Roasting the perfect whole chicken is all about flavor and juiciness! This Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken is delicious, juicy, and crispy on the outside. The rosemary and lemon really take this roasted chicken to the next level!
I don’t roast whole chickens often, but when I do, I go all in! I love using butter, herbs, and other things like lemons or bold spices. This lemon rosemary roasted chicken is packed with flavor and it comes out so juicy and crispy. It’s so good!
The secret here is using a smaller chicken, about 4 pounds, to minimize the roasting time, and roasting it at 425 degrees F to get that golden brown crispy skin. I served this lemon rosemary roasted chicken with my butternut squash and brussels sprouts salad and it was amazing!
Roasting a Whole Chicken 101
Roasting a whole chicken can seem intimidating, but it’s actually very easy! All you have to do is season the chicken and roast it in the oven.
Here are a few tips to help you make the best roasted chicken ever:
- Season generously with salt, pepper, and your favorite spices. Also, rub the chicken with flavored butter, making sure to get it under the skin too.
- Roast at 425 degrees F: In my opinion, 425 degrees F is the best temperature to get that crispy and golden brown skin along with juicy meat. Roast uncovered, and tent with foil if it’s browning too much.
- Let the chicken rest for 15-20 minutes before for carving to allow the juices to redistribute.
- Use a regular baking pan or a roasting pan with a rack. It doesn’t really make a huge difference.
- Should I brine the chicken? Since we are roasting this 4 lb chicken for 1 hour and 20 minutes, brining is not necessary. The chicken will come out juicy and tender, but feel free to brine it if you want. You can try the same citrus brine I used in my turkey breast recipe.
- Should I truss the chicken? You can tie the legs with kitchen twine if you prefer. Trussing the entire chicken is not necessary.
If you have any questions or more tips to share, please comment below!
How Long Does it Take to Roast a Whole Chicken?
At 425 degrees F, it will take 20 minutes per pound in the oven. However, to be sure, always check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer. It should register 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the thickest part of the thigh and in the thickest part of the breast. Make sure the thermometer is not touching the bone.
Chicken thighs and drumsticks take longer than chicken breast to cook since they contain higher fat content. So aside from checking the temperature of the breast, also check the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh.
Lemon Rosemary Chicken Ingredients
You only a few ingredients needed for this lemon rosemary roast chicken:
- A 4 lb whole chicken: I used a 4.05 lb whole chicken.
- Yellow onions, lemon, and fresh rosemary: These are used to stuff the cavity of the chicken and spread over the pan. This will keep the chicken moist and give it extra flavor.
- Salt and pepper: You’ll need about 2 teaspoons of salt for a 4 lb chicken, and about 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
- Herbed butter to rub all over the chicken: softened unsalted butter, fresh minced rosemary, lemon zest, herbs de provence, and minced garlic.
- Chicken broth: Only if using a roasting pan with a rack. The chicken broth will prevent the drippings from burning.
Per usual, you can find the specific ingredient quantities in the recipe card below.
I’d recommend using fresh rosemary for best results, but you can use dried rosemary too if you can’t find fresh rosemary. For every 3 teaspoons (or 1 tablespoon) of fresh minced rosemary, use 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary. So it’s a 3:1 ratio of fresh vs. dried rosemary.
How to Roast the Chicken
Roasting a whole 4 lb chicken will take about 2 hours from start to finish: about 20 minutes of prep time, 1 hour and 20 minutes of cook time, and 20 minutes of resting time.
Making this lemon rosemary roasted chicken is very simple and straightforward. Plus, it will make your house smell amazing!
- Make the herbed butter: Combine softened butter, rosemary, lemon zest, minced garlic, and herbs de provence.
- Get the chicken ready: Rub the herbed butter under the skin and all over the chicken, especially over the breast and thighs. Then season generously with Kosher salt and ground black pepper, and stuff the cavity with onions, lemon, and the rosemary sprigs. For best results, tie the leg with kitchen twine. Place chicken in a large baking pan, along with the vegetables. If using a pan with a roasting rack, add chicken broth to cover about 1/4 inch of the pan in order to prevent the drippings from burning.
- Roast at 425 degrees F: Roast uncovered for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or 20 minutes per pound. After 1 hour, baste the chicken with the drippings. Also, if necessary, rotate the pan occasionally – this is helpful especially if your oven has hot spots. If browning too quickly, tent with aluminum foil.
- Let it rest and carve: Loosely cover with aluminum foil and let it rest for about 15-20 minutes before carving.
I served my lemon rosemary roasted chicken with this amazing roasted butternut squash and brussels sprouts salad, but you can serve with anything you’d like! Here are some other ideas:
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries
- Maple Glazed Rainbow Carrots
- Crispy Herb Roasted Potatoes
- Fluffy Mashed Potatoes
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes
- Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan and Lemon
- Spicy Roasted Sweet Potatoes by Joyous Apron
I love this easy roasted chicken so much! It’s juicy, tender, and packed with tons of flavor. This roasted lemon rosemary chicken is definitely a winner. I love to make it for a comforting weekend dinner, and it’s always a hit. You’ll love it!
Thank you for stopping by and please don’t forget to pin this recipe!
Tips for Success
- Season generously and rub the herb butter all over the chicken, including under the skin.
- Roast at 425 degrees F, uncovered, to get that crispy skin.
- Rotate the pan if necessary: Some ovens have hot spots, so if you notice that some parts of the chicken are browning much faster than others, rotate the pan.
- How long should I roast the chicken? At 425 degrees F, roast for 20 minutes per pound.
- Let it rest! This will allow the juices to redistribute, resulting in a juicy and tender chicken.
Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken
- 1 4-pound whole chicken - (giblets removed)
- 2 yellow onions, peeled and quartered - (as many as will fit inside the cavity)
- 1 to 2 large lemons, quartered - (as many as will fit inside the cavity)
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1-2 cans chicken broth - (only if using a pan with a roasting rack)
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, minced - (See note below)
- 2 teaspoons herbs de provence
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Position rack in lower third of the oven.
- Make the herbed butter: in a bowl, combine the softened unsalted butter, minced garlic, minced rosemary, herbs de provence, and lemon zest. Set aside.
- Pat the chicken dry. Rub the chicken all over with the herbed butter, including under the skin (carefully separate the skin from the flesh to create "pockets" for the butter). Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper, including the insides of the cavity.
- Stuff the cavity with the lemon, onion, and the rosemary sprigs...as many as you can fit inside. Tie chicken legs using kitchen twine. Tuck in wings under the chicken's back, or clip the wing tips to prevent them from burning.
- Place the prepared chicken in a roasting pan, breast side up. Place the remaining lemons and onions on the pan. If using a pan with a roasting rack, add about 1-2 cups of chicken broth over the pan, about 1/4 inch deep. This will prevent the drippings from burning.
- Roast the chicken for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, basting with the drippings halfway through. If needed, rotate the pan if you notice certain spots browning more than others - some ovens have hot spots. The chicken is ready when the a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F. Note: roast for 20 minutes per pound.
- Remove from oven. Tent with foil, and let rest for 15-20 minutes. Carve the chicken and serve. Enjoy!
- Special equipment: baking pan or roasting pan, zester, meat thermometer, kitchen twine (optional).
- Fresh rosemary vs. dried rosemary: For every 3 teaspoons (or 1 tablespoon) of fresh minced rosemary, use 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary. So it's a 3:1 ratio of fresh vs. dried rosemary.
- Roasting time: at 425 degrees F, you'll need to cook the chicken for 20 minutes per pound.
- If the chicken is browning too quickly, tent with foil. I had to tent the breast with foil after about 1 hour and 5 minutes.