Herb-and-Lemon-Roasted Chicken


The garlic and herb butter in this recipe makes this chicken a winner.  More Roast Chicken Recipes

Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins

This roast chicken is foolproof and fantastic. The garlic and herb butter is what sets it apart, with minced garlic, rosemary, and thyme mixed with grated lemon zest. You can make the butter in advance and store in the refrigerator up to two days in advance, or stash it in the freezer. After you rub the seasoned butter under the skin and all over the bird, it will give you juicy chicken with crispy skin. This chicken is easy enough for a weeknight dinner but boasts enough extra flavor and special touches to make it ideal for serving at a dinner party. Offer roast potatoes and salad to turn this into an easy, elegant meal.  

Herb-and-Lemon-Roasted Chicken
© Antonis Achilleos


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • 5 garlic cloves, 1 minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon minced rosemary plus 2 rosemary sprigs

  • 1/2 teaspoon minced thyme plus 2 thyme sprigs

  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • One 4-pound chicken, at room temperature

  • 1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges

  • 1 lemon, cut crosswise into 8 rounds

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth


  1. Preheat the oven to 425° and position a rack in the lower third of the oven. In a bowl, mix the butter with the minced garlic, minced herbs and the lemon zest and season with salt and pepper.

  2. Pat the chicken dry. Rub half of the herb butter under the skin and the rest over the chicken; season with salt and pepper.

  3. Set the chicken breast-side-up on a rack in a roasting pan. Scatter the onion, lemon, garlic cloves and herb sprigs and add 1/2 cup of water. Roast for 30 minutes, until the breast is firm and just beginning to brown in spots. Using tongs, turn the chicken breast-down and roast for 20 minutes longer, until the skin is lightly browned.

  4. Using tongs, turn the chicken breast-side-up. Add another 1/2 cup of water. Roast for about 20 minutes longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the inner thigh registers 175° to 180°.

  5. Tilt the chicken to drain the cavity juices into the pan; transfer the bird to a cutting board. Remove the rack from the pan and spoon off the fat. Set the pan over high heat. Add the stock and cook, scraping up any browned bits. Press the lemon to release the juices. Carve the chicken and pass the chunky jus at the table.

Suggested Pairing

Crisp, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc.

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