Whole roasted chicken: It’s one of those recipe standbys that never fails to impress—yet, actually cooking the bird couldn’t get any easier. Our version, made with rosemary, lemon, and garlic only requires 10 minutes of hands-on time. In other words, it’s impressive enough for a dinner party but low-maintenance enough for every day fare. Another bonus? Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a ton of special equipment to roast a whole chicken, just a reliable meat thermometer a small roasting pan or ovenproof skillet, and a cutting board for carving. And, as if you needed more convincing, buying the whole chicken, as opposed to skinless, boneless breasts, guarantees a lower grocery bill to boot.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, plus one 4-inch sprig
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
zest from ½ lemon, grated
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 lemon, halved
1 3½- to 4-pound chicken, giblets removed
Sat fat 13g
How to Make It
Adjust oven rack to lowest position. Heat oven to 450° F. Combine 1 tablespoon of the oil, chopped rosemary, garlic, lemon zest, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl.
Use your fingers to carefully loosen the skin from the breasts, thighs, and drumsticks. Spread the mixture evenly under the skin. Rub the remaining tablespoon of oil over the skin. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of the remaining salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Place the lemon halves, rosemary sprig, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt inside the cavity.
Place a rack in a large ovenproof skillet or small roasting pan. Place the chicken in the pan. Tuck the wings beneath the chicken, as if it were placing its arms behind its head. Roast for 20 minutes. Add 1 cup water and roast until the chicken is cooked through and the thigh meat registers 180° F on a meat thermometer, about 40 minutes more.
Use a spatula to loosen the chicken. With a wad of paper towels in each hand, transfer the bird to a cutting board. Let it rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.