This perfectly tender and juicy whole oven-roasted chicken gets brushed with a fresh lemon rosemary garlic butter and stuffed with aromatics for extra flavor. It’s perfect for Sunday dinner, but easy enough for a weeknight!
Searching through cookbooks, leafing through food magazines and trolling through food blogs proves one fact over and over again: Cooks love making recipes with chicken.
While the boneless chicken breast seems to be the star in most recipes, the whole bird cannot be ignored. There’s nothing quite like a juicy hen, perfuming the whole house, to get the salivating started.
This whole roasted chicken recipe is like a butter infused invitation to belly up to the Sunday dinner table. But it’s so easy you could totally make it any day of the week.
Chicken on the bone. Chicken with skin. Those two things give chicken a flavor all on its own.
But when you layer that baby bird with the soft, buttery mix of garlic, lemon and rosemary a totally new flavor permeates our chicken-little under, and over, the skin.
And that skin, oh that lovely, golden skin. Butter baby. It does the trick.
About the Recipe
Use butter for this recipe, either salted or unsalted will do since you’ll be adding your own kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Gently pry the skin from the meat of the bird’s breasts and legs and work that flavored butter over the meat. Then, slather the top of the skin with the butter, too. Flavor on flavor.
Fresh aromatics of lemons, onions and a full head of garlic (cut in half) are stuffed in the cavity while the rest sit in the pan with a good dousing of wine to add moisture to the whole deal.
Perfectly Tender and Juicy Whole Oven Roasted Chicken with Lemon Garlic Rosemary Butter
- 1 4-5 pound chicken (at room temperature giblets and neck removed from cavity)
- 2 onions (quartered)
- 1 head of garlic (cut in half plus 3 garlic cloves minced)
- 3 lemons (2 cut in half and remaining half sliced into thin slices)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 2 fresh rosemary sprigs plus 1 sprig minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- ½ cup white wine
- Preheat the oven to 425° and position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Mix the butter with minced rosemary, 3 cloves of minced garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
- Pat the chicken dry and rub half of the butter, garlic and lemon zest mixture under the skin and the rest over the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Generously season cavity of chicken with salt and pepper and stuff with lemon half, ½ head of garlic, 2-3 quarters of onion and 2 rosemary sprigs. Truss legs with cooking twine and tuck wings under bird.
- Place chicken in a roasting pan breast-side-up with the remaining onion, garlic, lemons and herbs. Add ½ cup of white wine. Roast for 30 minutes or until the breast is firm and just beginning to brown in spots. Using tongs, turn the chicken breast-down, baste with juices and roast for 20 minutes longer, until the skin is lightly browned. Using tongs, turn the chicken breast-side-up and baste again. Add ½ cup of water if wine has evaporated. Roast for about 20 minutes longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the inner thigh registers 155° to 160° and juices are running clear.
- Transfer the bird to a cutting board and tent with foil. Remove aromatics and vegetables from the cavity, carve the chicken and serve.