Herb-Roasted Lemon Chicken

by Emily Kemme

This roast chicken is one of those dishes that can be served year-round.  In summertime, it makes the perfect main course for a savory French-themed picnic; in winter, dish it up with roasted potatoes to chase off chills.  Either way, it’s incredibly easy.

3 1/2 lbs bone-in chicken, mixed breasts and thighs

Grab a handful of fresh herbs, sprinkle on a chicken, add lemon, and dinner is ready. And very portable, too!

salt and pepper

12 sprigs fresh thyme

12 sprigs fresh tarragon

2 lemons, thinly sliced

3 T. extra-virgin olive oil

8 cloves garlic, pressed, skins discarded

Heat oven to 400°.  Place chicken in large baking dish, fitting them together snugly.  Season with salt and pepper.  Drizzle with oil, using pastry brush to coat all the nooks and crannies.  Spread thyme sprigs on chicken.  Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove foil.  Sprinkle garlic around chicken and place lemon slices on top of each piece, overlapping to use all.  Lay tarragon on top.  Roast until juices are clear and meat is crispy and browned, about 50 minutes, basting once halfway through cooking time.

If taking to a picnic, let cool before removing to a portable dish.  Spoon any collected drippings over chicken before serving.  Make sure you serve the roasted herbs and lemon along with the meat.  Roasting intensifies the flavors and makes great nibbling.  I call it lemon candy.

Serve with Pesto Potato Salad, Insalata Caprese, and cornichons (pickled gherkin cucumbers), which you can find in the gourmet section of your grocery store.

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Barb Hagan July 12, 2011 - 12:13 pm

It's dinnertime and your chicken looks sooooo yummy. Can't wait to try it!

sooz todd July 11, 2011 - 10:13 am

sounds yummy. will copy it!!!!

how do you keep your baked chicken breasts moist? a whole one works so much better in that area.

Emily Kemme July 11, 2011 - 12:05 pm

I cover the entire pan for the first 20 minutes of cooking, which helps keep the breasts moist. The additional basting later also adds to that result.


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