Easy Roasted Chicken with Lemon Pan Sauce

Roasted Chicken with Lemon-7If you read my Roasted Chicken with Cider Glaze post, you know that I used to be intimidated by roasting a chicken. Not any more – it is a great option for dinner that requires almost no hands-on time. In the 90 minutes (give or take) that the chicken is in the oven, I can make a great side, put together a salad, set the table, and straighten up the kitchen. I sometimes roast one to have chicken for the week to top a kale and spinach salad, or chop into a creamy (but healthy!) chicken salad.

If you have never roasted a chicken before, try this recipe. It is one of the easiest you will find!


– 1 small onion, quartered
– 1 whole chicken (4-6 lbs)
– 1 lemon, halved


How do I make it?

  • Place a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat oven to 425.
  • Prepare a roasting pan with a rack in the middle, empty your sink, and lay some paper towels on the counter.
  • Place the onions in the middle of the roasting pan.
  • Open the wrapper in which you purchased the chicken, and remove and discard the giblets if they are inside the chicken (they will be in a bag, I promise). They may not be included with the chicken – but you need to check.
  • Rinse off the chicken in the sink and pat it dry with the paper towels. {Be sure to sanitize your sink after rinsing the chicken!}
  • Place the two lemon halves inside the chicken, and tie the legs together. You can do this by wrapping them with twine, or using one of these awesome silicone bands, like I did here (see photo above). Just wrap it like a pony tail holder around what I would call the chicken’s ankles. {After roasting, just place the band in a silverware compartment in the dishwasher and reuse over and over.}
  • Lift the wing tips up and over the back of the chicken and tuck them under. The best way to describe this is to make it look like the chicken is putting its hands behind its head.
  • Sprinkle the chicken with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper if you would like, or skip this step.
  • Either way, place the chicken in the oven and roast about 75 minutes. If it looks like it is browning too much on one side, rotate the pan while cooking.
  • Raise the temperature to 450 and roast until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reads 165. This will take 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken and heat of your oven. That’s it – you made a chicken!
  • When the chicken is done roasting, if you want to make pan sauce, pour the drippings into a small pan and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 c to 3/4 c water, and cook until the liquid reduces down to be thicker (about 5-8 min). Serve the sauce with the chicken.


Adapted from:  http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/roast-chicken-with-pan-sauce-50400000126001/


Roasted Chicken with Lemon-3

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Serve with:

Warm Kale, Sweet Potato, & Quinoa Salad


  1. says

    This looks gloriously moist. Well done!

    I haven’t seen giblets with chicken in a long time. I wonder where they went and what people were supposed to do with them?

    I live for chicken gravy, though I whisk the drippings with a little flour to thicken it. If it was socially acceptable to drink gravy like soup, I would do it.

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