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Roast Chicken with Lemon and Thyme

Roast Chicken with Lemon and Thyme


  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 7-pound roasting chicken
  • 1 cup (about) canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons all purpose flour

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Mix first 4 ingredients in bowl. Rinse chicken; pat dry. Place chicken in roasting pan. Rub all but 1 tablespoon garlic-thyme oil over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place lemon in cavity of chicken. Tie legs with string.

  • Roast chicken 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Roast chicken until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of inner thigh registers 180°F, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Lift chicken and tilt slightly, emptying juices from cavity into pan. Transfer chicken to serving platter. Tent chicken with aluminum foil to keep warm.

  • Pour pan juices into large glass measuring cup. Spoon fat off top. Add wine to pan; place over high heat. Bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Pour wine mixture into measuring cup with pan juices (do not clean roasting pan). Add enough chicken broth to cup to measure 1 1/2 cups. Return broth mixture to same roasting pan. Mix flour into reserved 1 tablespoon garlic-thyme oil. Whisk into broth mixture. Boil broth mixture in roasting pan set over 2 burners until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Season pan-juice mixture to taste with salt and pepper. Pour into sauceboat. Serve chicken, passing pan-juice mixture separately.

  • Place asparagus on platter. Top with fava-mushroom mixture and serve.

,Photos by Pornchai MittongtareReviews Section

    1. Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 500°F.
    2. Toss chicken with oil, thyme sprigs, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, then transfer to a large (17- by 12-inch) shallow heavy baking pan (1 inch deep).
    3. Bake chicken 10 minutes, then add lemon slices to pan. Continue to bake until chicken is golden and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes more. Serve chicken with lemon slices.

    Nutritional analysis provided by Self

    Lemony Herb Roast Chicken

    A classic roast chicken recipe gets a subtle upgrade with accompanying notes of citrus and thyme.

    cloves garlic, crushed with press

    softened butter or olive oil

    whole chicken (4 to 5 lbs.), patted dry

    medium onion, thinly sliced

    bunch radishes, trimmed, quartered

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. In bowl, mash zest, garlic, thyme, 2 tablespoons butter and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper until combined. With fingers, gently separate skin from breast and thighs of chicken. Place butter mixture under skin spread evenly. Tie drumsticks together and tuck wings behind breast.
    3. Place chicken on rack fitted into medium roasting pan. Arrange onion and radishes around chicken. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter brush all over chicken, then sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Pour 1/4 cup water into bottom of roasting pan.
    4. Roast chicken 50 minutes. Reset oven temperature to 425°F roast, checking to make sure water has not completely evaporated (add another 1/4 cup if necessary), 15 to 20 minutes or until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°F.
    5. Let chicken rest at least 15 minutes before carving. Meanwhile, use Roasted Onion & Radishes and any pan juices to prepare Panzanella.

    Nutritional information (per serving): 415 cals, 40 g protein, 1 g carbs, 27 g fat (10 g sat), 345 mg sodium.

    Recipe Summary

    • 1 (6-pound) roasting chicken
    • 2 teaspoons Hungarian paprika
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
    • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
    • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
    • 2 lemons, divided
    • Cooking spray
    • 1 teaspoon olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • ½ cup dry white wine (such as sauvignon blanc)
    • 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • Lemon slices (optional)
    • Thyme sprigs (optional)

    Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Combine the paprika, 1 tablespoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper rub under loosened skin. Thinly slice 1 lemon arrange slices under loosened skin. Cut remaining lemon into quarters. Place lemon quarters inside chicken cavity. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon thyme to chicken cavity.

    Place chicken on the rack of a broiler pan or roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Brush oil over skin. Cover chicken with aluminum foil. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 50 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thigh registers 165°. Transfer chicken to a cutting board cover with foil, and let stand 15 minutes before carving.

    Place a zip-top plastic bag in a 2-cup glass measure. Pour drippings into bag let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into measuring cup, stopping before fat layer reaches opening discard fat. Place pan on stove top over medium heat. Sprinkle flour into pan. Add wine bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add drippings, broth, juice, sugar, remaining 3/4 teaspoon pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to pan, stirring constantly with a whisk until slightly thickened. Remove from heat.

    Remove skin and lemon slices from chicken, and remove lemon wedges from cavity discard. Carve chicken, and arrange on a serving platter. Serve with gravy. Garnish with additional lemon slices and thyme sprigs, if desired.

    Oven Roasted Whole Chicken with Lemon and Thyme

    Posted By Savita

    Sharing today, lemon, thyme, and spices marinated, juicy oven roasted whole chicken with roasted potatoes that soak in all flavor while chicken cooks in oven.

    Not only flavorful chicken roast, this recipe is my favorite because I get to feed my family a complete one-pan meal that has protein, starch, and lots of seasonal flavors with only 20 minutes of Active Time. Specially when serving big family these recipes are life saver. And leftovers work great for weekdays (pure bonus!)

