February 27, 2011

Roast Chicken with Lemons

When I lived near a Costco, I used to buy the roasted chickens. They were $5.99 if I remember correctly. They were tender, moist, and huge! We'd have plenty for a few dinners and a big bowl of chicken and pasta salad. With the nearest Costco now three-and-a-half hours away, I've taken to roasting my own chickens. I thought I had found the perfect recipe, but have recently found one that I like better over at Mari's blog.

This is a method rather than a recipe, (and although we don't eat the skin), it will give you a beautiful crispy skin with moist, tender meat laced with a delicate lemon scent and flavor. Here is the link to the original recipe. In reading this recipe, I had to smile at what I thought was just a tad of hyperbole where it reads "Close up the opening with toothpicks or with trussing needle and string. Close it well, but don't make an absolutely airtight job of it because the chicken may burst". Really? An exploding chicken? I personally don't think you could truss a chicken up tight enough that it would burst, but then again, there's always a first for everything. If you haven't tried this method for roasting chicken, let it be a first for you. Oh, and if it explodes, be sure to let me know. 

Roast Chicken with Lemons adapted from here 
One chicken (3-4#)
One large lemon (or two small)
Salt and Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Wash the lemon. Roll lemon on counter until soft. This will make it jucier. With a paring knife or fork, pierce the lemon several times (up to 20).
3. Rinse chicken and dry thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper. Insert lemon(s) into cavity and secure opening with toothpicks. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
4. Cut a piece of parchment the size of your roasting pan and spray with cooking spray. Put parchment in bottom of pan.
5. Lay chicken breast side down in pan and cook for 30 minutes.
6. Turn chicken on its back and cook for 35 minutes. Discard parchment.
7. Turn oven to 400F and continue to cook for 30 minutes. 
8. Remove chicken from oven and let rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.


  1. Beautiful chicken, Karen! I know what you mean about the Costco roasted chickens....I believe we pay $4.99 for a huge chicken. They are so good. The meat is just a different color...very creamy white. This is a beautiful substitute for the easy. Besides, that chicken would be awfully cold by the time you got it home....

  2. hi Karen
    to me nothing makes a better dinner then roasted chicken. Your recipe looks outstanding, thank you so much for making it for us. Sometimes I think the best part are the leftovers that you get to have fun with. My wife loves chicken salad, and it's always a good excuse to make her some.

  3. Oh my, this is a wonderful sounding recipe with two things I love - whole roasted chicken and lemons. I'm laughing at the idea of a chicken blowout, but if it's possible, it will happen to me. I'll let you know. Have a great Sunday evening.

  4. I love whole roasted chicken. The lemon adds a great touch.

  5. Oh Karen, this chicken looks delicious , have a good aspect e irresistible, and what color he have UAUUU!

    KISSES,and thanks for all your comments in my blog I love to receive you there.

  6. Yummy! One of my fave dishes Karen..this is very similar to the way I roast mine too, but with the addition of some fresh rosemary. I think the leftovers are even better used in so many ways.

  7. We just had a roast chicken last weekend! Matt isn't a big fan of lemon so I did rosemary & sage with olive oil, salt & pepper & it was fantastic! Oh, & we bought it at Walmart. You just never know right? It lasted that night, 3 chicken salad lunches for him and I made about 10 servings of soup from the rest. I think it was also under $6. Love that! This looks delicious.

  8. The thought of chicken and lemons has my mouth instantly watering. I can't imagine the horror of having a chicken burst! Too Funny, but would make good blog fodder.

  9. Yum, yum, yum. I think I know what I'm doing with my chicken tomorrow night!

    I have a way to bind up the legs without string that I learned when I worked in a deli years ago. It's hard to explain, but you use a knife and poke a small hole through the flesh of one side. Then you take the leg of the chicken on the opposite side and poke the end joint through the hole. Next, take the other leg and slide it under the first. It takes a few tries, but once you get good at it, it's easy and less fuss.

    (And yeah, I can't imagine sealing a chicken to the point it bursts.) :D

  10. Great chicken, Karen! I will have to try this recipe, it's perfect and I bet it is delicious with all that lemon.

  11. I love how so few ingredients can turn into such a delicious meal! Lemon is my favorite chicken condiment!

  12. Ha...I don't know what I'd do if my chicken exploded! This looks and sounds perfect, though...I, too love lemon with my chicken ;)

  13. I love roasted chicken. For some reason mine always come out dry. I am going to give it a try though. Thanks :)

  14. This sounds like the perfect chicken recipe. So easy too. Now you have given me a challenge- I must have mine burst! Haha! My friend from the UK always roasts the perfect chicken and her sercet is to put it breast side down- now why didn't I think of that?

  15. Ooh, perfectly done! Love that photo. :) You're so sweet Karen, thanks for linking back. xo


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