Simple, Easy, Delicious Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken

Since I've gotten several requests for simple chicken recipes with more basic flavor profiles lately, I thought I'd transfer this recipe over to the new blog today.

Lots of people go to great lengths and expense to learn how to make a perfect whole roast bird. But unless I want to make a presentation of carving, I prefer the result of roasting individual drums, thighs, whole wings and quarter breast pieces - lots of crispy chicken skin, great flavor, uniform cooking, and I get all the carving mess out of the way on the front end.

If you're tempted to ask how to make a boneless, skinless version of this dish, don't. There is no joy in roast chicken without the flavor from the bones and the indulgence of perfectly browned and crispy chicken skin. :)

Simple, Easy, Delicious Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken
Serves 4 to 6
Time: 10 to 15 minutes to season, 1 to 5 hours to marinate, 45 minutes to roast

- 4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces, patted dry
- 2.5 to 3 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, grated or 2 teaspoons garlic powder (not garlic salt)
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice of 1 lemon (about 2 to 2.5 Tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 Tablespoon dried herb of choice (I like any combo of parsley, thyme and rosemary or Herbes de Provence) or 3 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil

1) Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly in a large mixing bowl with your hands (it's difficult to ensure that each piece is thoroughly and evenly seasoned if you don't get in there and do it by feel), and make sure each individual piece of chicken is coated in the seasoning. Marinate for at least an hour and up to 4 or 5 hours in the refrigerator before roasting.

2) 45 minutes before roasting, take the chicken out of the refrigerator and place in a single layer, skin side up, on a broiler pan or other large high oven temp safe vessel, giving each piece of chicken at least a 1/2-inch clearance on each side, and let it come up in temperature before cooking.

For the best result, place your chicken on a rack that allows for drainage. The more dry heat that reaches the surface of each piece of chicken, the better the sear, the crispier the skin, and the juicier the meat inside.

This can be achieved by placing the chicken on the top slotted sheet of a broiler pan, on the rack that came with your turkey roasting pan, or by placing some other kind of small grilling rack over a sheet pan (not a cookie sheet). Just make sure there's something to catch the drippings underneath. ;)

These pics are from different recipes, but they illustrate the MacGyvering of the rack. :P

Making Tong Dak (Korean Style Roast Chicken)

Spicy Hoisin Apricot Chicken

If you have none of the above gadgets, another trick is to preheat your heavy pan or cast iron skillet in the oven as you're preheating the oven and carefully place the chicken in the pan, in a single layer, with some long tongs. This will help to sear the bottom of the chicken and also get the pan to absorb heat before the roasting process so the room temp chicken doesn't dilute too much of the dry heat.

3) Preheat the oven to 425F.

4) Roast the chicken for 45 minutes.

That's it!

Enjoy. :)


Goes Great With: A Better Pickled JalapeñoSimple Tomato Cucumber Salad with Lemon DressingStrawberry Spinach Salad with Soy Worcestershire Dressing, a garden salad with your favorite dressing, a loaf of crusty bread warmed up in the oven (save yourself some work!)

Repurposing Leftovers: Shred the meat and make a chicken salad with some diced onions, celery, mayo, black pepper, and a squeeze of lemon. Make lettuce wraps. Put it in a quesadilla.

Related Links:

How To Dissect A Whole Chicken Video



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