Roasted Chicken with Honey, Lemon and Rosemary

By • February 22, 2010 27 Comments

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Author Notes: This is the way I roast chicken most often ... especially when meyer lemons are available. They roast into a sweet/sour combo up under the chicken skin and can be eaten peel and all, and are wonderful. For the chicken it is worth the extra cost to get a really good never frozen veg fed etc etc you know which one I am talking about - they are plumper and juicer and have a better all around flavor.aargersi

Food52 Review: You really got it right with this one, aargersi. This is the ultimate sweet and sour combination. The lemon and honey turn into this tart but sweet combination that creates a brilliant crust around the bird. I made my chicken in a big dutch oven, which ended up caramelizing the garlic on the bottom of that pan with the honey and juices from the chicken. I can't tell you how divine it was. I also tested out the recipe on a smaller scale, by roasting bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. I just scaled back the ingredients, and put the rosemary around the chicken. It was equally fantastic if you're not in the mood to cook for a big group. - Brussels Sprouts for BreakfastBrussels Sprouts for Breakfast

Serves 4

  • 1 4-5 lb whole chicken
  • a handful of rosemary sprigs (I picked 15, they were about 4-5 inches long each)
  • 1 lemon (meyer is best)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • olive oil
  • 4-5 whole garlic cloves, peeled and slightly crushed
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup low salt chicken broth
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Cover the bottom of the pan with some olive oil and put the chicken in there.
  2. Cut 6 thin slices of lemon. This will use about 1/2 the lemon, maybe a bit more. Remove and seeds from the slices. Starting from the bottom of the chicken (the egg laying end not the head end) very gently loosen the skin. Slide the lemon slices up under, getting one on top of each drumstick and two on each side of the breast. Take your time and be careful, you don't want to tear the skin.
  3. Now prop the chicken up so the legs are skyward, and carefully pour the honey up under the skin. Once its all in there very gently work it around so all of the breast meat is covered. Try to get some up on the legs as well.
  4. Squeeze half the remaining lemon inside the chicken, then stuff as many rosemary sprigs as you can in there. Tuck the wings behind it's back and tie the legs. Arrange the garlic and remaining rosemary around the chicken, rub the skin (gently! You don't want to squish the honey out!) with olive oil, then squeeze the remaining lemon over it. Salt and pepper the skin, add the broth to the pan, and pop it in the oven.
  5. Roast the chicken until it's done (use a meat thermometer between the thigh and body to check) the time is going to vary depending on your chicken and your oven. This time mine took an hour and 20 minutes. Baste periodically as it cooks, make sure to squirt basting liquid inside the chicken too.
  6. When the chicken is done, remove it from the oven. Quickly pull all the skin off and eat it before anyone figures out what you are up to.
  7. Just kidding - that would be MEAN. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes, then carve and serve - it goes great with Mr Ls mashed potatoes and Pink Greens!!!!

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