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Roast Chicken with Lemon and Rosemary

This easy roast chicken with lemon and rosemary is the perfect roast dinner recipe for a healthy, delicious family meal. Serve it up for your Sunday dinner, on special occasions or as your holiday entree.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: International
Keyword: chicken, lemon, roast, rosemary
Servings: 4
Calories: 425kcal
Author: Tonje
Cost: Cheap


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


  • Preheat the oven to 390 F / 200 C/180 C fan oven
  • 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, rub the butter all over the chicken. This is important to avoid the chicken from drying out. And don’t skimp on the butter. Most of it will drip off the chicken by the time it’s finished roasting, but it will prevent the meat and skin from drying out. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Can I roast a frozen chicken? – I highly recommend thawing the chicken completely before roasting it. This will ensure the best result.


Roast chicken leftovers are amazing! Here is how you can use and store the leftovers:
  • Preparing for storage: Carve and shred the leftover meat. Discard the chicken carcass, and only store the leftover chicken meat. The meat can be stored in chunks, or you can use two forks to make pulled chicken.
  • Storing: Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The meat can be served cold, reheated, or added to a variety of dishes.
  • Freezing: Freeze the chicken in a freezer safe container for up to 6 months. Allow frozen leftovers to thaw in a refrigerator overnight, then reheat it before serving.
  • Using leftovers: The leftovers can be eaten plain as an easy entree, or you can use the shredded chicken in a variety of dishes. Make quesadillas, wraps, chicken salads and more.

Top tips

Here are my top tips for the best result:
  • Leave the chicken to chill for 10 minutes before carving it. This will allow the juices to settle in the chicken, and prevent the meat from drying out.
  • Baste the chicken with the drippings halfway through the cooking time, and when you remove it from the oven. You can use a spoon or a turkey baster. This will make the chicken skin crispy and delicious.
  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the chicken has cooked through completely before removing it from the oven. The chicken is done when it has reached an internal temperature of 175 °F / 65 °C.


Calories: 425kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 144mg | Sodium: 142mg | Potassium: 407mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 295IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 2mg