Roasted chicken and mashed potatoes were my obsession as a kid. Every birthday that’s what I picked.  This Lemon Garlic Herb Roasted Chicken is our spin on the classic recipe my mom always made me.  It’s like my birthday every time we make it!

aphoto of a roasted whole chicken on a platter adorned with fresh herbs and lemon slices

A week or so before our birthdays, my mom would ask us what we wanted for our birthday dinner.  It took no time at all for me to answer, and it was the same for years and years. My mom makes an awesome roasted chicken!  Am I a weirdo though?  What kid asks for a roasted chicken for her birthday dinner?!  Most kids would ask for pizza or hot dogs.  But roasted chicken is how I rolled!  And now I roll with this Lemon Garlic Herb Roasted Chicken as often as I can!

Have you ever been intimidated by roasting a whole chicken?  If it’s done right, it looks quite impressive which must mean that is takes tons of time, work, and technique, right?  I have a little secret, it is so dang easy!  Anyone could do it!  There is no need for fear here.  We will take you through each step!

a photo of a roasted whole chicken on a platter adorned with fresh herbs and lemon slices with a half of a lemon and a cloth napkin and fork in the background

What is brining and why do we do it?

A good roasted chicken starts with a brine!  Brining is the process of using salt to break down proteins in the meat.  You can do a wet brine or a dry brine but the star of a successful brine is the salt.  When meat is immersed in salt, the proteins break down which means that meat won’t contract when it cooks.  Less water is lost, and the result is a juicy, tender bird.  The salt also adds loads of flavor.

The longer the brine, the better your meat will be.  For this recipe we suggest at least a 1 hour brine, but if you have the time, overnight would be even better!  For the brine, all you need is hot water, salt, herbs, and a few cloves of garlic.

Buttah, Buttah, and mo’ Buttah

If salt is the most important part of brine, then butter is the most important part of the actual roasting of the chicken.  You want to slather that bird both on top of the skin and underneath the skin with loads of the seasoned butter. The butter also helps the chicken be extra tender, juicy, and flavorful.

a photo of slice roasted chicken breasts on a platter garnished with fresh herbs and lemon slices

Time to Roast

So we’ve brined and buttered, now we are ready to stuff and roast.  Stuff a few garlic cloves and lemon slices into the cavity of the chicken and tie the feet together with kitchen twine to hold it all in. Place the chicken on a v-rack in the roasting pan breast side down. Then you are ready to get this bird in the oven!

How do I carve a whole chicken?

Once the chicken reaches 160-170 degrees Fahrenheit internal temperature, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 5-10 minutes with a foil tent.  While it is resting, you can use the drippings to make a killer gravy.  Then it is time to break this beautifully roasted chicken down to serve to your family or guests.  This is how we like to do it (pictures of each step can be found here):

  1. Place the chicken on a cutting board breast side up and cut off both legs. Pull the leg and thigh away from one side of the chicken, and cut through the connective joint, removing the entire leg and thigh.  Repeat on the other side.
  2. Separate the thigh from the drumstick.  To do this, hold the drumstick and cut away from the thigh, cutting through the connective joint to separate.
  3. Remove the breast meat.  Make a deep vertical cut along one side of the breastbone, using the inside of the breastbone as a guide.  Repeat on other side
  4. Remove the wings.  Pull each wing away from the chicken body and cut through the connective joint.

Then the meat can be sliced into serving portions (especially the breasts), or you can leave them on the bone (like the drumsticks, thighs, and wings).

Here’s a Secret

Here’s one little secret if you want to nibble on something delicious as the designated chicken carver.  Turn the whole chicken over and on the back where the thighs once came into the bird are two little pockets of meat called the oyster.  You can just scoop that little gem out and pop it in your mouth.  You’ll thank me for that, and shhhhhh don’t tell anyone else about it!  Being the chicken carver comes with perks!

a photo of a golden whole roasted chicken on a serving platter garnished with fresh herbs

What should I eat with my roasted chicken?

I mentioned that roasted chicken and mashed potatoes were my absolute favorite as a kid.  Mashed potatoes make a great side for this roasted chicken.  Have you seen our post about the best mashed potatoes of all time?  Make those and then never make mashed potatoes any other way again!  Here are a few other sides that we like with Lemon Garlic Herb Roasted Chicken:


Can roasted chicken be frozen?

