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A perfect lemon herb-roasted chicken that is a homey, comforting dinner to feed your soul and belly.



This lemon herb-roasted chicken in the comforting, homey meal that nourishes both the body and soul.



For the compound butter:

  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, minced
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 large sprig fresh sage, very finely minced
  • ½ teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon very finely minced fresh lemon zest

For the chicken:

  • 1 (3-4 pound) roasting chicken
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 large lemon, sliced
  • 1 whole head of garlic, cut in half horizontally
  • Fresh poultry seasoning herbs (rosemary, thyme, and sage), divided
  • ½ stick butter, melted
  • 2 sweet onions, sliced
  • ½ cup chardonnay wine
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon flour


Make the compound butter.  In a small bowl, stir together the room temperature butter, minced rosemary, thyme, sage, garlic, and lemon zest.

Lay a piece of plastic wrap on a flat surface.

Spoon the butter and herb mixture onto the plastic wrap and roll it up into a cylinder, pressing and forming to remove any air bubbles.  Twist the ends and refrigerate until very firm – about 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

Use a roasting pan – one that isn’t much larger than your chicken.  I’m using an 11×14-inch pan).

Remove giblets from the inside of the chicken.  Rinse the chicken and use paper towels to pat it dry inside and out.

Generously salt the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper.

Stuff half of the lemon slices, one half of the garlic, and half of each of the herbs into the cavity of the chicken.

Using your fingers, lift the skin up off of the meat of the breast, creating a pocket.

Take the compound butter out of the refrigerator and slice into 6 slices.  Place 3 slices into the pocket between the meat and skin on each side of the chicken breasts.  Pat the skin back down around the butter rounds.

Brush the outside of the chicken liberally with the melted butter and sprinkle with more salt and pepper.

Tie the legs together and tuck the wing tips under the bird.  Place the bird in the roasting pan.

In a medium bowl, add the reserved lemons and the sliced onions.  Toss with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter and place around the chicken in the pan.

Finely mince the remaining herbs and sprinkle them on top of the chicken.

Roast the chicken for approximately 1 hour, 15 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the meatiest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees.

Use tongs to remove the chicken to a serving dish and tent loosely with foil.

To make a pan sauce:  Use a large metal spoon to remove some of the fat from the pan and discard, leaving as much of the meat juices. Place the pan directly over 1 or 2 burners on your stovetop set to medium-high.

If any juices have collected in the serving dish, carefully pour them back into the pan.

Pour in the wine.  Stir, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the roasting pan.

Next, pour in the chicken stock and sprinkle the flour over the pan. 

Whisk vigorously for at least a minute to incorporate the flour into the sauce.  Cook, whisking until the sauce thickens.  Strain into a measuring cup.

Serve the chicken with the warm sauce.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Roast
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: lemon herb-roasted chicken, comfort food, chicken dinner, roasted chicken, Sunday dinner recipes