Lemon Roasted Chicken

Over the weekend I finally went grocery shopping.  Real grocery shopping, not the “run to the store for a couple ingredients” shopping.

What came from this shopping trip was a quick stop in Costco because I wanted a big container of spinach.  While there I also purchased a couple whole chickens and thought making one for dinner would be great.  [By the way, I’m completely convinced you can eat lunch at Costco just by having the samples.]

Once home I was thinking about what ingredients I might want to use to roast the chicken.  I had some lemons I needed to use up so figured that would be a good choice.

Previously I’ve made an orange stuffed chicken (here) but from that learned a couple different steps for the future.  Today I put those steps to use.

Rather than stuffing the chicken with lemons I placed them under the skin, which naturally will offer a lot more infusion.  I also used a couple pats of butter under the skin as well to keep the breast soft.

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What turned out was quite delicious.  I paired the chicken with a homemade butternut squash soup, spinach salad, and for dessert the apple pie (here) that I made back in September (it freezes really well).

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Now I’m trying to come up with ideas for leftovers from this chicken.  The carcass will definitely become a broth, but I need ideas for the remainder of the meat.  I think I might like to make enchiladas, but not sure if the lemon flavor will mix well.  However, I may just be kooky enough to try that.

Here’s the recipe:


  • 1 whole chicken 4-6lbs
  • 3 regular size lemons, sliced
  • thyme and rosemary
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 very small pats of butter

Making it:  Heat the oven to 350F (cook 20 minutes per pound or until heated through to correct temperature).

  • It took a bit of prep work because once you start touching the chicken you don’t want to do anything else.  So to start I sliced the lemons and butter, minced the garlic cloves, and set aside a tiny little bowl or rosemary and thyme.  I then transferred the chicken to a tray and had to peel back the skin from the breast; not being a huge fan of meat, I did not enjoy this much.  Once that was done I then flipped the chicken and sliced holes in the skin underneath and in the thighs.  I then inserted 4 lemon slices into the bottom of the chicken and one into each wing.  I flipped the bird back over.  I put 3 lemon slices under the skin on each side of the chicken breast, with little pats of butters between (breaking them into pieces).  I then put a slice in each leg.   Next I rubbed the chicken down with the herbs and spread some garlic on top and put the rest inside the bird.  I then transferred the chicken to my trusty Dutch oven, tossed in the remainder of the lemon slices, and cooked until it was juicy but well cooked.

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2 thoughts on “Lemon Roasted Chicken

    • It was quite delicious. I dipped the toast in the soup, which is one of my fave things to do, but it did add to the whole meal. What’s even better is that the lemon flavor continued to settle over night and it tasted great as leftovers.

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