Yes, we do it all the time!  We like to freeze leftover chicken in small chunks or even shredded to use later on in other recipes.  It should be wrapped several times in heavy duty aluminum and then placed in a freezer back.  Squeeze as much of the air out as possible, or better yet, use a Food Saver!  To thaw it, place it in the refrigerator for a day or two.


Happy Birthday

So now anytime you make this Lemon Garlic Herb Roasted Chicken, you can think of me and pretend its my birthday!  Or better yet, pretend its your birthday and demand a cake be made for you!  I know you’re going to love this chicken!

Chicken Dinner RECIPES

Looking for more chicken dinner recipes?  You can’t have too many of those! Here are just a few to get you started: Bottom of the Jar Chicken, Quick and Easy Cornflake Ranch Chicken, Fiesta Chicken and Rice, Braised Dijon Chicken and Potatoes, Sticky Asian Grilled Chicken Breasts, Oven Fried Chicken, Chicken Drumsticks, and finally, Slow Cooker Whole Chicken.

If you want another yummy roasted meal, try these roast pork chops! Or if you are just after some good chicken wings, this one is delish!


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Lemon Garlic Herb Roasted Chicken

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Servings: 6
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours


Roasted chicken and mashed potatoes were my obsession as a kid. Every birthday that’s what I picked.  This Lemon Garlic Herb Roasted Chicken is our spin on the classic recipe my mom always made me.  It's like my birthday every time we make it!


  • 1 Chicken , Fryer, up to 4 pounds
  • 1/2 Cup Kosher Salt
  • 2 sprigs Rosemary
  • 3 Sprigs Thyme
  • 2 Cups Water, Hot, plus more later
  • 1/4 Cup Butter, unsalted and softened
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • Crack of Black Pepper
  • 1 Lemon, zested and sliced thin
  • 10 Cloves Garlic, divided
  • 2 Teaspoons Rosemary, minced
  • 1 Teaspoon Thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 3/4 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 1/4 Cup White Wine, Cooking or Regular
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons Water
  • Extra Broth as needed


  • In a large stock pot, add the Kosher salt, and herbs.
  • Using a mallet or rolling pin, smash 6 garlic cloves, still leaving them whole.
  • Place the garlic and hot water into the stock pot and stir to combine.
  • Rinse the whole chicken and remove any giblets.
  • Fill the stock pot with cool water and stir to dissolve the salt.
  • Add the chicken, making sure that the water covers the bird.
  • Place the lid on and refrigerate for 1 hour to brine the chicken.
  • Remove the garlic cloves and set aside.
  • Pour the brine into the sink and completely pat the bird dry with paper towels.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the butter, salt, pepper, zest and 2 minced cloves of garlic along with the minced rosemary and thyme.
  • Slide your fingers under the skin of the bird and rub the butter mixture over the skin and under the skin making sure to get it everywhere.
  • Tie the feet together with Kitchen Twine,and put the last two garlic cloves and the sliced lemon into the cavity of the bird.
  • Heat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • Place a
    V-Rack in your Roasting Pan and arrange the bird breast side down.
  • Roast for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and toss the garlic in a little olive oil and into the bottom of the pan.
  • Place it back in the oven for 15 more minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, flip the bird over, onto its back and drizzle with a little olive oil.
  • Pour the chicken broth and wine into the bottom of the pan.
  • Turn the heat down to 375 and put the bird back in the oven for 30 minutes or until the breast is 160-170 degrees.
  • Remove the bird from the oven to rest for 5-10 minutes with foil tented over the top.
  • Pour the drippings, without the garlic into a gravy separator and then into a pan over medium heat.
  • Whisk the cornstarch and water together and then whisk into the drippings, adding more broth if needed.
  • Serve with gravy!


Left overs can be refrigerated for 3-4 days.


Serving: 1gCalories: 392kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 25gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 116mgSodium: 10038mgPotassium: 347mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 454IUVitamin C: 19mgCalcium: 44mgIron: 2mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: Mom's Best 100 Easy Chicken Recipes

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a photo of a roasted whole chicken on a platter adorned with fresh herbs and lemon slices