Slow Cooker

Lemon Tea Brined Slow Roasted Chicken

February 14, 2013
2 Ratings
  • Serves 2 to 4 depending on your appetite
Author Notes

I love chicken that is slow roasted on low's my "go to" recipe. I picked up a small 3 pounder the other day and decided to brine it with tea and lemon before roasting. It was sweet and succulent and the two of us almost finished it off in one sitting! Please note that for some reason the recipe steps were reversed.


Test Kitchen Notes

Since this method was the exact opposite of how I usually roast a chicken, I just had to try it! The slow roasting, along with the long marinade, yields a very moist and flavorful bird. The legs were particularly good, smooth and silky in texture, enhanced by the subtle tea flavor of the brine. Is this the method I'll use for every future chicken? Probably not, but it was an awfully good break from my norm. —Sarah Fioritto

What You'll Need
  • For the roast chicken
  • 1 brined chicken (see below)
  • 1 black tea bag, tag removed
  • 4 large cloves garlic, halved
  • Juice of 1 medium lemon
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • For the brine
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 black tea bags (I used English breakfast)
  • three 2-inch slices of lemon peel about an inch wide
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • Juice of one medium lemon
  • one 3-pound chicken
  1. For the roast chicken
  2. Preheat oven to 250° F. Remove the chicken from the tea brine and pat it dry inside and out with paper towels. Place the garlic cloves and the tea bag into the chicken's cavity. Tie the chicken's legs, tuck the wings under the chicken, and place it breast-side up into a 9 x 13-inch roasting pan.
  3. Rub the lemon juice all over the skin of the chicken and then rub on the olive oil. Combine the salt, pepper, cayenne, and garlic and pat the mixture all over the bird.
  4. Roast for about 3 hours. After the first hour of roasting, start basting occasionally by tipping the pan to release the juices from the cavity. Do this about every half hour or so.
  5. After the slow roast, raise the oven temperature to 375° F and continue to roast for about 15 minutes. Let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
  6. Note: If you're roasting a chicken larger than 3 pounds, you'll need to increase the slow-roasting time. I usually roast a 5- to 6-pounder for about 4 1/2 to 5 hours at 250° F.
  1. For the brine
  2. Bring the water up to a boil and add the tea bags and lemon peel. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let the tea steep for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the sugar and salt and then let the mixture cool to room temperature. After it reaches room temperature, stir in the lemon juice.
  4. Place the chicken in a gallon-sized freezer bag and pour in the tea. Place the bag on a sided dish and place in the fridge for about 24 hours. Occasionally turn the chicken to distribute the tea all over.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • babswool
  • bozhena
  • QueenSashy
  • Bevi
  • EmilyC

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!

20 Reviews

babswool May 13, 2019
I have such a hard time with roast chicken. Most recipes call for high starting temp to crisp and then lower oven for cooking. All done in an hour. This method, even though cooking time was longer, produced tender chicken and delicious crispy skin. I didn't have time to brine the chicken first but it still turned out moist and delicious.
inpatskitchen May 13, 2019
So happy you enjoyed...I just love this method for roasting chicken. Thanks so much!
bozhena March 16, 2014
this dish is a miracle. in the past week i made it 3 times. thank you.
inpatskitchen March 16, 2014
I'm thrilled you enjoyed! Thanks so much!
QueenSashy February 7, 2014
Pat, you should enter this dish into "Your Best Chicken" contest
inpatskitchen February 8, 2014
Thanks QS! I think I will
Bevi February 20, 2013
This is going to be my next roast chicken. We love to drink tea with little lemon in the evening -this time it will be literally WITH the bird!
inpatskitchen February 20, 2013
Thanks Bevi! Would love your feedback!
EmilyC February 19, 2013
This is going on my list of things to try soon!
inpatskitchen February 19, 2013
Thank you Emily! Please let me know what you think if you make it.
lapadia February 18, 2013
I'm salivating over your beautiful photo and the recipe sounds extremely delicious as well!
inpatskitchen February 18, 2013
Thanks lapadia! It WAS a beautiful little bird!
Kukla February 15, 2013
This chicken is so beautiful and sounds so succulent that you do not have to worry about reversing the recipe Pat!!!
inpatskitchen February 15, 2013
You're too kind Kukla! Thank you!
creamtea February 14, 2013
I'm getting hungry looking at that picture.
inpatskitchen February 14, 2013
Thanks creamtea! The camera behaved a little this time!
QueenSashy February 14, 2013
I love this, slow roasting makes my heart sing.
inpatskitchen February 14, 2013
Thanks so much! Slow roasting is the best!!
aargersi February 14, 2013
This chicken makes my heart feel happy. A juicy tender roasted chicken is one of the world's great foods. I love the lemon and the tea.
inpatskitchen February 14, 2013
Thanks aargersi! Roast chicken is a weekly thing at our house. Now if only the editors can help me reverse the roasting and the brining. I have no idea how it happened...still waiting to hear from them.