Learn how to make easy lemon rosemary chicken roasted with garlic by following these simple, step-by-step instructions. Roasted lemon rosemary whole chicken is a budget-friendly meal that can be dressed up for special occasions. With a few sprigs of rosemary and some dried lemons as a garnish, lemon rosemary roasted chicken can turn an ordinary meal into a festive celebration. It can be the star of the show for a lemon-themed dinner party. Get the basic ingredients for, instructions to make, and ideas about what to serve alongside this delicious foolproof roast chicken. Ready to make this lemon rosemary whole chicken recipe? Let’s get started!
My Lemon Rosemary Garlic Chicken Backstory
For years we have kept a small flock of chickens for egg-laying purposes. The richness of the eggs, laid by free-range chickens that roam about in our orchard, is so delicious. We enjoyed raising the egg-layers so much that one year we decided to raise some chickens for cooking purposes. There were a lot of whole chickens in our freezer. I had many opportunities to experiment with different chicken recipes, and adapted this recipe from one I found in a magazine.
Since I like to use garden fresh ingredients in recipes whenever possible, I chose to use rosemary as the herb, rather than the thyme called for in the magazine. We have a few rosemary bushes growing in various spots in our yard. I love the fragrance, and try to use it for cooking whenever possible. I also enjoy cooking with lemons, and had jars of homemade preserved lemons in the pantry. Thanks to a bountiful harvest, I had homegrown garlic and onions ready to be used as well. What better way to use all of these tasty ingredients than to make a lemon rosemary roasted chicken? We ate a lot of roasted chicken that year, so I had a chance to refine the recipe. Now I’m sharing it with you.
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Equipment Needed for Garlic Lemon Rosemary Chicken
The equipment needed for this roasted chicken with lemon and rosemary could not be simpler. If you need a roasting pan and your budget is tight, it seems as if there are always roasters available at second-hand stores. You could also ask someone in your family if they have a roaster you could have or borrow. When my parents downsized, their roaster was one of the first things they gave to me. Since I already had one, I ended up donating one to the local second-hand store. Roasters take up a lot of storage space, so they are frequently donated. My family situation is just one example of the roaster donation cycle in action.
Here are the basic equipment needs for garlic roast chicken with rosemary and lemon:
Cutting board and knife for slicing the onions
Carpet thread, twine, or skewers for closing the chicken cavity
Meat thermometer (optional)
Ingredients for Lemon Rosemary Chicken Roasted with Garlic
The ingredients for this easy lemon rosemary chicken are simple. If you don’t have rosemary, garlic, or onions growing in your garden, those ingredients are usually readily available in the produce section of grocery stores. Are you fortunate enough to be able to grow your own lemons? I wish I could grown lemons where I live. If you buy the lemons, getting a whole bag full of them would give you some extra to make preserved lemons or dry them yourself. Here are the basic ingredients needed for roasting a lemon rosemary chicken whole:
1 6-pound chicken
1 lemon, pricked all over with a fork (I use a preserved lemon if I have one on hand.)
2 medium onions
3 large peeled cloves of garlic
4 stems of rosemary about 3 inches long (or 4 sprigs of thyme)
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper
Directions for Lemon Rosemary Chicken Roasted with Garlic
Remove thawed chicken from the refrigerator. and let it stand at room temperature for half an hour. Empty the cavity of the giblets. Place giblets in a small pan with a cup of water, and your favorite seasonings to make a bit of broth to add to the gravy later, if desired.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Slice the onions, then place in two rows on the bottom of the roasting pan.
Lay the chicken on the bed of onions, breast side up, tucking the wing tips of the chicken under. Stuff the chicken cavity with the rosemary, lemon, and garlic cloves.
Bring the legs of the chicken forward, then tie together with carpet thread or twine. You could use small skewers to close the cavity if you don’t have something to tie the legs with, but I prefer not to pierce the skin if I don’t have to.
Spread the butter over the chicken, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for one and a half hours. If you have a meat thermometer, you could check the temperature in the deepest part of the thigh. The thermometer should read somewhere between 165 to 175 degrees.
Remove the chicken and onions from the pan. Discard the onions. Strain the pan juices and return them to the pan for making the gravy. Use your favorite method to thicken the gravy. I like to mix one-fourth cup of flour with one cup of the broth from the pan of giblets. Add this to the pan, heating over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes. When the mixture comes to a boil, it should thicken up.
Serve the roasted lemon rosemary chicken (also known as baked lemon rosemary chicken) on a platter. Garnish with additional rosemary stems and slices of dried lemon for a decorative touch, if you have them. This recipe serves about 6 people.
What to Serve with Lemon Rosemary Chicken
This lemon rosemary chicken is a versatile main dish that pairs well with many side dishes. You could serve this savory chicken with a side of rosemary garlic roasted potatoes. In fact, you could even roast the potatoes at the same time as you roast the chicken. The oven temperature is a little bit higher for the chicken, but that just means the potatoes will be done in less time. You could wait to put the potatoes in after the chicken has been in the oven for about 45 minutes.
For those who choose to make gravy from the pan juices, make-ahead mashed potatoes are a wonderful side dish. One of my favorite things about these mashed potatoes is that you can make them a few days ahead when you have the time. Just warm them up in the crock pot for a few hours and enjoy the creamy result.
