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Easy Roast Chicken with Lemon - with tips for preparing your bird
I have baked many a chicken. I generally go with the standard: rinse, pat dry, season, bake at 350° for 20 minutes per pound.
One day I was looking for a recipe to save me from my boring old chicken. I managed to combine ingredients and techniques from several different recipes to come up with one that worked for me. The result is below.
This is a simple recipe for a roast chicken rubbed with spices and lemon. It is cooked at a high heat to make the skin dark and crsipy.
For those of you that shy away from handling raw poultry, this recipe is not for you. By the end, you will be very aquainted with your bird.
- 6-7 lb whole chicken
- one whole lemon
- olive oil or softened butter
- italian seasoning (or similar dry herb mix)
- poultry seasoning
- garlic powder
- black pepper
- string (soaked in water)
Preparing the Seasoning
Preheat the oven to 425°
Mix the seasonings with just enough softened butter or olive oil to make a loose paste.
The amounts of seasoning are up to your tastes and the size of your chicken. I generally use at least a few tablespoons of herbs, a generous amount of garlic powder and poultry seasoning, and just a touch of pepper. A little pepper goes a long way.
Preparing the Chicken
Rinse the chicken inside and out with cold water. Pat dry.
Tuck the tips of the wings underneath the chicken.
Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice on the outisde and inside of the chicken. Put the squeezed lemon aside.
Loosen the skin of the chicken by sticking your fingers between the skin and meat. Apply the seasoning "paste" everywhere: under the skin, the outside of the bird, AND the inside. Put the lemon halves inside the chicken. Tie the ends of the legs together with the string (this keeos them from falling apart).
Some Ideas For Your Leftovers... if you have any!
- 101 Things To Do With Leftover Chicken
Leftover chicken provides endless opportunities for appetizers, lunch, and dinner. Now if only I can come up with a chicken dessert!
Place the chicken in a roasting pan or shallow baking dish.
Place in a 425° oven for about 1 1/2 hours. Or until a meat ther mometer or pop-up timer indicates it is done.
Keep an eye on your bird. I cover my chicken loosely with foil about halfway through, then remove the foil for the last ten minutes. This keeps the skin from burning and keeps it crispy too.
For those of you who are like me and tend to skip steps, Don't!: Seasoning the bird on the inside and stuffing with lemon really make a difference. And trust me, tie the legs together or they could easily fall off. If you have never done this beore it is easy. This it how this untrained cook does it: Use regular string or twine: no dies, no plastic! Tie the string around the end of one leg, leaving plenty of string at both ends. Pull the legs together. Loop sopme string around the other leg and then tie the two together. Relax, it doesnt need to be perfect. Whatever works is just fine.