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Citrus-Rosmary Roasted Chicken

Updated on December 5, 2011

Lemon Rosemary Chicken Recipe

Chicken with Lemon and Rosemary

Now that the fall has come in earnest and the nights are getting chilly, I find myself reaching for comfort foods to bolster my Horde O’Precious Darlings. Roast chicken is a favorite for me AND for them. For me because I can throw it together and walk away until my thermometer beeps, and for them because it’s just plain delicious. Add a green vegetable, and a starch (rice anyone?) and everyone is happy.

Although just as delicious on the grill in the summertime, this rosemary lemon chicken recipe is a particular favorite. Beautifully fragrant with oranges, lemons, garlic and rosemary it’s cinch to put together, and the sauce sits on the back of the stove while the chicken roasts, doubling as a marinade and basting sauce as well as a lovely jus to serve with the chicken once it’s strained off. It’s also super simple – squeeze some citrus, chop some garlic and rub that bird up with butter. Supper’s prepped. Plenty of time to put your feet, help with homework or check your Facebook page. Easy peasy!

Check out brining!

The Recipe!

You’ll need:

  • 1 large roasting chicken (5-6 lbs)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 oranges, zested and juiced
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 springs rosemary, stripped and minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 large onions, cut into wedges
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper


How to Carve a Turkey - But the Chicken is Exactly the Same!


  1. If starting ahead, go ahead and brine your bird, especially if it’s large. For more information see How to Make a Brine. Preheat oven to 500F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine minced garlic, citrus zest, salt and pepper. Divide mixture in half.
  3. Place half the citrus mixture in a bowl and mash it with the butter. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Rub butter/citrus mixture over the skin of the chicken. Place the juiced and zested lemon and orange shells into the cavity of the chicken.
  4. Place the onion on the bottom of a roasting pan or baking sheet – this will be the ‘rack’ for your chicken. Place rubbed chicken on onion, and truss legs and wings with butcher’s twine. Insert a meat thermometer into the ‘oyster’ or thickest part of the thigh.
  5. Place chicken into preheated 500F oven and set a timer for 15 minutes.At the 15 minute mark rotate the pan and roast an additional 15 minutes at 500F.
  6. After 30 minutes total, turn oven down to 350 and continue cooking. The high temperature at first will seal the skin, crisping it (especially if you brined!), and helping keep it juicy. It also reduces overall cooking time!
  7. Place the juice of the orange and lemon in a small saucepan. Add the other half of the citrus zest/garlic paste, about half of the chicken broth and the honey. Heat on medium low and allow to simmer while the chicken finishes roasting. Every half hour or so, baste the chicken with the juice mixture.
  8. If the roasting pan gets too dry, to prevent the drippings from burning, add about half a cup of remaining chicken broth to the bottom of the roasting pan. You want to keep the drippings from burning, but don’t want enough to steam the chicken and make the skin soggy.
  9. Roast chicken until thermometer reads 165F. Remove from oven, transfer to a platter, and allow to rest. While the chicken is resting, scrape all the pan drippings and roasted onion into the saucepan with the orange and lemon juice. Skim excess fat from the top of the sauce with a spoon and discard. Simmer sauce for about fifteen minutes (perfect resting time) or until reduced by about a third. Strain sauce and serve with chicken.


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    • DixieMockingbird profile image

      Jan Charles 6 years ago from East Tennessee

      Thank you!

    • brandasaur profile image

      brandasaur 6 years ago from Planet X

      Oh my, the picture really looks good. Its 6:30am here, just ate breakfast and im already starvinggggg!

    • DixieMockingbird profile image

      Jan Charles 6 years ago from East Tennessee

      Thank you! I hope you love it!

    • naeemebrahimjee profile image

      naeemebrahimjee 6 years ago from London

      Great Hub! Really looks delicious...I will be giving this a go later!

    • DixieMockingbird profile image

      Jan Charles 6 years ago from East Tennessee

      Thank you! I was pretty pleased with how easy AND delicious this one is!

    • InTuneWithCooking profile image

      InTuneWithCooking 6 years ago from Australia

      Looks and sounds delicious! Voted up as well.

    • litsabd profile image

      litsabd 6 years ago

      Looks delicious! Voted up!

    • DixieMockingbird profile image

      Jan Charles 6 years ago from East Tennessee

      Thank you!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 6 years ago from Germany

      Yummy!!!!! Thanks for sharing and voted up. Bookmark for later use.