Salt-Rubbed Roast Chicken with Lemon & Thyme

Total Time
Prep 8 hrs
Cook 1 hr

From Tom Douglas of the Dahlia Lounge in Seattle. I admit it - when I first saw the amount of salt in this recipes I thought, "WHAT?" but Chef Douglas is incredible so I decided to trust him and try this recipe just like he said to. What can I say - it's just delicious. My favorite way to roast a chicken now. You will be converted, too, once you try it. Great with mashed potatoes.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Mix the salt, pepper and thyme.
  2. Lay the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan and rub the mixture all over the skin on both sides.
  3. Refrigerate uncovered overnight or for at least 8 hours.
  4. Oven to 400 degrees F.
  5. Put the lemon quarters, garlic and thyme stems inside the cavity of the chicken.
  6. Brush the chicken with some of the melted butter.
  7. Roast, basting every 20 minutes or so (first with melted butter, then with any fat and juices accumulating in the pan).
  8. The chicken should be done in about an hour, but make sure by testing the thigh for a temperature of 170 degrees F.
  9. Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.


Most Helpful

Just as good (if not better) cold! This chicken recipe is really scrumptious, AND I ran into problems, as I had a very lean chicken, so not much basting juice. It was still incredibly succulent, moist, flavorful, and excellent to snack on! PetitFour, fabulous recipe - thanks!

Lizzie-Babette April 09, 2003

Incredibly juicy chicken! And beautifully browned as Mean Chef noted. I too, ran out of basting liquid as Lizzie-Babette did, so I just add a bit of water and the dried juices on the pan bottom dissolved into more basting liquid. I also agree with her that it's even better the second day. Makes terrific sandwiches. I plan to use the carcass to make a version of MissPenny's Turkey Gumbo. Terrific recipe!!

sugarpea November 01, 2003

Made this the other day for the first time. It was fantastic. Chicken was juicy and the skin was perfectly browned. Had no trouble with enough juices for basting after using up the melted butter.

MEAN CHEF September 18, 2003

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