    Oh, and since time of baking and family gatherings is finally here.. :) With this recipe, I'm also sharing tips to pull a worry free, moist, juicy and flavorful chicken roast.

    Take this recipe as two-in-one: a flavor-packed Lemon thyme Chicken Roast and an ultimate guide to roasting perfectly cooked moist whole chicken in the oven. Earlier I have shared recipe for Roasted Game Hens on blog but oven roasted whole chicken recipe is first. So I thought to include all bells and whistles for a worry-free family meal.

    During fall-winter season, I LOVE bringing a whole chicken from our local butcher over the weekend. Cooking a whole chicken on weekend helps me many ways: cook a family-style Chicken Roast Sunday dinner. Shred leftovers and add to curries, chicken salads, pasta, tacos and a lot more over the weekdays.

    I have to admit.. when I started cooking whole chicken in oven.. cooking it perfectly used to be my biggest worry. How long to bake chicken, how to make sure it is fully cooked and yet not dry, how to prevent edges (thin bone areas) from burning.. and on and on. all bothered me a lot. If you love hosting Thanksgiving dinners? I'm sure you can relate?! In simple words, roasting a whole bird in oven is a responsibility. It should be cooked perfectly, in one go. :)

    Here are qualities of a Perfect Roast :

    1) Well cooked but not dry or burnt.
    2) Moist and juicy.
    3) Flavorful.

    Now, all of the above might sound daunting but honestly, cooking a whole chicken is super-duper easy! Once I understood things to take care of when roasting, everything started falling in it's place.. These days, I'm very comfortable, organized and can pull a flavorful Whole Chicken Roast in about 20 minutes of active time. After no. of chicken I messed in my early cooking days (don't tell anyone).. I call 20 minutes a success.

    So, let's talk above three points, for planning a whole roast, one at a time:

    1) Well cooked but not dry or burnt: This is very easy. All you need to know to is temperature of oven and weight of bird. I follow same rule here for chicken or turkey. Both should be well cooked, no sign of raw. Only thing that is different is : weight. So always make sure to check the weight when buying for whole roast.

    Then, it is very important to understand how long to bake whole chicken per weight:

    1) 2-2.5 pound bird: 40-45 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
    2) 3-4 pound: 50-55 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Note: In both cases, check for temperature in thickest part of thigh to be 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Continue cooking until it is not.

    To prevent burning the wings or exposed bones, I fully cover the ends with aluminium foil. This simple trick works every time.

    2) Moist and juicy: The first point is most critical to get a moist bird. However, there is one more thing which will keep chicken moist and also add flavor while cooking whole. It is brine or marination.

    For medium size bird such as whole chicken for this recipe, I prefer to marinate it overnight. Ingredients such as lemon, lime, vinegar, spices, olive oil.. all these tenderize the chicken while marination continues.. The resulting roast is super flavorful and spot-on moist.

    Brine is another way to keep it moist but that will be a complete new post. :)

    3) Flavorful: Point 2 above already covers the flavor. In simple words, "marination" is the key. (my another secret is saving 2 tablespoons of the dry seasoning of marinade and rubbing it on chicken just before roasting.)

    For this roast, I used marinade of lemon, thyme, garlic, cumin, paprika, and olive oil. I also stuck few slices of garlic, and lemon underneath the skin as far as I could reach without tearing the skin. This adds flavor in chicken beneath the skin. If only skin gets all flavor, the meat inside is not that delicious.

    As Vishal always says, "I love the skin, and all meat around the bones because that gets delicious and bursts with flavor when whole chicken is slow roasted in the oven."

    I make sure to season chicken below skin, also puncture some slits with knife and insert a piece of spiced garlic here and there, to keep everything delicious.

    TIP: Cook chicken on top of seasoned potatoes and other root vegetables instead of wire rack. This way flavors drippings from chicken make a flavorful side without any effort. Score!

    Friends, over roasted whole chicken or turkey is not just for Thanksgiving or meant for celebrations. It is an easy and rewarding cooking technique which works at many levels:

    1) It is economical. One roast can serve 3-4 meals for small family or 1-2 meals for a large family.
    2) It is freshest possible, and healthier.
    3) It is flavorful and can be spiced-up with simple homemade techniques (check the notes above).

    So this weekend, bring home whole chicken. Marinate, roast and have fall feast as if it is Thanksgiving rehearsal dinner. :) Don't forget to keep leftovers for few delicious recipes I have planned for next week.

    Remember, always follow the instructions carefully and never be intimated from roasting a whole chicken (even turkey) ever again!

