Roast Chicken with Lemon, Rosemary and Thyme

Roast Chicken with Lemon, Rosemary and Thyme

  • whole chicken (4-5 pounds)
  • 2 lemons, zested and then quartered
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, cut into chunks
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons coarse Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 cups water

Preheat the oven to 450.  Set a wire rack in a roasting pan so that the chicken is not sitting directly in the pan..

Remove the insides of the chicken and discard, or reserve for making stock (I save everything for stock, even corn cobs).  Rinse the chicken well, then drain and pat completely dry with paper towels.

Stuff the lemon quarters (reserving the zest), garlic and onion in the cavity of the chicken.  Use kitchen twine to truss the chicken so that the legs are snug against the chicken.  Place the chicken on the rack.

In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme and reserved lemon zest.  Rub the mixture all over the chicken, making sure every part is coated.  Position the chicken on the rack, breast side up.

Insert an instant read thermometer into the chicken so that it is not touching bone; near the thigh is a good spot.  Set the thermometer to 165 F.

Place the pan in the middle rack of the oven and roast the chicken until the internal temperature reads 165 F; this may take about 1 1/2 hours, depending on the size of the chicken.  The meat, even the breast meat, will be succulent and juicy, and the skin will be golden brown and crisp.

About halfway through, you will notice that the butter dripping off the chicken onto the pan is starting to smoke - this is because butter has a very low smoke point and will start to smoke as it burns against the bottom of the pan.  This is what the water is for.  When the butter starts to smoke on the pan, just pour the water into the bottom of the pan which will stop the smoking, as well as create some steam which will moisturize the chicken, without softening the crispy brown skin.

After an hour of roasting the chicken, you can start some potatoes or other vegetables, and they'll be done by the time the chicken is ready.

Yields about 4 servings.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen