Lemon Pepper Herb Chicken is a simple recipe. It's tender & juicy and requires minimal effort. This is the best roast chicken recipe to make if you are short on time but do not want to sacrifice flavor. The whole chicken is slathered in a buttery, herbed mixture with lots of lemon pepper. The butter helps keep the meat super moist inside. The bold freshness of the herbs is what makes this lemon pepper chicken stand out and part of what gives it such great flavor!
A whole roast chicken along with herb butter consisting of lemon pepper seasoning, and dried lemon peel make this recipe hard to resist. Fresh herbs including rosemary, chives, and oregano take this simple roast chicken to an entirely different level.
The first order of business is to clean the chicken however you see fit (some people choose to clean their meat with water, lemon juice, or vinegar before roasting), and dried completely. Once the bird is dry, you can go to town with that buttery herbed mixture. Spread it all over the whole chicken, in between the skin and all the cracks and crevices. It'll be messy! Don't forget to remove the bag inside the chicken. Roast the chicken breast side-up once it's ready for the oven.
- Complete all of the necessary prep work ahead of time to ensure a smooth process. Chop up all of the herbs, set them aside, and make sure your butter has been previously brought to room temperature.
- Clean the chicken using your preferred method and dry it completely with paper towels. If the chicken skin is wet, it will be extremely difficult to smear the butter on top.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and keep that thermometer handy.
- Mix the butter with all of the dried herbs plus the lemon pepper seasoning. I would suggest dividing the mixture in half-some for the outside of the chicken and some for the inside of the chicken. When coating the chicken with the butter herb mixture, be sure to separate the skin from the meat on the side of the breast and use your fingers to massage the butter in there too. Doing this will ensure the chicken is infused with even more flavor. Using the other half of the mixture to coat the outside-this will help give your chicken that crispy skin. Before roasting, check the body of the chicken; it should be breast side up. Place chicken in a roasting pan and into the oven.
- During the cooking process, baste the chicken in the liquids that are rendered while baking. This can be done with a spoon or with an actual baster. Simply scoop the pan juices from the bottom of the roasting pan and drizzle the liquid over the skin of the chicken. Do this a couple of times while the chicken cooks. This will give added moisture to the meat and result in an even juicier bite.
The specified cook time for this chicken is one hour and 15 minutes. The time could vary just slightly depending on the oven, and the type of baking dish used. After one hour, you can quickly remove the chicken from the oven and measure the thickest part of the breast meat with a meat thermometer. The chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Be sure to let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving; this will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the chicken, making it even more juicy and enjoyable.
large roasting Pan- need to contain the pan juices and cook the chicken
instant-read thermometer- needed to measure the internal temperature of the chicken to check for doneness
chef's knife- used to chop all of the herbs
sharp knife(serrated)-to carve the chicken once it's done
cutting board-needed as a surface for chopping the herbs
small bowl- used to hold the herbs, spices, and butter
small spoon-to mix ingredients in the small bowl
(*Optional) roasting rack- to accompany the roasting pan. This is a foolproof way to get the most perfect roast chicken with crispy skin on all sides.
What to serve with Lemon Pepper Herb roasted chicken
This is a great recipe to make for Thanksgiving, any holiday meal, or a large gathering because of its simple ingredients. One of the most delectable ways to enjoy it in my opinion is by eating it with mashed potatoes and vegetables. This flavorful chicken would pair expertly well with a variety of other side dishes including macaroni and cheese, roasted vegetables, rolls, and so much more!
I absolutely love to make gravy from the pan drippings to pour over my mashed potatoes. To make gravy, scrape the drippings from the bottom of the pan and reserve them in a small bowl. Make a roux in a small saucepan using medium heat before adding chicken broth along with the drippings. You can add a little bit of butter and milk as well.
How to store Lemon Pepper Herb roasted chicken
You will need a large, airtight container to hold your leftover roast chicken. The easiest way to do this is by separating the meat from the bones. Slice the chicken breasts that you have and place them in the container. Additionally, remove the dark meat from the body and place those parts in the container. You can use the rest of the chicken to make a stock as described below. Store the stock in a jar in the refrigerator, freeze small amounts in ice cubes, or store the jar in the freezer for later use.
The most common substitutions for this recipe are going to be for fresh herbs and lemon peel. Dry herbs can be used in place of fresh ones just keep in mind that the potency is much different. A general rule of thumb when making these types of substitutions is that 1 tablespoon of dried herbs would equal one teaspoon of fresh herbs. You can also substitute lemon zest in place of dried lemon peel (the dried version is simply dehydrated lemon zest). For this particular recipe, use 1 teaspoon of lemon zest. Typically you would use two-thirds less lemon peel vs. lemon zest.
Make it spatchcock! A spatchcock chicken is one that has had the backbone removed so that it cooks flat and more evenly. Cooking a roast chicken using this method is very popular and it's very easy to do if you're ok with splitting the bird on your own. This is a great recipe to turn into a spatchcock chicken, especially if making it for the holidays as the presentation is beautiful. If you are looking for more information on how to do this, follow this link https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-spatchcock-a-chicken-23123597
If you want to impart some extra flavor to this easy roast chicken recipe, you can do so in a multitude of ways. The most common way to do this is by inserting a variety of aromatics into the cavity of the bird. You can use garlic cloves, sprigs of thyme, and onions to name a few. One of my favorite things I like to do with this leftover chicken is to reinvent the dish. I'll use the white meat to make a chicken pot pie or chicken salad.
The very first time I made this when I had finished all of the meat I threw the entire carcass away, silly me! It wasn't until it was in the trash that I realized how valuable the bones were. The next time and from that point forward, I started to make chicken stock using the bones and a mix of veggies.
This is optional but If you desire, you can tie up the chicken legs with kitchen twine; this will help the legs develop crisp skin during the cooking process. To do this, simply gather the ends of the legs together and gently wrap the kitchen string around the ends, tying them up securely.
Enjoy this Lemon Pepper Herb Roasted Chicken!Print
Lemon Pepper Herb Chicken is a whole chicken encrusted with herbed butter consisting of fresh herbs, lemon zest, and, lemon pepper seasoning.
1 whole chicken (4 lbs), cleaned and dried with paper towels
½ cup salted butter, softened
3 tablespoons chives, chopped
2 teaspoons dried lemon peel
1 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning (with salt)
2 teaspoons rosemary, chopped
3 teaspoons oregano, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Chop all herbs and combine them in a bowl. Add butter, lemon pepper, and lemon peel the bowl. Mix all ingredients together until a smooth paste has formed. Using your hands, spread the mixture evenly over the entire chicken, including the layer in between the skin and breast. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees (breast side up) for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a meat thermometer measures 165 degrees once inserted into the thickest part of the meat.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 75 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 87
- Sugar: 0.1 g
- Sodium: 772.1 mg
- Fat: 9.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 0.5 g
- Protein: 0.8 g
- Cholesterol: 26.5 mg
Keywords: lemon pepper chicken, lemon pepper, herb crusted chicken