    If you like Lemon with Roasted Chicken, I recommend trying my Roasted Chicken Limoncello Recipe

    Lemon-Thyme Roast Chicken with Jus

    I love chicken. I could eat it 4-5 nights a week if my husband would tolerate it. Which he won’t (party pooper). Chicken, roasted in the oven, skin left on and baked to a golden brown, reminds me of my mom. When I was in 6th grade I was a latchkey kid. Parents divorced, mom had to work two jobs, you know the story. So I was raised on a lot of convenience foods, but there was always Sunday when mom didn’t have to work and she would bake bone-in chicken breasts. She’d slather the skin with softened butter, sprinkle them with salt and pepper and bake. Delicious!

    (By the way, I had to get rather creative with placement of the photo above so that she wouldn’t look like a tramp with her legs… well, you know..)

    I’ve grown up and mom’s been gone for just shy of 20 years now (I still can’t wrap my brain around that), but that memory is etched in my head forever. While I love the simple, tried and true baked chicken that mom always made, I like to experiment even more. Try different things and experience new flavors, or combine some well known favorites. This recipe for roast chicken combines lemon and thyme in a compound butter and roasts the chicken to juicy perfection. Served on the side is a fabulous au jus flavored by shallots, vermouth, broth, thyme and bay leaves.

    1) Don’t trust your eye or the suggested time. Use a meat thermometer. Chicken should be 160-165 in the thickest part of the breast, or 170-175 in the thickest part of the thigh.

    2) The au jus is just that, an au jus. It’s not a gravy. However, if you want a gravy, skip adding the lemon juice and whisk in a tablespoon of flour. Simmer and allow to thicken. I personally loved the au jus, dipping the chicken in it was Heaven. However, dipping your finger in to get a taste is an entirely different story. If you are unsure, leave the lemon juice out or use less of it.

    3) If your V-rack is like mine, it was made for a monster turkey, not a little ole 4 pound chicken. To keep the bird propped up, crumple some foil and tuck it underneath. I had to do this at the wing end of the bird to keep it from falling through the rack. You can also use this method if you don’t have a V-rack. Wad the foil up into balls and prop the chicken up in a roasting pan.

    4) You can buy a bottle of Vermouth for around $5.00-$6.00

    Lemon-Thyme Roast Chicken with Jus
    adapted from The Best Chicken Recipes printable version

    1/2 cup table salt
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 (3.5 to 4 pound) whole chicken, giblets removed

    2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
    1 teaspoon lemon zest
    ground black pepper
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 cup chicken broth

    1/2 cup chicken broth
    1/2 cup dry vermouth (or dry white wine)
    2 bay leaves
    2 large shallots, minced (about 1/2 cup)
    1 fresh thyme sprig
    2 tablespoons juice from one lemon
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces and chilled
    salt and ground pepper

    Make the Brine
    Combine 2 quarts of water with sugar and salt and submerge the chicken. Cover and refrigerate. Brine for a minimum of one hour, or up to 24 hours.

    Make the Compound Butter
    Mix the thyme, lemon zest, and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper with the softened butter. Set aside. (I kept mine in the refrigerator as I brined my chicken all day. I removed the butter an hour before I removed the chicken from the brine.)

    Adjust oven rack to the lower middle position, place roasting pan on the rack, and preheat the oven to 400 F. Coat a V-rack with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Remove the chicken from the brine, rinse well, and pat dry with paper towels.

    Use your fingers to gently loosen the center portion of the skin covering each side of the breast. Use a spoon to place half of the butter mixture under the skin of one breast, placing the butter directly on the meat in the center of the breast. Do the same on the other side with the remaining butter. Gently press onto the skin to distribute the butter evenly over the meat.

    Rub the skin of the chicken with the oil, season with pepper, and place the chicken on its side (so that the wing is facing upward) onto the prepared V-rack. Place the V-rack into the preheated roasting pan and roast for 15 minutes.

    Remove roasting pan from oven, and using 2 large wads of paper towels, rotate the chicken so that the opposite side is facing up. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes.

    Using the 2 large wads of paper towels, rotate chicken so that the breasts are facing up. Add the chicken broth to the roasting pan and continue to roast until breast registers 160-165 or thigh registers 170-175 on an instant read thermometer (about 25-35 more minutes). Tip the chicken to let the juices flow from the cavity into the roasting pan, then transfer chicken to a cutting board and let it rest while you make the jus.

    (Uh oh! Her shirt has ridden up!)

    For the Au Jus
    Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits off the bottom of the roasting pan. Pour cooking juices into a fat separator and set aside to settle, about 3 minutes. If you don’t have a fat separator, skim the fat off the top with a spoon. Pour juices into a medium saucepan, stir in the broth, vermouth, bay leaves, shallots, and thyme. Simmer over medium-high heat until the liquid has reduced to about 1 cup, about 10 minutes. Strain the sauce and return it to the saucepan, discard the solids. Off the heat, whisk in the lemon juice* (see my note #2) and butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm with carved chicken.

