This easy Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken features a garlic-herb butter that creates a juicy chicken with crispy, flavorful skin!
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Growing up, my mom roasted whole chickens all the time. They were a regular thing in our house. Sometimes we’d eat the chicken by itself. Other times, we’d use that chicken in other recipes – like in tacos or in a chicken noodle casserole!
Somewhere along the line, the roasting of the whole chicken fell by the wayside for me. We use chicken quite a bit in our house, but it’s almost always in pieces – be it boneless, skinless chicken breasts, drumsticks or thighs. A whole chicken? The closest we come is picking up a rotisserie chicken at the store.
A couple of weeks ago, our grocery store had a sale on whole chickens. I stopped and looked at those chickens for a bit. I puzzled and puzzled ’til my puzzler was sore. Then I thought of something I hadn’t before – let’s roast a whole chicken!
Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken
Well, my friends, it turns out that roasting a whole chicken isn’t very difficult at all! Now I understand why this was a staple menu item in our house when I was a kid. A little bit of prep work and then the pot goes into the oven. About an hour and a half later, it comes out golden brown and delicious. And bonus – the house will start to smell amazing at about the one hour mark!
For this Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken, I went with a classic combination of flavors – rosemary, lemon, garlic. I love using those flavors on grilled chicken, so I figured they would work on a roasted chicken, too. Spoiler alert – the flavors not only worked, but they knocked it out of the park!
Maybe you’ve been roasting chickens in your house for ages. But if not, then I challenge you to give it a try! Here are some tips that will make that roasted chicken turn out juicy and delicious:
- Dutch Oven. I know a wide roasting pan is the common way to roast chickens. But consider going with a Dutch Oven instead. The ability to cover the pot for the first hour will yield a much juicier chicken. There’s no fear of drying out that chicken – well, unless you overbake it, but the next tip solves that problem!
- Instant-read thermometer. If you don’t have one, pick one up! I have several in our kitchen drawer, but I use this one the most. That thermometer has saved me on numerous occasions. There’s nothing worse than thinking meat is done only to find out it needed a little longer in the oven or on the grill! When using a thermometer for this Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken, make sure to insert it into the deepest part of the thigh without touching any bones. (If you touch a bone, it could give you an incorrect reading.)
- Tie up the legs. So this one isn’t required, but a couple of quick “figure 8’s” around the chickens legs will help them from getting overcooked while the chicken breast comes up to temperature. Similarly, tuck the wings behind the bird, or just clip ’em off entirely, before putting the chicken into the oven.
- Butter. Yes, butter. Butter makes everything better. In this case, you make an herbed butter that gets rubbed on the chicken before it roasts. And that butter not only goes all over the skin, but underneath it, too! Carefully lift the skin away from the meat and rub butter into the “pocket” that is created. That butter will melt into the chicken as it roasts…and it will taste amazing!
- Seasonings. This is where you can have a little fun. This Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken is fantastic, but you could mix things up if you want. Perhaps you could put an Italian spin on this one with fresh basil, oregano and a bit of white wine. Or put a Mexican twist on it with lime, cilantro and taco seasoning. The sky is the limit here…have fun with it! (And if you find a favorite flavor combo, come back and share it with me!)
Enough talking – let’s get to roasting that chicken! I hope you enjoy this one as much as we did here in our house. Robbie typically claims both drumsticks, and Laura and I enjoy the chopped chicken breast in a variety of ways – by itself, fried rice, tacos, soups, etc. Cheers!
Did you make this Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see your version!
Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator ~20 minutes before roasting.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Position oven rack in lower third of oven.
- Remove the leaves from 2 of the rosemary sprigs; finely chop rosemary. (Note: The remaining sprigs of rosemary will be used later.)
- Using a small bowl, combine the chopped rosemary, softened butter, minced garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Carefully pull the skin away from the chicken and rub the butter mixture all over the chicken (both on top of the skin and under the skin).
- Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the onions, garlic, lemons and remaining rosemary sprigs. (Note: If some of these ingredients don’t fit, just place them in the Dutch Oven outside of the chicken.)
- Using kitchen twine, tie the chicken legs together. Tuck the wings behind the bird to prevent them from burning.
- Place chicken in the Dutch Oven breast-side up.
- Cover pot and roast the chicken for 60 minutes.
- Increase oven temperature to 400°F and remove the lid of the Dutch oven. Continue roasting uncovered for 20-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 165°-175°F. (Insert the thermometer into the deepest part of the thigh without touching bone.) See note below.
- Remove Dutch Oven from oven and let chicken rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.
Looking for more tasty chicken recipes? Check out some of our other favorites, too: