Roasted Chicken with Lemon Rosemary Garlic Butter

Chicken is such an affordable meat to make for a large group or people and I'm always looking for different ways to cook it.  Roasting a whole chicken yields a lot of flavorful and juicy meat with a good mixture of white and dark meat that is sure to please everyone at the table.  This is a simple recipe with just a few ingredients and a ton of flavor.  I served it with a simple side of roasted green beans and wild rice.  


  • 1 4-5 pound chicken, at room temperature giblets and neck removed from cavity
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half plus 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 lemons, 2 cut in half and remaining half sliced into thin slices
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs plus 1 sprig minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup white wine


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  

Mix the butter, chopped rosemary, minced garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper and set aside.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towel and rub half of the mixture under the chicken skin and the other half on the outside of the chicken.  Liberally season the cavity with salt and pepper and stuff with half of a lemon, two sprigs of rosemary, and 3 quarters of  onion.  Truss the chicken with butchers twine.  To do this, take a 2 ft length of twine and place it under the chicken at the wings.  Bring each end up over the middle of the wings and bring the ends of the twine down toward you over the inside of the leg, at the hip, looping around and bringing it up over the ends of the legs, tying they tightly together in a bow.  

Place chicken in a roasting pan, breast side up.  Place the remaining onions, lemons and herbs around the chicken and pour 1/2 cup of white wine around the sides.  

Place in the oven and roast for roughly 80 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees.  Baste with the juices every 20 minutes.  If the wine dries up, add 1/2 cup of water to the pan.

Remove from the oven and tent with foil for 15 minutes to let the juices settle before slicing.