The Best Roasted Lemon Chicken

Total Time
2hrs 15mins
Prep 1 hr
Cook 1 hr 15 mins

This easy to prepare recipe was found in a Cook's Illustrated Magazine. It takes alittle time, but well worth it. I left out the final steps because it wasn't needed for this juicy & best tasting roasted chicken that I have ever come across. I think the secret of the juicyness is that you brine the chicken first. So this is a must for this recipe.

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. In a large bowl (enough to hold chicken plus two quarts water) disolve salt in water. Add chicken and submerge, covering with lid. I put a small domed lid over chicken before covering so that the whole chicken is under water. Refrigerate for 1 hour. After one hour remove chicken and pat dry with paper towel. Set aside and prepare rack.
  2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray V-rack (can use another rack, but chicken must be above liquid, at least 2") with cooking spray and set in flameproof roasting pan or lasagna pan.
  3. Cut lemons lengthwise into quarters. Rub garlic in the cavity of the chicken. Add lemons, fit as many as you can without over stuffing. Thread long wooden or metal skewers through flaps to close cavity. Brush breast side up with butter and season GENEROUSLY with pepper. Then do other side. Place chicken breast side down in V-rack and roast chicken for another 40 minutes.
  4. Remove roasting pan & chicken from oven and increase temperature to 450 degrees. Using 2 large wads of paper towels turn chicken over to breast side up. Add chicken broth to pan, place chicken back in oven and roast for another 35-40 minutes or until thermometer registers 165 to 170 degrees.
  5. Once chicken has finished, "remove lemons", and let sit for at least 10 minutes before carving. Then carve and enjoy.
Most Helpful

This was a wonderful roasted chicken and cooked beautifully. The brining isn't hard and does add moisture to the finished product. I loved the simplicity of the seasonings and they really sparkled without being overpowering. Made for Pick A Chef~spring 2007.

Susie D May 05, 2007

You can always count on Cook's Illustrated! Without a doubt, this is the best roasted chicken. Brining takes a little time, but the result is a very moist bird with crispy browned skin. Looks gorgeous on the table and tastes great. As always, I made and froze stock from the chicken carcass, a great bonus for another day. Thanks so much for posting this wonderful recipe!

LonghornMama October 10, 2005