This Simple Honey-Lemon Roasted Chicken is a great go-to chicken recipe that’s delicious any time of the year. It’s a comfort food that’s full of fresh and rich flavors.
The other day a friend asked if my recipes are “involved.”
“Often,” I said. “I like to make a day of it.”
I know some of you are thinking, “Um . . . a day!?”
Truth be told, like most of us, I don’t always have a lot of time, or I’m not in the mood for complex. As it turns out, I’m also human. 😉
This recipe is somewhere in between.
The recipe itself is quite simple — hence the title — and so is the cooking process. However, you need to stick near the kitchen while you’re cooking.
How is it made?
This chicken cooks for around an hour, but the active work time is only about 30 minutes and anyone who tries it will want the recipe. It’s that good.
Do you see that butter up there? That’s a compound butter made with lemon, thyme, honey and garlic. It takes just a few minutes to whip up and it’s what makes this recipe amazing. The chicken is basted with this — inside and out — before it’s roasted.
Oh, and it makes for a fantastic lemon-garlic bread, too.
The Best Method to Roast a Whole Chicken
This applies to this Simple Honey-Lemon Roasted Chicken recipe, and any time you roast a chicken.
- Once the chicken has been basted (according to whatever recipe you’re using), truss it, place it breast side up in a greased roasting pan with at least a couple inches of space around it.
- Place the pan in a 500°F oven, and roast until the surface of the chicken is golden brown, about 20 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and reduce the heat to 350°F.
- Very carefully, using tongs, placing one part inside the cavity and one gently on the top of the breast side, flip the chicken over so it’s breast side down.
- Now, with the back side up, baste the chicken.
- Continue to roast until internal temperature is 155°F — this should take about 40 minutes for an approximately 4-pound chicken.
- During the roasting process, every 15 minutes or so, baste the chicken.
- Once you remove the chicken from the oven, crumple up a few sheets of foil and place it under the chicken, beneath the legs. This will let all of the juices flow into the breasts while it rests. Let it rest this way for 15 minutes.
- The final internal temperature should be about 165°F, as the chicken will continue to cook for several minutes outside of the oven. It should be nicely browned, the juices should run clear and the legs should move easily when it’s done.
With only 30 minutes of prep time, this roasted chicken is incredibly flavorful and succulent — and it would make a beautiful holiday dish, to boot!
Enjoy every last bite of your Simple Honey-Lemon Roasted Chicken Recipe!
More of my favorite roasted chicken recipes:
Simple Honey-Lemon Roasted Chicken
- Set oven and make butter. Preheat the oven to 500°F.In a small bowl, mix the softened butter with the lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, thyme and garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Prep the chicken and baking dish. Remove the insides of the chicken, and pat dry with paper towels. Spread about 2 tablespoons of the butter mixture on the bottom of a small roasting pan that's at least a couple of inches larger than the chicken, on all sides.
- Baste and truss. Place the chicken in the pan, on top of the butter, breast side up. Rub 2 more tablespoons of the butter mixture under the skin. (This should include the breasts and legs.) Work your way under as much of the skin as possible -- if you're very gentle, it won't tear.Now truss the chicken with butcher's twine. (Here's How to Truss a Chicken.) (It's also okay to just tie the ends of the legs together if trussing it becomes tricky.) Rub the remaining blackberry-thyme butter mixture on top -- all over the skin of the chicken.
- Roast. Place the pan in the preheated 500°F oven and roast until the surface of the chicken is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and reduce the heat to 350 F degrees.
- Flip. Very carefully, using tongs, placing one part inside the cavity and one gently on the top of the breast side, flip the chicken over so it's breast side down. Coat the back of the chicken with the remaining butter mixture and then return the chicken to the oven.
- Continue to roast. Once the oven has cooled to 350°F, continue to roast the chicken until internal temperature is 155°F -- this should take about an hour, but focus only on the temperature and not the time. (For an accurate reading of the temperature, place the thermometer deep into the flesh, away from bones.) During the roasting process, every 15 or so, use a spoon to baste the chicken with the butter and juices from the bottom of the pan.The final internal temperature will be about 165°F, as the chicken will continue to cook for several minutes outside of the oven. It should be nicely browned, the juices should run clear and the legs should move easily when it's done. (If you think it's getting too brown before the chicken is cooked, lightly cover it with foil in the oven.)
- Let the chicken rest. Once you remove the chicken from the oven, crumple up a few sheets of foil and place it under the chicken, beneath the legs. This will let all of the juices flow into the breasts while it rests for about 15 minutes.
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