Roast chicken with lemon and rosemary

Roast chicken with lemon and rosemary

Everybody loves a good chicken dinner, and this roast chicken with lemon and rosemary is one of the greats. The combination of lemon and rosemary is amazing. You could easily serve this with a simple salad during summer, or with all the fixings as a holiday meal. This recipe will teach you how easy it is to make a whole roasted chicken – if you’ve thought it too daunting to try in the past, trust me, this method will change your mind.

Roast chicken with lemon on a blue plate decorated with fresh lemon slices and rosemary.

Roast chicken with lemon – how to get it right

Roasting a whole chicken is super easy, just follow this simple step by step method.

Step 1. Add your seasoning and fat. This is the most important part if you want your chicken to taste of anything. First sprinkle a bit of salt over the skin. Then, grab 2-3 tbsp butter and rub it all over the chicken. Cover every surface. This is important to avoid the chicken from drying out. And don’t skimp on the butter, most of it will drip off the meat by the time it’s finished roasting, and all it does is prevent the meat and skin from going dry. Also, make sure to cover literally every piece of the chicken with the butter. Get it all up in there. Even on the inside!

Then, when it’s all buttered up, add your dry rosemary and squeeze half a lemon over the skin. This creates that lovely flavour and will make roast chicken with lemon anything but bland.

Uncooked whole chicken with butter, rosemary and lemon slices in a green roasting dish.

Step 2. Roast your chicken! The label of your chicken will usually tell you how long to roast it, but in general the roast chicken cooking time will be 40 minutes per kg + 20 minutes extra. So if your chicken is 2 kg, it’s 1 hour and 40 minutes, or for a 1.5 kg chicken it’s 1 hours 20 minutes. I don’t open the oven or touch the chicken until the time has passed.

Then, check to make sure that the chicken has sufficiently cooked through by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. Make sure that it has reached at least a temperature of 75° C / 165° F. Alternatively, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the meat. If the juices come out clear, the chicken is done. If the juices come out pink, leave it in the oven for 5-10 minutes, then try again.

Step 3. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes out of the oven, then carve. The meat and juices will be very hot, so just leave it on the side for a few moments to allow it to cool down slightly. I like to serve roast chicken with lemon alongside fresh lemon slices. It looks really pretty, but you can also squeeze the lemon slices over your carved chicken to really enhance that flavour.

Roast chicken dinner sides

Chicken makes such a lovely roast dinner. But no meal is complete without amazing sides! Try a traditional side like roasted green beans, potato wedges, autumnal kale salad, broccoli salad with bacon or brussels sprouts. For a Mediterranean roast chicken dinner, try orzo salad, couscous salad or Mediterranean chickpea salad. In the UK we also typically serve roast chicken with gravy and Yorkshire puddings.

How much roast chicken per person

When roasting a whole chicken, keep in mind that a large part of the weight comes from the bones which will be dismissed. Most roast chickens will have a label on them suggesting how many servings they will provide. A medium chicken (1.4-1.5 kg) will typically be enough for 4 servings. A large chicken (1.6-1.8 kg) typically serves 6. This assumes that you will eat all of the meat, including the chicken wings and legs.

Roast chicken with lemon and rosemary

Everybody loves a good chicken dinner, and this roast chicken with lemon and rosemary is one of the greats. The combination of lemon and rosemary is amazing. You could easily serve this with a simple salad during summer, or with all the fixings as a holiday meal. This recipe will teach you how easy it is to make a whole roasted chicken – if you’ve thought it too daunting to try in the past, trust me, this method will change your mind.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: International
Keyword: chicken, lemon, roast, rosemary
Servings: 4
Calories: 275kcal
Cost: Cheap

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2-3 tbsp butter or olive oil
  • 3 tsp rosemary
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 lemon or 2 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 200°C / 180°C fan oven / 350°F
  • Place your chicken in a roasting tin or oven safe casserole dish. First sprinkle a bit of salt over the skin. Then, grab 2-3 tbsp butter and rub it all over the chicken. Cover every surface. This is important to avoid the chicken from drying out. And don't skimp on the butter, most of it will drip off the meat by the time it's finished roasting, and all it does is prevent the meat and skin from going dry. Also, make sure to cover literally every piece of the chicken with the butter. Get it all up in there. Even on the inside and between the legs! 
  • Then, when it's all buttered up, add your dry rosemary and squeeze half a lemon over the skin. This creates that lovely flavour and will make roast chicken with lemon anything but bland. Leave a few lemon slices on top.
  • Roast the chicken in the oven. The label of your chicken will usually tell you how long to roast it, but in general the roast chicken cooking time will be 40 minutes per kg + 20 minutes extra. So if your chicken is 2 kg, it's 1 hour and 40 minutes, or for a 1.5 kg chicken it's 1 hours 20 minutes. Don't open the oven or touch the chicken until the time has passed.
  • Then, check to make sure that the chicken has sufficiently cooked through by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. Make sure that it has reached at least a temperature of 75° C / 165° F. Alternatively, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the meat. If the juices come out clear, the chicken is done. If the juices come out pink, leave it in the oven for 5-10 minutes, then try again.
  • Let the chicken rest for a few minutes out of the oven, then carve. The meat and juices will be very hot, so just leave it on the side for a few moments to allow it to cool down slightly.

Notes

When roasting a whole chicken, keep in mind that a large part of the weight comes from the bones which will be dismissed. Most roast chickens will have a label on them suggesting how many servings they will provide. A medium chicken (1.4-1.5 kg) will typically be enough for 4 servings. A large chicken (1.6-1.8 kg) typically serves 6. This assumes that you will eat all of the meat, including the chicken wings and legs.
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