Slow Roasted Lemon Chicken

By • March 22, 2011 • 32 Comments

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Author Notes: This recipe is based on "sticky chicken" recipes you see on the internet, but I season the chicken differently and make a lemon pan sauce while the chicken is resting. This fall-off-the-bone roast chicken stays amazingly moist. It's remarkably good at room temperature and makes for great sandwiches!

Tip: Feel free to substitute the rub mixture for 3 tablespoons Cavender's Greek Seasoning.
inpatskitchen

Food52 Review: This chicken is seriously slow roasted. It takes about 8 hours from start to finish, but requires very little active time and no part is particularly difficult. The spice rub is fabulous, though I did find that I didn't need the full 3 tablespoons on a 4-pound chicken. The chicken is tender and surprisingly moist, and makes for wonderful picking at a picnic. It had all vanished before I got the chance to try making it into sandwiches. Stephanie Bourgeois

Serves 4 to 6

For the rub mixture:

  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

For the chicken:

  • One 4- to 5-pound whole chicken
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons rub mixture (see above)
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 8 to 10 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons flour (optional)
  • 2 cups chicken broth (optional)
  1. In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the rub mixture until mixed well. Set aside.
  2. Wash and dry the chicken and rub all over with the juice of both lemon halves, reserving one used half.
  3. Rub the chicken with the olive oil.
  4. Sprinkle the rub mixture and the paprika all over the chicken and pat in a bit.
  5. Place the garlic cloves and reserved half lemon inside the chicken cavity. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours.
  6. Roast the chicken for 5 hours (yep, that's right) at 250º F (that's right, too). After 1 hour, the chicken will start exuding some juice. Tip the chicken to drain juices from the cavity and baste with a brush. Do this every 45 minutes while the chicken is roasting.
  7. After 5 hours, remove the chicken and serve. Optional: Make a pan sauce in the roasting pan by adding the chicken broth and flour until thickened. Scrape up the fond in the bottom of the pan into the sauce. Sometimes I remove the garlic cloves and mash them into the sauce. Pour the sauce over the chicken to serve. This sauce is purely optional, but is wonderful on the chicken.

Tags: Slow Cooking, travels well

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Comments (32) Questions (0)

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about 1 month ago Andee Cohen Kochavi

Hi! I'm excited to make this tomorrow. My oven is a convection oven and I will use the convection roast option, any suggestion on how I might need to adjust the temperature or time??? I have a 4lb chicken.

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about 1 month ago inpatskitchen

I don't normally use my convection option on my oven, but I have read that you lower the temp by 25 degrees. Check the internal temp of the chicken at around the 4 hour mark just to make sure you're getting 165F internally.

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about 1 month ago Andee Cohen Kochavi

I am not a huge fan of the convection option either. I've done the research as well and it either lower the temp by 25 degrees or shorten the cooking time by 15 minutes.....honestly I've done both and I don't think either one is accurate!!! I will just use the good old fashion "bake" mode. Thanks for the quick response!

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about 1 month ago chef lew

I've cooked this, and variants with different seasonings using this method half a dozen times, and have never had a problem.

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about 1 month ago Georgina Borke

Does the chicken stay at a safe temperature at such low heat for so long?

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about 1 month ago inpatskitchen

I've never had problems..I think of this like cooking in a giant crockpot. I know the internal temp goes well above 165F when done. Maybe someone with greater knowledge will chime in...

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2 months ago JanetFL

This chicken plus Merrill's creamy goat cheese grits equals one delicious dinner. Thank you!

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2 months ago inpatskitchen

Oh yes!! Thanks Janet!

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2 months ago Agata Grau

Do you cover the chiken while roasting or not?

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2 months ago inpatskitchen

Roast it uncovered..

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2 months ago Anthony Back

For me a 4 lb chicken was done in 3.5 hrs (temp 180-190!) but my chicken was closer room temp than fridge temp when i started. Juices a little salty for my taste, so should have added the extra stock to make the pan sauce as directed. But the chicken itself had a lovely taste and texture.

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2 months ago inpatskitchen

Thanks! Glad you liked it!

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2 months ago Sarah CH

Could you cook this in a slow cooker?

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2 months ago inpatskitchen

I suppose you can Sarah, but you won't get the crispy skin that comes with the basting and the drier heat from the oven.

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over 2 years ago chef lew

As good as roast chicken gets. The seasonings, occasional basting and especially the low and slow roasting combine to make a perfect dish. Served with creamy goat cheese grits and a kale salad.

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over 2 years ago inpatskitchen

Thanks so much chef lew! It's my favorite roast chicken. Sure hope you post the creamy goat cheese grits recipe....and Welcome to Food52!

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over 2 years ago chef lew

Should have mentioned: the Grits recipe is from this site. And it's 'almost' as good as the chicken.

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over 2 years ago inpatskitchen

Found it...thanks!

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over 3 years ago lovinangels

I'm wondering how much longer you would recommend doing this for a larger chicken, and if the leftovers work- I kind of want to roast two chickens at once on Wednesday so that I can have leftovers for two days for my family while I work. I know sometimes with slow roasting the meat has a fabulous texture, but is a bit dry the next day.

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over 3 years ago inpatskitchen

I've done 2 five pounders at once with the same cooking time and it works just fine. As for a bigger chicken, I'm not sure (most that are over 5 or 6 pounds are capons and I've never tried them) I don't find the meat dry the next day but then I use it for sandwiches, soup or with the leftover gray. Hope this helps a little...please let me know what you think if you try this.

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2 months ago lovinangels

Yes! It's wonderful. I make this all the time now.

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2 months ago inpatskitchen

So happy it's working for you!!

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over 3 years ago iowabaker

I agree! Aroma is fabulous and the meat super tender and moist!

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over 3 years ago inpatskitchen

Did you try it? I'm so glad...the aroma certainly does fill up the house doesn't it? Thanks!!

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over 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Love slow roasting this sounds perfect. I can just see that tasty goodness falling off the bone.

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over 3 years ago inpatskitchen

Oh and it does...fall of the bone.... Thanks sdebrango. This is now our favorite roast chicken!

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almost 4 years ago GreenChef

This sounds absolutely wonderful. The weather is too hot for an oven to be on the 5 hours at this time of year. Perhaps in the fall or winter in at convection oven...

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almost 4 years ago inpatskitchen

Thank you GreenChef! I know the weather is warm...what I do sometimes is prep the chicken the night before and bake in the morning...

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about 4 years ago ellenl

I love roast chicken so many ways. I can't wait to try this on a weekend so that I can tend to it.

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about 4 years ago inpatskitchen

You do need all day..but the aroma after about 2 hours is fabulous!!

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about 4 years ago healthierkitchen

Yum! Saving this with the potato recipe for the right dinner!

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about 4 years ago inpatskitchen

Thanks healthierkitchen...this is the only way I do roast chicken anymore..