Our Most Popular Ina Garten Recipe of All Time

Hint: involves chicken and a skillet.

March  6, 2023
Photo by Quentin Bacon

It should come as no surprise that Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken is our most popular Ina Garten recipe of all time. But if we had to guess why, it would probably start with the fact that it's delicious, simple, and cost effective.

The recipe calls for a butterflied chicken to be lacquered in a mixture of thyme, black pepper, fennel seed, and olive oil, then roasted with garlic, onions, lemon, and white wine. After about 40 minutes in the oven, you’ll have a moist bird with crisp skin and lemony, garlic-forward goodness.

As is the case with many of Ina’s greatest hits, this recipe lets you create complex flavors with simple techniques. Other than hitting the “pulse” button on your food processor and then slicing some garlic, onion, and lemon, there isn’t much work to be done—you’ll need to open the oven a few times, but that’s manageable. With big flavor and little preparation, this is one of the rare recipes that succeeds as the star of a dinner party or as a last-minute weeknight meal.

My favorite part of this recipe is that it stretches your dollar by using an entire, butterflied chicken instead of individual breasts or thighs. When buying a bird, do as Ina says and ask your butcher to butterfly the chicken for you (they’ll usually do it for free). If you already have a chicken but it needs to be butterflied, you can refer to our tutorial here.

Don’t just take my word for it: If you scroll down on the recipe page, you’ll find a sea of comments lauding Ina’s chicken. Some of my favorites include Eric sharing that it “was a huge Sunday night hit,” Sue proudly announcing she “has made this more times than [she] can count!” and David labeling Ina’s creation as “perfection.” What more reason do you need to make this your dinner tonight?

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Paul Hagopian

Written by: Paul Hagopian

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Linda M. March 17, 2023
Technically the chicken is spatchcocked (in the photo) and not butterflied…may not make a big difference to many but it will if you are asking the butcher to do it for you.
jennyfenny March 9, 2023
I recently found this recipe, absolutely love it. It does work with chicken breasts, that is what I had on hand. I just used a sheet pan or roasting pan with plenty of room. I added a bag of brussels sprouts from Trader Joe's, it works for me. Highly recommend. My coworkers keep asking what the amazing smell is when I take leftovers to work.
[email protected] March 9, 2023
Some Whole Foods markets sell butterflied Bell and Evan chicken in vacuum seal package
redhead50 March 8, 2023
How would I adjust this recipe with a larger chicken? My husband bought home an 8lb bird.
Gammy March 10, 2023
Going by gut feeling here as I have not made this intriguing recipe yet. First thought is you may need a larger pan than a 12" cast iron skillet so I would make sure you have a pan, maybe a shallow roasting pan, prior to starting. As for adjusting the recipe.... I think you could use the amounts of spices listed, or maybe increase by 50%. I wouldn't double. Maybe a full extra lemon and a large onion. Extra wine. This will take longer to cook than what is written. Do you have an instant-read thermometer? Enjoy!!!
kfrank March 7, 2023
I enjoyed this but i do wonder what percentage of Americans buy a chicken from a butcher nowadays, as opposed to a large grocery where there is no one who will butterfly it for you.
Mike E. March 7, 2023
I butterfly my own. Not difficult once you get the hang of it with a sharp pair of kitchen shears. And oddly satisfying!
[email protected] March 7, 2023
Me too! Piece of cake. They charge so much to do something we are tptally capable of.
CTC March 17, 2023
Our Trader Joe's now offers both 1/2 chickens marinated in buttermilk (super moist!) and spatchcocked whole chickens in vacuum packs. We've tried both and they are great for when you're in a hurry. I have the sheers but haven't gotten up the gumption to try butterflying my own yet...
brushjl March 17, 2023
Takes all of a minute to butterfly and you have the backbone for a lovely stock.
Lynnie October 21, 2023
If you’re buying the chicken at Whole Foods, at the meat counter, and they will spatchcock the chicken for you and give you the back to take home and use in chicken stock. And they won’t charge you for doing it. Actually they’ll cut the whole chicken up for you if you want.