Roasted Lemon and Herb Chicken

4.83 from 34 votes
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A delicious roasted lemon and herb chicken with tender, juicy meat and crispy skin. The recipe includes a flavorful assortment of vegetables for a complete meal.

Roasted lemon and herb chicken on a bed of vegetables.

This is one of my favorite roasted chicken recipes. It’s inspired by Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home cookbook. I like to use this method but substitute the vegetable ingredients depending on the season. Nothing is better than a home filled with the smell of fresh herbs and chicken roasting in the oven.

I was in the mood for a little comfort food, so I gathered some of my favorite vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, fennel, onions, celery, carrots, corn, Brussels sprouts, and tomatoes. These vegetables would be the “nest” for the roasted chicken. This flavorful meal is made all in one pan, so you can just prepare and relax.

“OMGOSH!!!! This was the BEST chicken dinner I’ve ever had!!!!! I wouldn’t change a thing and the addition of lemons to the vegetables rocked it!”—Cathi

Lemon, carrots, corn, rosemary, and tomatoes in a roasting pan.

How to Make Roasted Chicken

This recipe roasts the chicken on a beautiful bed of vegetables. The juices and fat slowly render from the chicken, and the flavors infuse into the vegetables. The incredibly flavorful juices can be collected and made into a quick pan sauce.

Here are the key steps to roasted chicken success!

  • Size: A 4 to 5-pound chicken is the perfect size for a dinner of 2 with leftovers or can serve up to 4 people.
  • Stuffing: The cavity of the chicken is generously seasoned with salt, pepper, fresh thyme, crushed garlic, and lemon. The citrus will roast the chicken and give a wonderful flavor and aroma to the finished product, plus a delicious pan sauce.
  • Skin: Beneath the surface, a compound butter with fresh rosemary is added to enhance the flavor and moistness of the chicken as it roasts. Butter is also applied to the surface of the skin to help with flavor and browning.
  • Trussing: Helps keep the breast moist and reduces the chances of drying out. If the chicken cavity is left exposed, hot air can circulate, cooking the breasts quicker than the thighs.
  • Temperature: The chicken is first roasted in a hot 475-degree oven for 25 minutes to brown and crisp the skin. The temperature is then reduced to 400 degrees to finish cooking to an internal temperature of 160 to 165 degrees.

How to Truss a Chicken

To truss, tuck the wing tips, then use a 3′ piece of string, centering it around the neck end of the breast, wrap it around the wings, and pull the twine over the chest towards you.

Knot the string, pulling it tight to plump the chicken’s breast. Bring the ends of the twine around the ends of the drumsticks and straight up, then tie the string to pull the ends of the drumsticks together, then tie it again to secure the knot.

Whole chicken and vegetables in a roasting pan.

What is the benefit of resting the chicken before cutting?

Resting the chicken allows any carryover cooking to take place, which raises the internal temperature of the meat to help it finish cooking. The resting process also prevents the juices from quickly running out of the meat and drying out. I usually allow at least 20 minutes for the chicken to rest after roasting.

Roasted Lemon and Herb Chicken

A roasted lemon and herb chicken recipe for tender and juicy meat with crispy skin! The tomatoes and lemon add an incredible brightness and additional flavor to the dish.
4.83 from 34 votes
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine American


Roasted Chicken

  • 4 pound chicken
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 1 slice lemon, ½" thick
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Vegetable Nest

  • ½ yellow onion, cut into 1" dice
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into 1" dice
  • 1 fennel bulb, cut into 1" dice
  • 1 ear corn, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 ½ cups baby tomatoes
  • 4 carrots, cut into 1" dice
  • 2 cups sweet potato, cut into 1" dice
  • 2 cups brussel sprouts, halved
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 3 spigs rosemary
  • 1 lemon, cut into 8 slices


