Nothing beats a great roast chicken dinner. It warms the house, feed a family and best of all, you might even have some leftover chicken for chicken soup or chicken sandwiches for lunch. One of the most classic and easy roast chicken recipes are ones with lemon and herb. Whether you are using fresh herbs or dried herbs, you can’t deny the fact that a simple lemon and herb roast chicken can please everyone. The aroma of herbs combined with the wonderful citrus flavor of fresh lemons heightens a basic roast chicken to something elegant and satisfying.
Rubbing butter on the outside of the chicken will give you a wonderful flavor to the baked chicken. So treat yourself to some of the butter goodness! But if you don’t want to use butter, then you can certainly use olive oil. This lemon and herb roast chicken recipe will still be delicious. Serve up some roasted vegetables, a green salad or a slice of grilled bread, and what you have is a wonderful weeknight chicken dinner that’s fast, east and satisfying. As far as the left over bones, make sure to save those and make yourself a batch of homemade chicken stock. It’s so easy and versatile to use for the rest of your cooking.
use fresh herbs or dried herbs
rub chicken with butter (or olive oil), herbs and lemon zest
delicious lemon herb roast chicken recipe!
There are a couple options for the ingredients. You can use either melted butter or olive oil (or preferred cooking oil) to rub the chicken.
You can also use either fresh herbs or dried herbs. For this recipe we prefer to use melted butter with the fresh herbs. Since you'll need to heat the butter to melt it, we'll toss in the fresh herbs and the combination of the warm butter with the fresh herbs helps infuse a bit of the herb flavor into the butter. Quite delicious.
If you use dried herbs instead of the fresh, most people will substitute only about half the quantity of dried for fresh (1 Tablespoon of dried instead of 2 Tablespoons of fresh).
- 1 whole Chicken
- 2 Tablespoons Butter or Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons freshly chopped Italian Parsley (or other preferred herb-oregano, thyme, tarragon, etc...)
- 2 Lemons , one lemon zested and then cut into 1/4's the other lemon just cut into 1/4's (make sure to set aside the zest to use on the chicken)
- Sea Salt or Kosher Salt , to taste
- fresh cracked Black Pepper , to taste
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
Pat dry the chicken. For the crispiest skin- see step 2. For quickest preparation- proceed to step 3.
- Sprinkle salt over all surfaces of chicken. Set on a plate, place in fridge and allow to air dry for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Remove from fridge and pat dry water that had come to skin surface.
- Combine butter, chopped herbs, and lemon zest in a small saucepan. Melt butter over medium heat until completely melted. Set aside.
- Truss the chicken if desired (see video in post for trussing instructions). Spread butter mixture evenly over the chicken (the butter will harden as it contacts the cold chicken. Best to work quickly.
- Season chicken generously with salt and pepper. Place in a baking dish. Squeeze one lemon worth of quarters over and inside the chicken and place the squeezed pieces plus one more lemon's worth of wedges in the roasting pan with the chicken.
- Roast for 1 hour 15 minutes or until juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh or the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F when probed with an instant read thermometer.
- Remove from oven and allow to rest for about 20 minutes. Carve and serve as desired.