Lemon-Butter Rosemary Chicken

Roasted Chicken, hot out of the oven.

This chicken is basic, easy and flavorful. The below recipe yields for an entire roasted chicken (cut into pieces). The recipe can be downsized to fit a meal for one or two by just using the chicken cuts that you most enjoy. Just use one lemon and less of everything for the scaled back version.

I always recommend looking for a local farmer’s market source for your chicken (and all meat). A wonderful example in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley is Polyface, Inc.. The animals are truly pasture raised and feed off grass in open fields on the farm. Don’t be fooled by just any label at the supermarket that says “cage free” or “free range”, the required standards for those labels are minimal. Anyway, off my soapbox and onto the recipe!

    Chicken- bone in, skin on, whole chicken*
    1/2 Yellow Onion, cut into big wedges
    3 Lemons, cut into halves
    1/2 stick (4 tbsp) Butter
    1/3 cup Olive Oil
    Fresh Rosemary, about 3 sprigs
    Sea Salt
    Ground Pepper

    * Even for a small meal you can use a whole chicken to provide for adequate leftover chicken and roasted onions for a wonderful Creamy Chicken Potato Soup the next day.

    Lemon-Butter Rosemary Chicken ready for the oven.

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    2. Place chicken pieces in a single layer in a large roasting pan
    3. Place onion wedges around chicken
    4. Use a juicer to lightly squeeze lemon juice into glass or plastic container (leave some juice in the rinds). Place remaining lemon halves in the pan with the chicken. Add 1/2 stick of butter to lemon juice and microwave, or heat over the stove, until butter is melted. Add 1/3 cup olive oil. Stir thoroughly and pour lemon-butter over the chicken.
    5. Add fresh Rosemary, some leaves pulled off loosely, to the chicken.
    6. Add freshly ground pepper and sea salt to taste.
    7. Toss thoroughly to ensure chicken and onions are thoroughly coated with mixture.
    8. Roast in preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear, 25 minutes into roasting pull chicken out of oven and spoon juices over chicken. Put back into oven for the remainder of time.
    9. Serve with Blood Orange Roasted Carrots and Honey Roasted Brussels Sprouts. Enjoy!

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    1. Kristen Farnum says:

      I saw a new-to-me label on a Capriole chevre I bought at the Bardstown farmer’s market “humane animal care”…speaking of labeling. You’re right that labeling is being co-opted – the USDA is light years behind the EU in this regard! It is nice to see small, local companies leading the charge to make the distinction between ‘practice’ and ‘perception’. Off to find my humanely raised chicken for this recipe…

      • Jes says:

        Agreed Kristen, the EU is light years ahead on food labeling. And the USDA labels that do exist have minimally low standards, and are so cost prohibitive that farms that are doing the best jobs can’t afford the official label. That is why it is so great to buy local when you can and get to know your farmers. 🙂

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    On this site I share my bottomless passion for good food, big adventures and green spaces. You can learn more about my wellness programming, cooking and gardening classes and Ayurvedic offerings here.

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