Roasted Lemon Chicken

Roasted chicken

Admittedly, I love everything about rotisserie chicken. Its flavor, its juiciness, its diversity in dishes, and flexibility of using now or freezing for later. You don’t need to sell me on it, I’m already a fan. When I came across a recipe for a roasted chicken by a well known chef, I took pause, and thought, “I bet that’s really good.” I made it for a Sunday dinner a few week’s back and truth be told, was completely unimpressed by it and found it utterly lackluster. Clearly, I have trained both mine and my family’s taste buds to rotisserie chicken. I was drawn by the simplicity of the ingredients and know full well, sometimes dishes don’t need 101 ingredients in order to make a stand alone dish. I entertained the idea of adding garlic (always garlic!) or some thyme and rosemary, when I thought better of it and decided to be a purist and follow the recipe as is. I should have listened to the flavorful voices in my head and when I make this again, because I will, (it’s roasted chicken, after all) I will include the garlic, thyme, and rosemary. Then, and only then, will my taste buds be happy.


  • 1 (4 – 5 lb) roasting chicken, giblets removed
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced thick
  • olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • 2 tbsps. unsalted butter, melted


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. If rinsing/ washing your chicken is your thing, do it and pat the top and sides of the chicken dry. If not, no need to. In a roasting pan or baking dish, add the onion and drizzle with olive oil, tossing to incorporate. Place the chicken on top of the onions and generously season the inside of the cavity with S&P. Insert the quartered lemons inside the chicken. Using a basting brush, brush the tops and sides of the chicken with the melted butter. Season generously with S&P.

Roast for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. Cover with aluminum foil and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

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