Herb & Lemon Roast Chicken

  • Active Time 30m
  • Total Time 2h

8 servings

Even if you're only feeding four, it is a good idea to roast two chickens at once. It takes the same amount of time and then you have leftovers to use for sandwiches, soup or salad.


  • 2 lemons
  • 2 cups packed parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 whole chickens (3 1/2 - 4 pounds each)
  • One 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons water mixed with 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Tip:
  • Temperature Check:
    The best way to determine if poultry is fully cooked is to use an instant-read thermometer. The internal temperature should register 165 degrees F for a whole chicken. (To check, insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh).


Position the oven rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Coat a large roasting pan with cooking spray.


Zest the lemons, then cut in half. Combine the lemon zest, parsley, thyme, rosemary, garlic, oil, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender; process until finely chopped. Reserve 1/4 cup of the mixture, covered, in the refrigerator for the gravy.

Place the chicken hearts, necks and gizzards in the prepared pan (reserve the livers for another use). Remove the excess fat from the chickens. Dry the insides with a paper towel. With your fingers, loosen the skin over the breasts and thighs to make pockets, being careful not to tear the skin.

Spread 1/4 cup of the herb mixture in the pan; place the chickens on top, at least 1 inch apart. Rub 1 tablespoon herb mixture into each cavity; spread the remaining mixture under the skin. Place 2 lemon halves in each cavity. Tuck the wings behind the back and tie the legs together.

Roast the chickens for 20 minutes. Drizzle with 1/4 cup broth and roast for 40 minutes more, basting with pan drippings every 20 minutes. Tent the chickens with aluminum foil and continue roasting for 30 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone, registers 180 degrees F and the cavity juices run clear.


Transfer the chickens to a platter; tent with foil. Pour the pan juices into a bowl, leaving giblets in the pan. Chill the juices in the freezer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, add the wine and remaining broth to the pan; bring to a boil over medium heat, scraping up any browned bits. Add any juices accumulated on the platter.

Skim the fat from the chilled juices. Add juices to the pan; return to a boil, then strain into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in the reserved herb mixture. Season with pepper.

Carve the chickens, discarding skin. Serve with the gravy.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Publisher. All rights reserved.

RecID 8920

nutrition information per serving

165 calories; 6g total fat; 2g total saturated fat; 65mg cholesterol; 208mg sodium; 1g carbohydrates; 0g fiber; 22g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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