    • 100g (4oz) butter
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 200g packet whole cooked chestnuts, finely chopped
    • 100g (4oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
    • 60ml (4tbsp) fresh thyme leaves
    • Grated rind of 2 lemons
    • 1 small egg, beaten
    • 1.5kg (3lb 5oz) oven-ready chicken
    • 1 lemon, thickly sliced
    • Fresh thyme sprigs to garnish

    To make the stuffing, melt 25g (1oz) of the butter in a frying pan and fry the onion for 8-10 mins until very soft. Add the chestnuts, breadcrumbs, half the thyme leaves and half the lemon rind. Mix well and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Leave to cool, then stir in the beaten egg.

    Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F, gas mark 5). Soften the rest of the butter and beat in the remaining thyme and lemon rind. Carefully lift the skin from the breast of the chicken and push half the butter between the skin and the breast meat. Use about one quarter of the stuffing to stuff the neck end of the chicken. Tie the legs together with string and place in a roasting tin. Shape the rest of the stuffing into balls, place in a small roasting tin, cover and set aside.

    Cover the chicken with a tent of foil and roast for 1 hr 15 mins. Uncover the chicken and smother the legs and breast with the rest of the lemon and thyme butter. Season well. Return to the oven and roast uncovered for a further 40-50 mins until the skin is crisp and golden and the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a knife.

    Pour some of the chicken juices over the stuffing balls, add the lemon slices and cook in the oven for 20 mins until crisp and golden.

    Meanwhile, allow the cooked chicken to rest for 20 mins. Serve on a platter with the stuffing balls, lemon slices and thyme sprigs.

    Lemon-Thyme Roast Chicken Recipe

    Preheat oven to 350deg F. Sprinkle chicken cavities with 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. On work surface, roll lemons, pressing down slightly with heel of your hand, (go easy since I know you weight train, press lightly) until softened. With skewer or toothpick, pierce each lemon 15 times about 1" deep. Place pierced lemons, 5 garlic cloves and thyme into large cavity of chicken place remaining garlic clove into small cavity. Truss chicken. Sprinkle chicken evenly with remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place chicken, breast-side up, onto rack in large roasting pan roast 2-2 1/4 hours, until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear when pierced with fork or meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of thigh registers 180deg F. Remove from oven let stand 10 minutes. Remove and discard skin from chicken and lemons, garlic and thyme from cavities carve chicken. Serve garnished with additional thyme sprigs.

    How To Make: Perfect Roast Chicken

    While roast beef is often considered the nation’s favourite Sunday dinner, roast chicken is arguably the most popular modern-day option. It’s also very accessible. But with that, roast chicken is so often terrible, poorly cooked. Less forgiving that beef, lamb, or even pork, understandable concerns over eating and serving undercooked chicken often lead people to err on the side of caution so much so that roast chicken is habitually overcooked to the point of being dry and unpalatable. That needn’t be the case, however. Using just a few, inexpensive ingredients this perfect roast chicken recipe is practically failsafe.

    There are various elements to making perfect roast chicken at home, but spatchcocking/butterflying the chicken and curing are key. Some people like to wet brine their chicken, but I’m particularly fond of a simple dry cure for this roast chicken recipe. Others rub compound butter mixtures under the skin, but it’s not entirely necessary. Sure, it enhances the flavour, but a well-cured, perfectly cooked roast chicken is a beautiful thing. Instead, I’d recommend adding a knob or two of salted butter to the skin and basting once or twice during cooking.

    For the dry cure, I sprinkle rosemary, thyme, lemon zest, and black pepper over the spatchcocked chicken, then cover the whole thing in fine salt (such as Kosher salt), plus a sprinkling of baking powder. The measurements can be adapted to taste, but I’d suggest three-to-four sprigs of each rosemary and thyme, the zest of one lemon, approximately two teaspoons of baking powder, and 10 tablespoons of salt. Yes, that’s a lot of salt, but the overall result won’t be salty. After curing in the fridge for 12-24 hours, the salt is washed off. Rather than permeating the meat, the salt acts as a chamber to absorb excess moisture from the bird, which in turn helps to make the roast chicken skin crispy.

    Spatchcocking also encourages crispy skin, given that almost none of the skin touches the bottom of the pan, instead roasted entirely face up. The general method of roasting the bird completely intact leaves soggy patches on the base. Simply flip the chicken over, score along each side of the spine with a sharp knife or a pair of poultry shears (there should be little to no resistance), remove and reserve the bone for making stock. Flip the bird back over so it’s breast-side up and press down until the breast bone cracks and the chicken can be flattened. Not only does this help the skin become crispy, it also helps the chicken to cook more evenly, and makes it possible to safely cook a perfect roast chicken in as few as 45 minutes. Cook this any day of the week and ideally serve with gravy and roasted vegetables.

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