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Garlic Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken


  • 3- to 5-pound whole chicken (pasture-roaming chicken preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt (or less depending on the size of the chicken selected)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper (to your taste)
  • 3 to 4 rosemary sprigs
  • 2 heads of garlic, halved
  • 3 lemons, halved
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


A whole chicken roasted with lemons, garlic and rosemary will fill your home with warm and delicious flavors as it is cooked. Simple ingredients, basic roasting techniques and an instant read thermometer will make the perfect roasted chicken every time.

Thirty minutes to 1 hour before roasting, remove the chicken from the fridge and begin to bring it to room temperature. Placing a cold chicken into a hot oven will increase the cooking time as well as affect the quality of the end product.

Meanwhile, set the oven to 425°F.

In a small bowl, combine the salt and pepper. Mix well.

Remove the insides of the chicken, pat the chicken dry and truss the legs. Place in a cast-iron skillet, Dutch oven or small roasting pan.

Pour about ½ the salt and pepper combination inside the chicken cavity. Then place the rosemary, 2 garlic halves and 2 lemon halves inside the chicken. Don't worry if all the pieces do not fit inside the chicken. Each chicken is different as is the garlic cloves and lemons. At least get the rosemary, 1 garlic half and 1 lemon half inside the bird.

Scatter the remaining garlic and lemon around the chicken.

Pour the oil over the chicken and massage it into the skin. Evenly sprinkle the salt and pepper mixture over the chicken. There may be some left over and that is OK. Again, each chicken is sized differently and may not require as much salt and pepper.

Cook the chicken for 50 to 60 minutes. Place the thermometer between the chicken leg and breast. If the internal temperature has reached 163-165°F, the chicken is done. If not, place the chicken back in the oven and cook for an additional 5 to 15 minutes depending on its temperature.

When the chicken is done, remove from the oven, cover the chicken tightly with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.

Break the chicken down and then serve with the pan juices. If you plan on using for later, break the chicken down, place in a glass container and cover with the pan juices. The chicken will keep for about 5 days.

by Rebecca White, A Pleasant Little Kitchen

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