Failsafe Garlic and Lemon Roasted Chicken

Chicken is possibly one of the most diverse ingredients in the culinary world. Southern fried, baked, shredded, marinated, or grilled, chicken was once considered a luxury ingredient reserved for special occasions. Now, around 21 million chickens are consumed each day. That’s a lot of cluck for your buck! 

With all this versatility, you might want to know where to start when it comes to cooking chicken. 

No chicken dish is as iconic and delicious as a perfectly moist fleshed roasted chicken with crispy skin which makes its own beautiful pool of garlic butter juices that can be made into a flavorsome stock or gravy. 

This gorgeous recipe is designed for even the most nervous home cook. This dish will be the go-to recipe that you can serve with roasted potatoes and seasonal vegetables, risottos, fresh green salad wraps, or even torn into chunks and served inside warm, buttered crusty bread rolls.

To create this staple at home, you will need: 

  • 1 fresh lemon 
  • 1 head of garlic 
  • ½ stick of butter 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4lb whole chicken (giblets removed) 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Kitchen Equipment

  • Baking tray or cast iron skillet 
  • Paper towels 
  • Knife 
  • Cutting board 
  • Microwavable bowl
  • Oven 

To prepare your chicken 

  1. Remove the chicken from its packaging and allow it to sit on the baking tray or skillet at room temperature for around 30 minutes (chicken which is cooked straight from the refrigerator is more likely to become tough when placed in a hot oven!) Do the same with your butter, so it is easier to work with. 
  2. Preheat your oven to bake at 450 F 
  3. Cut the lemon in half, removing all visible seeds. 
  4. Cut across the head of garlic. 
  5. Unwrap your butter and place in microwavable bowl and microwave until melted (check every 10-15 seconds)
  6. Transfer your chicken to a cutting board, and pat dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture (skin moisture means you won’t get that crispy skin you’re wanting!) 
  7. Season your chicken generously, making sure to cover every surface. Salt will help to dry out the skin to aid crispness, as well as enhancing the flavor of the chicken. Cover the crown (breast), wings, legs, inside the cavity and underneath the bird, too.  
  8. Place half a lemon and half of the head of garlic inside of the chicken cavity. 
  9. Take your baking tray or skillet. The chicken can now go here to rest before baking. Place the other half of the lemon and head of garlic and tuck them in beside the chicken. 
  10. Brush or pour over melted butter, coating the chicken entirely
  11. Place in the oven and bake for approximately 45 minutes uncovered. To test if the chicken is cooked, use a sharp knife to pierce the skin. If juices run clear, it is cooked. If they are slightly pink, cover chicken in aluminium foil and bake, checking for juices every 5 minutes. 
  12. Allow the chicken to rest for at least 15 minutes before transferring to a cutting board and carving. 

What you serve with this delicious lemon and buttery garlic chicken is up to you, but it is a definite crowd-pleaser, and is always sensational to eat!

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