Make Ahead

Roasted Chicken with Honey, Lemon and Rosemary

February 22, 2010
4 Ratings
  • Serves 4
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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 Breakfast —Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast

What You'll Need
  • 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!!!!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Midge
  • Gseghi
  • wssmom
  • coffeefoodwrite
  • mariaraynal

Recipe by: aargersi

Country living, garden to table cooking, recent beek, rescue all of the dogs, #adoptdontshop

29 Reviews

smcorey31 November 8, 2020
Wow, this makes a great chicken! I made this yesterday with a 6 pound chicken. It was perfectly done in 1 hour 40 minutes. We poured the leftover juices over our potatoes and veggies too!
Pat March 10, 2018
Tashipluto December 18, 2014
I made this last night for Hanukkah. I spatchcocked the chicken and it worked out fine. I used thyme instead of Rosemary and added wine to the chicken broth because I only had a quarter cup. Really good!
Jo July 29, 2014
Best tip I've ever read in a recipe - pull all the skin off and eat before anyone else! Call it the cook's fee/privilege. Ha!
Thanks for the recipe, this our dinner tonight.
Midge February 10, 2014
Oh wow, love the honey trick. This is my next roast chicken.
LJones March 22, 2013
Have you ever tried making this in a crock pot? If so, any suggestions would be great!! Thanks!
aargersi March 22, 2013
I have not - I fear you would lose your crispy skin though. I am an advocate of the good ole oven for roasting ...
LJones March 22, 2013
Ok, thanks. I'm trying it now. I'll post how it turns out later!!
lambchops March 21, 2013
When making this dish, do you cover the pan? Do you use a roasting rack in the pan?
Thanks for your help.
aargersi March 21, 2013
Hi lambchops! No cover, no rack - I just roast in an oval ceramic dish - easy peasy!
Gseghi February 1, 2012
Making this now! Very excited
Arathi January 24, 2012
I made this over the weekend with two chickens. It was really good. The crust the skin forms with the honey and lemon is just lovely. Leftovers have been excellent too. I'll definitely make this again, it's so unusual and good.
wssmom October 6, 2011
This looks beautiful!!! (And I bet it tastes awesome, looking forward to trying it soon!)
aargersi October 6, 2011
Thanks! When things cool down around here I make this a LOT - the carcass turns into a great stock, too.
Muckle March 13, 2010
Made this last night, my first roast chicken, and soon to be a go-to recipe! The skin is so wonderfully scrumptuous. Can't wait for leftover sandwiches :).
aargersi March 15, 2010
Oh good I am so glad you liked it! It is my go-to as well !!
randirossman February 27, 2010
Oh yum yum. I was drooling over this recipe even before I saw it was an Abbie treat. Definitely on this week's cooking list.
coffeefoodwrite February 26, 2010
Okay, I am officially inviting myself over to dinner at your house! This looks really delicious! Can't wait to try it...
aargersi February 28, 2010
Come on over! The more the merrier and we have an open door policy :-)
coffeefoodwrite February 28, 2010
Thanks, same to you if you are ever in LA!
mariaraynal February 24, 2010
Another fantastic recipe -- this truly sounds great.
melissav February 23, 2010
Nothing wrong with stealing some skin as a cook's treat. I've been known to strategically steal some skin before serving! Although from time to time, I have been called out on it!
aargersi February 23, 2010
Well my mom taught me my bad chicken (and turkey) skin stealing habits so I am innocent or something like that ... ha ha!
Kelsey B. February 23, 2010
I LOVE honey with roasting chicken. I've also done this similar style with tangerine juice - so yummy. (ps - there is nothing wrong with eating as much skin as possible when nobody is looking! :) )
aargersi February 23, 2010
yum - oh and I bet a tangerine marmalade would be good too ...
testkitchenette February 22, 2010
Love the addition of honey! Great recipe.
aargersi February 23, 2010
arielleclementine February 22, 2010
this looks mighty tasty! love steps 6-7! roasted chicken, Mr. L's potatoes and pink greens sounds like a lovely meal :)
aargersi February 23, 2010
:-) thanks! It was a nice dinner for sure!