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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Delicious Roasted Chicken

This is one of my favorite chicken recipes.  I first published in on my birthday in 2009.  I hope you enjoy it. :-)  If you don't like thyme try another herb that you prefer.  It would be good with sage or oregano or basil or other similar herbs.

Here is a simple recipe that makes great tasting chicken! This is based on a recipe which I altered slightly by Marcella Hazan that was published in AARP magazine.

Roasted Chicken with Lemons

3-4 lb. chicken, washed and patted dry.
Dried Thyme, crushed
2 small lemons

Preheat oven to 350°.
Cut excess fat off of chicken (Do Not remove the skin).  Rub with a generous amount of salt and pepper both inside and out.
Wash and dry the lemons. Soften by rolling back and forth on the county while pressing down firmly with your palm. Puncture it in at least 20 places with a fork or skewer. Place both lemons inside the chicken.  Close the opening with toothpicks or a trussing needle and string.  (Do not make it airtight.)  Tie the legs in their natural position with string, if desired. (This is mostly useful for making it easier to turn the bird.)

Butter a roasting pan generously and place the chicken in it breast side down. Dot the chicken with bits of butter. Sprinkle lightly (three or four pinches) with crushed thyme. Place it in the upper 1/3 of the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and turn chicken breast side up. Try not to puncture the skin, but don't worry if you do as it will still be good. Sprinkle top of chicken lightly with crushed thyme. (The top should be pretty well buttered with what you used to grease the pan. No need to add more.)

Cook another 30-35 minutes, then increase the temp. to 400° and cook 20-25 more minutes or longer depending on the size of the chicken. Use a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the meat (the breast) to check for doneness.  It should read 180°. Make sure you are not touching a bone when you use the tester. There's no need to turn the chicken again.

If it seems to be getting too well done on the outside and the inner temp. is not high enough yet, you may want to cover it lightly with aluminum foil to continue baking.

Serve the chicken whole and cut it up at the table. Leave the lemons inside until the bird is carved. They add a wonderful flavor to the broth in the pan.

I recommend serving this with a rice dish and pouring some of the broth over it at the table!  Delicious!


  1. That sounds so good. I can imagine the smell!

  2. I made this chicken recipe and it was FANTASTIC. I used what they call an "Air-chilled" chicken, which is a way of holding it for freshness, I think; and it was so light and flavorful. Will make it again.

    Good thing you mentioned not to truss the chicken air tight--there is a family story (whether it is true or not, I am not totally sure) that one of my great-aunts did this and the chicken exploded in the oven. I always remember that whenever I do poultry (particularly the Thanksgiving turkey!)

    1. Glad you enjoyed the chicken! :-) I wonder if that story is true also. It would be a real shock to have a chicken explode!