Lemon-Pepper Roast Chicken

Total Time:
2 hr 20 min
30 min
1 hr 50 min

6 to 8 servings

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 4 -to-5-pound chickens, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Pulse the butter, lemon zest and juice, garlic, thyme, paprika, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 tablespoon pepper in a food processor until smooth.

  • Put the chickens on a rimmed baking sheet. Loosen the skin on the breasts and legs with your fingers. Rub about three-quarters of the lemon-pepper butter under the skin, then rub the rest all over the chickens. Refrigerate, uncovered, 2 hours or up to 8 hours before roasting.

  • Tie the chicken legs together with twine and tuck the wings under the body; place breast-side up on a rack in a large roasting pan. Pour the wine into the pan and transfer to the oven; roast until the chickens are golden and crisp and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 170 degrees F, about 1 hour, 50 minutes. (Tent with foil if the skin browns too quickly.)

  • Let the chickens rest 10 minutes before portioning (see below). Season with salt.

  • Grab one of the legs with tongs and pull it away from the body; cut through the skin with kitchen shears.

  • Pull the leg out and back to pop the joint; remove the leg with the shears. Repeat on the other side.

  • Separate the drumsticks from the thighs with the shears.

  • Cut off the wings as close to the body as possible.

  • Insert the shears into the tail end of the chicken and cut along the breastbone.

  • Pull back one of the breasts and cut it off the backbone. Repeat on the other side.

  • Photograph by David Malosh

View All

Cooking Tips
More Recipes and Ideas
Loading review filters...

    This recipe is featured in:

    Everyday Celebrations