If you would like to serve a salad with the lemon rosemary chicken, a berry mandarin tossed salad would complement the chicken nicely. With luscious strawberries, slivered almonds, and mandarin orange pieces, this salad is a light, refreshing addition to any meal. It’s ideal for picnics and potlucks, too.
Another side dish option would be to make bake some bread. You could whip up a quick batch of cornbread (no buttermilk needed) before roasting the chicken. If you have a little bit of extra time and a bread machine, you could bake some light, fluffy dinner rolls using a bread machine to make the dough.
For dessert, the options are many. If you are hosting a lemon-themed dinner party, consider serving easy lemon cookies made with lemon cake mix. You could also use fresh or frozen fruit to make a blueberry rhubarb crisp or coffee cake. Another citrus-flavored choice is refreshing pea-pickin’ cake, which is especially nice to eat in the summer, as it is served chilled. So many delicious choices!
Lemon Rosemary Chicken Roasted with Garlic
- 1 cutting board
- 1 Knife
- 1 Roasting pan
- Carpet thread, twine, or skewers
- 1 Meat thermometer optional
- 1 6 pound chicken
- 1 lemon (fresh or preserved) pricked with fork
- 2 medium onions
- 3 large garlic cloves peeled
- 4 stems rosemary 3 inches long
- 1 tablespoon butter
- salt and pepper
- Remove thawed chicken from the refrigerator. and let it stand at room temperature for half an hour.
- Empty the cavity of the giblets. Place giblets in a small pan with a cup of water, and your favorite seasonings to make a bit of broth to add to the gravy later, if desired.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Slice the onions, then place in two rows on the bottom of the roasting pan.
- Lay the chicken on the bed of onions, breast side up, tucking the wing tips of the chicken under. Stuff the chicken cavity with the rosemary, lemon, and garlic cloves.
- Bring the legs of the chicken forward, then tie together with carpet thread or twine.
- Spread the butter over the chicken, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast for one and a half hours. If you have a meat thermometer, you could check the temperature in the deepest part of the thigh. The thermometer should read somewhere between 165 to 175 degrees.
- Remove the chicken and onions from the pan. Discard the onions. Strain the pan juices and return them to the pan for making the gravy. Use your favorite method to thicken the gravy. I like to mix one-fourth cup of flour with one cup of the broth from the pan of giblets. Add this to the pan, heating over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes. When the mixture comes to a boil, it should thicken up.
- Serve the roasted lemon rosemary chicken (also known as baked lemon rosemary chicken) on a platter. Garnish with additional rosemary stems and slices of dried lemon for a decorative touch, if you have them.
Common Questions About Roast Lemon Rosemary Chicken
When preparing to roast a lemon rosemary garlic chicken, you may have some questions. Here are some of the most common. Get the answers you need right here, and if your question is not on the list, ask away!
Is Rosemary Good for Chicken?
If you are asking is rosemary good served with chicken, then yes, most definitely. Does rosemary herb go with chicken? The distinctive flavor of this woody herb goes well with many poultry dishes. What does rosemary taste like on chicken? Since rosemary is a member of the mint family, the flavor is sometimes described as piney. Rosemary is an ingredient in poultry seasoning, so that tells you a lot right there. What meat is good with rosemary? Rosemary is also delicious served with fish and on roast beef.
If you are asking is rosemary good for chickens you are raising, then yes, it can be beneficial in a couple of ways. According to a variety of sources, rosemary is a good, natural pain reliever for chickens to ingest. The fresh fragrance can also help improve the respiratory health of your fowl. I think I’ll go spread some around in our chicken house!
What Are the Best Herbs to Put on Chicken?
In this recipe for roasted lemon rosemary chicken, garlic is also used. Other common herbs that are used with chicken may be found as common ingredients in poultry seasoning. Those herbs often include thyme, sage, and marjoram. Other surprising herbs you may not have thought to pair with chicken are nutmeg and ground cloves. Some rubs for the outside of poultry call for paprika. For a spicy chicken rub, chili powder may be used. Of course, salt and pepper are always an option as well.
Can I Use Rosemary Instead of Thyme for Chicken?
Yes, rosemary and thyme may be used interchangeably in most recipes. Although this lemon garlic roasted chicken recipe calls for rosemary, because that is what I have growing in my garden, the recipe that was the inspiration for this recipe called for sprigs of thyme. Rosemary is more woody than thyme, so in some recipes you may need to strip the rosemary leaves off of the stem when adding.
Can You Eat Cooked Rosemary?
Yes, cooked rosemary leaves may be eaten. The stems are sometimes too woody and tough to eat. You can even use woody rosemary stems as skewers on the grill for a distinctive flavor. In this recipe, rosemary stems may be used for a garnish when serving.
More Food Inspiration
Thinking of making this lemon rosemary chicken recipe into your meal rotation? It’s always nice to have a plan when it comes to meals. If you’re looking for a way to get more organized with your meal planning efforts, I’ve got something for you. Free, editable meal planners! The templates can be used over and over, as often as you need them. You can make as many duplicates as you like, and you’ll be able to save old meal plans for future reference. I hope it simplifies things for you.
I hope you enjoy making lemon rosemary chicken roasted with garlic. May all of your meal-making endeavors meet with great success!
Lisa Mitchell is a wife, mom, and school librarian who likes to create and share recipes, often using fresh ingredients from her family’s small Pacific Northwest farm. If you are interested in more easy, delicious recipes, click on over to the Food page.
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