Garlic Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken
Author note: There are several ways to roast a chicken and many opinions on what is the correct way. This recipe is basic in all ways. There are no tricks or special flavors. I roast a chicken every week using these ingredients because they are reliable and already in my pantry. Please note that extra-virgin olive oil is used to coat the chicken. I choose to use this oil because of my child who has a cow’s milk intolerance. Feel free to use 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter (brought to room temperature) in place of the oil. It will add a tastier and more browned crust. The amount of salt used also varies. Adjust the salt according to how large of a bird you are using. Also, purchase the chicken from the butcher and ask the butcher to remove the insides of the chicken (normally in a little bag) and truss (tie) the legs. This will save you time during the cooking process.
1 3- to 5-pound whole chicken (pasture-roaming chicken preferred)
2 tablespoons kosher salt
freshly cracked black pepper (to your taste)
3-4 rosemary sprigs
2 garlic cloves, halved
3 lemons, halved
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Thirty minutes to 1 hour before roasting, remove the chicken from the fridge and begin to bring it to room temperature. Placing a cold chicken into a hot oven will increase the cooking time as well as affect the quality of the end product.
- Meanwhile, set the oven to 425 degrees.
- In a small bowl, combine the salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Remove the insides of the chicken, pat the chicken dry and truss the legs. Place in a cast-iron skillet, Dutch oven or small roasting pan.
- Pour about 1/2 the salt and pepper combination inside the chicken cavity. Then place the rosemary, 2 garlic halves and 2 lemon halves inside the chicken. Don’t worry if all the pieces do not fit inside the chicken. Each chicken is different as are the garlic cloves and lemons. At least get the rosemary, 1 garlic half and 1 lemon half inside the bird.
- Scatter the remaining garlic and lemon around the chicken.
- Pour the oil over the chicken and massage it into the skin. Evenly sprinkle the salt and pepper mixture over the chicken. There may be some left over and that is OK. Again, each chicken is sized differently and may not require as much salt and pepper.
- Cook the chicken for 55-60 minutes. Place the kitchen thermometer between the chicken leg and breast. If the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees, the chicken is done. If not, place the chicken back in the oven and cook for an additional 5 to 15 minutes depending on its temperature.
- When the chicken is done, remove from the oven, cover the chicken tightly with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Break the chicken down and then serve with the pan juices. If you plan on using for later, break the chicken down (removing the bones), place in a glass container and cover with the pan juices. The chicken will keep for about 5 days.