Make Ahead

Slow Roasted Lemon Chicken

March 22, 2011
Photo by James Ransom
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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

  • Prep time 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Cook time 5 hours 10 minutes
  • 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:
  • 1 4- to 5-pound whole chicken
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons rub mixture (see above)
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 8 garlic cloves (up to 10)
  • 2 tablespoons flour (optional)
  • 2 cups chicken broth (optional)
In This Recipe
  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.

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Recipe by: inpatskitchen

I think I get my love for food and cooking from my mom, who was an amazing cook. She would start baking and freezing a month before Christmas in order to host our huge open house on Christmas afternoon. I watched and I this day I try not to procrastinate when it comes to entertaining. My cooking style is pretty much all over the place, although I'm definitely partial to Greek and Italian cuisine. Oh yes, throw a little Cajun in there too!