a fundamental cooking skill that yields delicious results and can be the centerpiece of a memorable meal. Here’s a basic guide to roasting a whole chicken, covering everything from preparation to serving.

1. Preparation

  • Choose the Right Chicken: Look for a chicken that’s about 4 to 5 pounds; this size is ideal for ensuring even cooking and serving 4 to 6 people.
  • Thaw Properly: If your chicken is frozen, allow it to thaw completely in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days before cooking. Never thaw chicken at room temperature due to the risk of bacterial growth.
  • Remove Giblets: Check the cavity of the chicken for giblets (liver, heart, and gizzard), which are often packaged inside. Remove and discard them or save for another use.
  • Dry the Chicken: Pat the chicken dry inside and out with paper towels. This helps the skin become crispy during roasting.
  • Season Well: Season the cavity generously with salt and pepper. You can also add aromatics like garlic, lemon, or herbs to infuse flavor.

2. Seasoning

  • Butter or Oil: Rub the outside of the chicken with softened butter or olive oil. This helps the skin brown and adds flavor.
  • Herbs and Spices: Season the outside of the chicken with salt, pepper, and your choice of herbs and spices. Common options include rosemary, thyme, sage, and paprika.

3. Tying and Tucking

  • Tie the Legs: Use kitchen twine to tie the legs together. This helps the chicken cook evenly.
  • Tuck the Wings: Tuck the wing tips under the chicken’s body to prevent them from burning.

4. Roasting

  • Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to around 425°F (220°C). A high temperature ensures a crispy skin.
  • Use a Roasting Pan: Place the chicken breast-side up in a roasting pan. You can elevate the chicken on a rack within the pan to increase airflow and promote even cooking.
  • Roasting Time: As a general rule, roast the chicken for about 90 minutes, but this can vary based on the size of the chicken and your oven. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness; the chicken is ready when the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) in the thickest part of the thigh, not touching bone.

5. Resting

  • Let it Rest: After removing the chicken from the oven, let it rest for at least 10 to 15 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute, making the chicken more moist and flavorful.

6. Carving and Serving

  • Carve Properly: Remove the twine and start by slicing through the skin between the leg and body. Remove the legs and then the breast meat. Slice the meat against the grain for tenderness.
  • Serve: Serve the carved chicken immediately with your choice of side dishes.

Tips for Success

  • Room Temperature: Let the chicken sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before roasting to ensure more even cooking.
  • Vegetables: Add vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and onions to the roasting pan for a complete meal that cooks alongside the chicken.
  • Basting: Baste the chicken with its own juices a few times during cooking for added flavor and moisture.

Mastering the basics of roasting a whole chicken opens up a world of culinary possibilities, allowing you to experiment with different flavors and techniques to make each roast uniquely delicious.

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