Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken

Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken

I am not much of a baker. Baking usually requires very specific ingredients and extreme care with respect to ratios, proportions, and other complex statistical matters. I like recipes I can play with: throw in a bit of this, a dash of that, and generally make it my own without worrying that I’ve ruined it. This – my go-to roasted chicken recipe – not only fits the bill perfectly, but it’s easy to make extra and freeze for later.

Ingredients: Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken


  • 3 bone-in, skin-on split chicken breasts
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced and seeds removed
  • 2 medium shallots*, sliced (or 1 large yellow or Vidalia onion, sliced)
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary**
  • 1 small handful fresh thyme**
  • 1/2 tablespoon coarse salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
*   Shallots are a bit sweeter and milder than onion.
** Fresh herbs make all the difference in this dish. Herbs with woody stems, like the rosemary and thyme used here, last a loooong time in the refrigerator.

  • Arrange oven racks to accomodate roasting pan, and preheat oven to 375.
  • Rinse chicken breasts***, and dry on a plate lined with paper towels. Dry tops of chicken breasts both over and under skin.
  • Pull back skin, and season chicken with coarse salt, pepper, rosemary (go easy on the rosemary…trust me), and thyme. Place lemon slices on top.
*** Some chefs say that rinsing is unnecessary if the chicken is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill the bad stuff. I rinse…but to put that in context, I also rinse “pre-washed” salad greens.
  • Pull skin over seasoned chicken breasts, and sprinkle the tops with salt, pepper, and herbs.
  • Put sliced shallots and remaining lemon slices in roasting pan, place chicken on top, and add water (less is smaller pan, more if larger) to the bottom of the roaster. Dot tops of chicken breasts with butter.
  • For an easy, flavorful side dish, toss some chopped potatoes (skin-on) into the pan, and bake along with the chicken breasts.
  • Bake for about 2 1/2 hours, basting with pan drippings a few times throughout. Remove from oven, and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken 5

  • If desired, shred leftovers, and wrap individual servings in plastic wrap.
  • Freeze individually-wrapped servings in a freezer bag.
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