  • Prepare the Chicken – Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 1 ½ to 2 hours. If the neck and innards are still in the cavity, remove them. Using a paring knife, cut out the wishbone or leave it to remove after roasting.
  • Heat the Oven – Place the oven rack in the center position. Preheat to 475°F (246°C).
  • Season the Chicken – Season the cavity with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, add 3 garlic cloves and 5 sprigs of thyme, massage the inside of the bird to infuse it with the flavors. Add one lemon slice to the cavity.
  • Add the Butter – In a small bowl, combine butter and 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary. Carefully add about 1 tablespoon of the butter mixture beneath the skin to cover the breast. Repeat with the other side.
  • Truss the Chicken – Tuck the wings back and tie the legs together with butcher's twine, or leave the chicken untrussed. Use the remaining rosemary butter to coat the outside surface. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Season the Vegetables – In a large bowl, combine the onions, celery, fennel, corn, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, and three garlic. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper, stir to combine.
  • Make the Vegetable Nest – Spread the seasoned vegetables in a casserole dish or roasting pan and make a nest in the center. Add 5 sprigs of thyme, 3 sprigs rosemary and lemon slices to the vegetables.
  • Roast the Chicken – Nestle the chicken in the middle of the vegetable nest. Place the pan in the center of the oven and roast for 25 minutes.
    Reduce the heat to 400°F (204ºC) and roast for an additional 30 to 45 minutes, or until the temperature registers 160°F (71ºC) in the meatiest portion of the breast. The juices should run clear.
    If necessary, return the chicken to the oven for more roasting, checking every 5 minutes. Transfer to the cutting board and let it rest for 20 minutes.
  • Glaze the Vegetables – Just before serving, set the pan of vegetables over medium heat, turning and glazing them with the pan juices. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
  • To Serve – Slice the chicken into pieces and arrange over vegetables.


  • Make a Pan Sauce: Separate any additional pan juices from the vegetables, you’ll need 1 cup. Alternatively use chicken stock or broth. Heat a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add about 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of flour. Whisk to create a roux. Once it is pale yellow, add the hot pan juices and continue whisking until the sauce is slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 4 servings
Calories 482kcal (24%)Carbohydrates 18g (6%)Protein 40g (80%)Fat 28g (43%)Saturated Fat 14g (70%)Polyunsaturated Fat 3gMonounsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 152mg (51%)Sodium 544mg (23%)Potassium 667mg (19%)Fiber 4g (16%)Sugar 4g (4%)Vitamin A 10950IU (219%)Vitamin C 38.8mg (47%)Calcium 50mg (5%)Iron 2.2mg (12%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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14 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Sean and Heidi says

    Its hard to tell which has more flavors in this recipe, the veggies or the chicken. This was also SUPER easy to make and looks fantastic on a plate. There will be no leftovers in this house. Great job Jess!!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I’m so thrilled to hear that the recipe was a success! I agree, the vegetables soak up all of the aromatic and flavorful juices from the chicken, it’s hard to stop eating both! Thanks for trying out the recipe Heidi and Sean!

  2. Peter O. says

    Looks tantalising. I’ll try this out the next time I roast a chicken. Would be interested if you have any pork roast recipes too.


    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you Peter! This weekend I roasted a chicken and added some small pieces of cooked bacon under the skin for extra flavor, yum! This is the perfect time for some hearty pork recipes!

  3. Mark says

    Jessica- Need to provide time directions for addition of corn and tomatoes, should be staggered or will be overcooked. Also take care to remove lemon slices and herbs sprigs from vegetables after roasting, small pieces can overwhelm the flavor profile. Citrus does add a nice, bright finish.
    Overall a nice one pan dish from Chef Keller.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you so much for your valuable feedback Mark! Next time I make the dish I’ll take your suggestions into consideration and figure out how to adjust the cooking times. I appreciate you trying the recipe and providing helpful comments!

  4. Bethany @ Athletic Avocado says

    There is nothing I love more than flavorful roasted chicken and veggies for dinner! I’m drooling at the site of these pics! I bet this meal tastes insanely delish!

  5. Dave says

    Very good, versatile recipe. Suggestion: For simplicity, insert a digital thermometer probe into the thickest part of the thigh and set the alarm point at 165°F; then pull. Saves oven heat and bird-sitting time.

  6. Cathi says

    OMGOSH!!!! This was the BEST chicken dinner I’ve ever had!!!!! I wouldn’t change a thing and the addition of lemons to the vegetables rocked it!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you so much, Cathi! Thrilled to hear you enjoyed the chicken dinner and addition of the citrus.