Hi there! In my effort to gain optimal health through my food, I’ve been trying to eat more whole meats which intimidated me, not gonna lie. Usually, I leave the whole meat cooking to Dan, but lately, I’ve been putting on my big girl pants and learning how to roast a whole chicken myself. Today I’d like to share a delicious whole chicken recipe with you: Lemon Garlic Herb Roasted Chicken.
Cooking any meat, especially something whole like a chicken, turkey, or pig, used to scare the liver out of me. What if I messed it up? That’s a whole lot of meat down the drain! Since I put my big girl pants on, I’ve learned that cooking a whole chicken does not have to be scary. Actually, it can be as simple as putting it in a pan and tossing it into the oven.
Now, I recommend a little more effort to please your taste buds, but cooking a whole chicken still isn’t difficult. No bags needed, no pre-inserted thermometer, just a bird, herbs, fat, and a pan!
Preping the Chicken
First, get the chicken ready for seasoning. Remove all packaging and any internal organs the processor put in the cavity of the chicken (which is usually none).
Second, give the chicken a good rinse under cold water, rubbing away any feathers or residual fluids.
Third, place in a 9×13 baking pan or on a rimmed baking sheet and pat dry with a paper towel. Now you’re ready to season that bird!
Season the Chicken
Truly there are so many great flavor combinations of herbs and fats out there. Don’t feel limited to the spices I listed in the recipe. If you are missing one or two, substitute with something you have! Don’t have rosemary? Try sage! Don’t have thyme? Omit completely! Mix, match, swap, and omit to your pantry’s contents. The chicken will turn out great.
The secret to brown, crispy, delicious skin is to mix your herbs and spices into the fat then spread over the entire chicken.
For this recipe, I chose to use lard because I have a whole bunch leftover from turkey and gravy at Thanksgiving! Feel free to swap for any fat/oil you have on hand: olive oil, bacon fat, coconut oil (melt first), etc.
Bake the Chicken
To get crispy skin and tender meat, use a high oven temperature of 450° to begin the cook then reduce the temperature to 375°. High heat is necessary for good chicken skin! Don’t be afraid to turn the heat up!
Roast the chicken at 450° for 20 minutes then reduce the oven to 375° and roast for about 10-15 minutes more per pound (total cook time, not additional) or until the internal temperature reaches 165° with an instant-read thermometer.
For example, the chicken I used was 10 pounds, so I roasted for 20 minutes then an additional 110 minutes (1 hour, 50 minutes). Check the internal temperature beginning at 1 hour of cooking then adjust cook time as needed.
Enjoy the Chicken More Than Once!
The beauty of cooking whole poultry is there are many uses for the meat. Each time you cook a chicken, you can get 2 full meals (at least!) plus several quarts of bone broth. Let me show you how!
Enjoy the Lemon Garlic Herb Roasted Chicken carved and served with a couple of vegetable sides:
- Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts or
- Wilted Bacon Salad or
- Garlic & Onion Sweet Potato Fries
Next, pick all the meat off the carcass of the chicken and use it another meal:
Well, this isn’t technically a third meal all of its own, rather part of or prep for another meal. Stick the carcass in a slow cooker, cover in 8-12 cups of water, add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and cook on low for 24 hours to make bone broth. Use this nutrient-dense broth in any other recipe calling for chicken broth, stock, or bone broth!
Roasting whole meat, or any meat at all, doesn’t have to be intimidating. Try this easy recipe once and your confidence will be bolstered. Lemon Garlic Herb Roasted Chicken is soon to be a favorite in your home!
Lemon Garlic Herb Roasted Chicken
Try this whole roasted chicken that is tender and flavorful. Made with basic spices (feel free to use dried instead of fresh!) this whole foods dinner is easy to whip up. It is AIP and Paleo compliant!
- 1 whole chicken ~10 lbs.
- 1 lemon sliced
- 6 cloves garlic whole
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary (1 tsp dried) leaves off stem and chopped
- 3 sprigs thyme (1/2-3/4 tsp. dried) leaves off stem
- 3/4 tsp. sea salt
- 20 grinds fresh black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. lard or olive oil
Preheat oven to 450°.
Rinse chicken under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Place in roasting pan lined with parchment paper or foil.
Insert sliced lemons into the cavity of the chicken, only 2-3 slices. Do not over-stuff cavity, allow for air flow to ensure even cooking.
Make 6 small slits in the skin and flesh of chicken (two in breast, one in thigh on both sides) and insert whole garlic cloves.
In a small bowl, mix minced garlic, chopped rosemary, thyme leaves, salt, pepper, and melted lard. Rub into chicken skin on all sides except the bottom.
Place chicken in the middle of the oven and roast at 450° for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375° and continue to bake until internal temperature reaches 165°, approximately 10-15 minutes of total roasting time per pound of chicken.
Allow to rest for 10 minutes so juices redistribute through the meat before carving and serving. Enjoy!