March 2, 2011

{Easy Recipes} Whole Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken

I love a good sale. So when Whole Foods put their whole organic chickens on sale for $1.69/lb, I got up early and bought 4 of them.  With all of these chickens, I had been looking around for easy, tasty recipes.  One of my favorite dishes ended up being this whole Roasted Chicken. I was so proud of roasting my first whole chicken (I usually cut up the chicken in pieces) - including trussing the poultry (that's tying it up).  The end result was a moist and juicy chicken that made for a delicious dinner - and great leftover sandwiches!

I adapted this Roasted Chicken recipe from the Whole Foods website.  Because we both love lemon, I added fresh lemon juice and zest to the recipe. I also stuffed the chicken with carrots and onions to add flavor.
Whole Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken
Ingredients (serves 4-6):
1 whole organic chicken (mine was about 4 lbs)
1 fresh lemon
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T herbes de provence
salt and pepper, to season
1 carrot, cut into large chunks
1 small yellow onion, quartered
1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. Remove chicken innards (packet inside the chicken) and either discard or save for future use (I froze the innards to use later to make stock or perhaps saute the chicken liver as a side dish for my husband).
3. Zest the lemon and set the zest aside. Squeeze the lemon juice all around the chicken.
4. Rub olive oil all around the chicken and season with salt, pepper, herbes de provence, and lemon zest.
5. Stuff the chicken with onions and carrots.

6. Truss your chicken! Though it looks fancy, trussing the chicken is pretty easy and it's necessary to ensure an evenly cooked chicken. It also helps to keep the stuffed vegetables in place. I watched the above video from Chef Brian Polcyn and Michael Ruhlman for instructions on trussing my chicken.  Because I didn't have kitchen twine, I used unwaxed dental floss. The floss wasn't easy to use (it's too thin) and I wouldn't recommend it for trussing a chicken (it would be better for making braciole - though I'll likely just keep it handy for slicing a cake)
7. Place the trussed chicken on a roasting rack in a roasting pan, breast-side up.
8. Roast for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and baste with juices in the pan.
9. Return to oven, reduce oven temperature to 375°F and roast another 30 to 40 minutes, basting once or twice, until juices run clear when a knife is pierced into thigh or meat thermometer reaches 165°F.
10. Cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes before carving.
11. Serve with your favorite vegetables.

This recipe was really easy and the end result was fairly impressive (after all, I've never trussed a chicken before!). The lemon flavor was very subtle, so next time I may try stuffing the chicken with lemon as well.


  1. christinefreshlocalandbestMarch 2, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    This is one of my favorite set it and forget it meals. Once all the work is done you can just walk away until the skin is crisped and good.

  2. Agreed. It's the perfect easy dinner - and great for a casual dinner party because it looks and taste great AND you can have time to chat with guests while it's cooking.

  3. ChocolateandcroissantsMarch 7, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    roasted chicken is one of my favourite dishes.

  4. Agreed! I'm going to make it again tonight!


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